04/26/12 A Riverside Intermediate student is taking the fight against cancer personally.

  Jewel Brown lost her grandmother to ovarian cancer four years ago. Now she’s raising money at her school to help fight the deadly disease. She has been holding a raffle for items that she purchased herself to contribute to the fight against cancer.

“She came in and presented the plan to me completely mapped out from beginning to end exactly how she was going to do it,” said Riverside Principal Donna Burroughs. “I was very impressed and I told her we would do what we could to help her.”

She knew she’d need more than a few helping hands to carry off the task so Jewel also enlisted her friends; Jenna Downs, Sam Carroll, Selena Cunningham, Katlin Jones, Chelsea Baca, Jennifer Moreno, Jenny Mendez, and Maria Gonzalez who is herself a cancer survivor.

“My friends have been such a big help to me, doing this with them has been great, I couldn’t do it alone,” said Jewel. “My teacher Miss (Kim) Burns really helped me and encouraged me.”

On special days at Riverside teachers are allowed to wear jeans to work and in return for the privilege they donate money to support certain charities. Jewel’s teacher convinced the group to donate their jean’s money to her during her fundraiser.

She’s been able to raise several hundred dollars, one student alone contributed $20 to purchase tickets. For Jewel it appears that it is just a start to a lifetime plan to help others.

“I always knew I wanted to have a fundraiser and I’m sure I’ll do another one next year, maybe for another cause,” she said. “I just like to see the joy in people’s eyes and the surprise when you do something to help them. It makes me feel bad when I see people depressed because there’s nobody there to give them any help.

“I think my grandma would be proud of me. Even when she was sick she never wanted any of us to worry or feel down. She always did whatever she could to make us feel good.”

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By Rusty Nixon Director of Development and Alumni Affairs