Call it awesome, a great cause or an amazing achievement from everyone pulling together, but it all added up to one incredible achievement with Pink Links generating $18,287 for cancer research and awareness.
In its fifth year with the Satellite Center’s Health Career Exploration class, the Pink Links campaign has evolved into the rivalry of the year for East and West banks. Yet, for the 62 students in this class, who are both from Hahnville and Destrehan high schools, the rivalry has been well spirited because they recognized the cause was the focus.
Even so, it should be noted DHS narrowly won the challenge with 9,152 links sold over HHS’ 9,136. But, together, they beat last year’s $12,000 raised.
“I honestly don’t know how we managed to surpass our goal, but we did it,” said student Leanna Amaya. “I say ‘we’ because regardless if it’s Destrehan who won the most Pink Links or vice versa, we all win as a community raising money to support breast cancer. I’m extremely proud of each and every one of my team members including myself and anyone else who helped support. Thank you for a memorable experience.”
Like the Rivalry on the River big game between the two schools, Friday was the day to learn who raised the most money for the cause. The announcement came with much pageantry with a giant ring of Pink Links and remembrances of those lost to cancer.
According to Renee Labat, patient care teacher with the class, “Our team members this year were so passionate about selling Pink Links. They surpassed all expectations and raised an amazing $18,287. I am truly speechless. My favorite part of the project is seeing both sides of the river come together for a great cause.”
Labat and Denise Robichaux are the teachers for the Health Career Exploration class.
Each class has outdone the following class in raising funds, Robichaux said. Starting at $2,000 in its first year, the total raised steadily grew to $12,000 last year.
“These kids really get passionate about it,” she said of the cause.
Even more impressive is how the graduates have kept touch and continue contributing, said Robichaux, who called that “pretty cool.”
“It kind of leaves a little place in their heart,” she said. “They all know in the end the money is going for breast cancer, and both going on the field is ‘no one fights alone’” attitude at the rivalry game when they announce who sold the most Pink Links. Additionally, other Satellite Center students beyond this class helped the campaign with communications like making videos for the website, sales pitches and brainstorming the campaign. The American Cancer Society appreciates the campaign and asks for everything the class makes to promote Pink Links on its own website.
For student Madison Herbert, Pink Links has been especially important.
“This cause means too much to me because I lost my grandmother to stage 4 breast cancer, and I never got to meet her,” Herbert said. “I believe that I have grown as a student and better yet a person through Pink Links. It gives you a sense of responsibility and pride by going out in the community and participating in something you believe in.”
For student Jewel Pomeroy, the campaign represented a project that “though most viewed it through eyes of competition, the overall result of the project became something I’m not sure anyone expected.”
Student Sarah Gauthier agreed.
“This project really got me involved within the community,” Gauthier said. “Everyone worked together, not for the schools, but for the main goal, which was to raise money for breast cancer research.”