In 2011, a band of fourth-graders at the Comprehensive Grammar School in Methuen, Mass., raised nearly $2,500 for the Methuen-Greater Lawrence American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life by creating and selling colorful duct-tape wallets, flowered pencils, headbands and bracelets.
The club grew out of an exchange between then fourth-grader Emma LeBlanc and her teacher, Kelly Sullivan. Emma showed her teacher one of her duct-tape wallets and asked her if she wanted to buy one. Her teacher replied, “Only if it is for a good cause.”
With a beloved aunt newly diagnosed with leukemia, Emma had a cause — cancer research. Many of her classmates also knew of family members with cancer, and in no time, they coalesced into a fundraising unit. The club’s remarkable first year included an invitation to the American Cancer Society statewide summit in Springfield, Mass., where they set up a booth and sold their entire inventory to attendees.
Now in fifth grade, the CGS Kids Cancer Club hopes to raise even more money from their duct-tape creations. Matching ingenuity with a knack for promotion, the club is likely to reach its goal. Featured in a local newspaper and on Fox 25 News, they created a purse and a pair of shoes out of duct tape for anchorwoman Maria Stephanos, who wore the items on the segment.