Hurst Middle School’s 4-H/Wetland Watchers celebrate ‘Great Day at the Relay’

This year’s St. Charles Parish Relay for Life theme was Dr. Seuss.The Hurst 4-H team site focused on the Dr. Seuss book, “If I Ran The Circus.” Students stayed after school two or three days a week learning how to juggle, practicing balloon animals, and decorating signs and banners.

“I really wanted to be a part of the Relay for Life event,” said Hurst eighth-grader Brina Braud, “I have seen how hard it is on my friends having a family member fighting cancer. I think this made the people going through cancer know that they are not alone.”

Their hard work paid off through a day of service entertaining kids, making balloon flowers for cancer survivors, and helping to raise awareness and funds towards cancer research. Most of the 42 Hurst students involved volunteered for over 6 hours but many volunteered for 8 – 12 hours during the Relay for Life festival at the West Bank Bridge Park.

“I think it is important that younger kids participate,” said Hurst 8th grader Rebecca Rodrigue, “because it helps us understand how cancer not only affects many people, but also their families.”

One of the highlights of the day was that Hurst students had the privilege of setting up 360 luminaria bags for the ceremony. “My favorite part of the day was the Luminaria Ceremony.” said Hurst eighth-grader Mackenzie Brashier, “Hearing their stories was very meaningful to me, because my cousin and aunt had cystic fibrosis and I know how these diseases affect our families.”

“I loved seeing so many of the Hurst kids there,” said Nancy Zeringue, chairman of the St. Charles Relay For Life Committee, “They are the future of our event and I love to see them involved and interacting in the activities.”

“I am always so proud of our students and how enthusiastic they are about getting involved in our community.” said Harry Hurst 4-H/ Wetland Watchers sponsor Barry Guillot.

“The Relay for Life is a perfect way for the students to focus their energy on a disease that has impacted so many people in their lives,” Guillot said. “Both of my parents are cancer survivors and I try to instill in the kids how important it is to give hope to those who are currently fighting cancer. One of my students made a flower out of balloons and gave it to one of the cancer survivors at the event. The lady came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me thank you for having the students at the event. I gathered the students and told them what happened and how their presence is so uplifting to those around them and I wanted them to make sure every survivor got a balloon flower.”

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