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Dance marathon benefits American Cancer Society

February 17, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

BOONSBORO -- For members of the Boonsboro High School Service Club, Saturday night's dance marathon was about raising awareness.

It also was a chance to remember a friend.

The group held the dance marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society of Washington County.

It was the club's big community service project for this year, club adviser Sally Poole said.

"Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer," Poole said.

She said this year's project was an easy choice for the members, who only had to look back two years for inspiration.

In 2006, Service Club member Brittany Neville died after a battle with aplastic anemia, a bone marrow disorder, Poole said.

That year's project, also a dance marathon, was held to raise money for Neville.

"The kids wanted to expand on that this year and try to get people looking at their own family histories," Poole said.

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The club was established in 2000 by a group of students who wanted to help at the REACH (Religious Efforts to Assist and Care for the Homeless) cold weather shelter.

While the group's 20 members still assist regularly at the shelter, they have expanded their activities to include activities including clothing drives, sending cards to military troops and advocacy efforts.

"It's so much fun to know that kids are becoming aware of what they can do," Poole said. "Once they see that, they have a sense of empowerment."

She said it stays with members even after they graduate from high school.

"I see so many examples of former club members who continue that spirit of giving through college or wherever they go," Poole said. "And it shows in their personalities long after they leave here."

Caitlin Wolfe, 17, said she joined the club last year after members reached out to her.

"I was looking for somewhere to fit in, and they gave me that place," Wolfe said.

This year, Wolfe, a senior, is the club's president and said it has been a blessing for her.

"If it wasn't for the club, I'm not sure what I'd be doing right now," Wolfe said.

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