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Greenburgh Students Take Cancer Fight to the Track

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh elementary students looking to get a leg up on cancer are using their sparkling new track to help get them there.

Richard J. Bailey Elementary School dedicated its recently completed asphalt sprint track to the class of 2012 Friday, moments before it held a Relay for Life Cancer walk around the school.

“This is a day to remember,” sixth-grade teacher Elizabeth Underkoffler said. “It’s a culmination of the work to raise money and awareness for cancer that began in September.”

Crews finished paving and striping the $10,000 track last month after Dannon donated the money to R.J. Bailey for health and wellness activities. Runners from Woodlands High School inaugurated the track, leading elementary schoolers down the short runway as they carried a pair of torches used in the 1984 Olympics.

After, students and volunteers gathered to walk in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life awareness event.

The day-long celebration wrapped up the elementary school’s fund-raising efforts that students had started as part of their community service project, hoping to put an end to cancer. Members of the student government presented the cancer society with a $300 check, money they had been working to raise since the beginning of the school year.

“This is an example to everybody about how you can help your community and how you can help your school,” said R.J. Bailey Principal Marguerite Clarkson.

Led by a pair of sixth-graders, Millie Bennett and Nahomey Diaz-Perez, students have hosted monthly events like Spirit Day and bake sales to raise the money. Teachers said cancer hit close to home for many of the students when one of the sixth-grade classmates was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year.

Diaz-Perez told the small crowd gathered behind the school it was neat to see their work come together.

“This is an awesome experience for us,” she said.

Teachers said the two students had earned the credit.

“Their energy and enthusiasm was infectious,” Underkoffler said.

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