ThinkPINKkids clubs donate $13,000 to Scripps Research Institute

EducationMedical ResearchScienceSchoolsHigh SchoolsWellingtonCancer

Last week the students of Wellington Community High School's thinkPINKkids Club proudly presented the Scripps Research Institute with $13,000 that was raised by the 13 active clubs within Palm Beach County.

The nonprofit, which started in 2009 at Wellington High School, has expanded throughout Palm Beach County over the years to include Palm Beach Central, Suncoast and Park Vista high schools; BAK, Wellington Landings and Emerald Cove middle schools; and Panther Run, Binks, Everglades, Elbridge Gale, Sunrise Park and New Horizons elementary schools.

"The difference with thinkPINKkids is that the clubs are run by the students," said Janet Rosenthol, thinkPINKkids coordinator. "They are the ones organizing fundraisers – with a little help from the teacher sponsors and school coordinators. The students are the ones volunteering their time."

Each year the 13 clubs organize a variety of fundraisers at their schools from a dodge ball tournament to selling thinkPINKkids merchandise at football games. Then 100 percent of the funds raised are donated to both Scripps and Your Bosom Buddies II, a support group in the western communities.

"We keep the money local so that it can help our community," Rosenthol said. "This year we are donating $4,000 to Your Bosom Buddies II."

During the check presentation ceremony Dr. John L. Cleveland, professor and chairman of the Cancer Biology Department at Scripps, talked about how the money donated by the thinkPINKkids clubs funds groundbreaking research at Scripps.

The research directly funded by the nonprofit recently was published in a national science journal, which included the group in its acknowledgment, he said.

"The research you are supporting will have broad implementation in battling breast and other cancers," Cleveland said. "We are working on finding new pathways to destroying cancer."

He said he and his faculty are appreciative of the grassroots support of the students involved in thinkPINKkids.

"We are all working together to make bringing an end to breast cancer a personal mission," Cleveland said.

Wellington Community High School Principal Mario Crocetti said he was proud of the students' hard work last year.

"Thank you for what you do," he said. "So many of us know someone personally who has been affected by this disease. It is amazing to see high school students who are so involved in such an important cause."

Wellington thinkPINKkids Club president Jessica Small said she is excited to see how much money the group will be able to raise this year.

Instead of its annual walk for breast cancer, this year the club will have a dance-a-thon in order to stand out from other nonprofits, Rosenthol said.

"We are hoping to raise even more money this year than we did last year," Small said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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