By Kim Walter
Area schools are coming together to raise awareness and funds for a variety of types of cancer this Saturday.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is welcome to stop by the Winchester Third Battlefield on the south side of Redbud Run for a different kind of fundraiser walk.
Emily Woznak, an 18-year-old senior, is the president of James Wood High School's National Honor Society chapter. When assuming her leading role, she decided her big focus would be on unity.
"We did things within our club and school, but I really wanted to bring together our local high schools," she said.
Woznak contacted NHS leaders at Millbrook, Sherando and Handley high schools about holding a cancer awareness walk, where each of the schools would represent a different type of cancer.
The clubs have been working on the project since February, and now Waznak says she's excited to see the results.
Students from each school have been asked to wear a different color to raise awareness. James Wood will sport navy blue for mesothelioma, Sherando will wear white for lung cancer, Millbrook will wear pink for breast cancer, and Handley will wear white for prostate cancer.
"We knew Relay for Life was coming up, but we wanted to try something a little different," Woznak said. "Instead of just walking laps around the track, participants get to check out the trails."
Registration is $5, or any amount an individual would like to donate. Upon singing up, participants can make a sign, banner or card for anyone they'd like to honor or pay tribute to. The signs will be hung throughout the event.
All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society, with a special note designating the specific types of cancer represented.
"A lot of people can say they have a tie to some kind of cancer," Woznak said. "It's out there, it's prevalent. People need to share their stories of battle along with their stories of survival."
Woznak encourages the public to wear whatever color they'd like in terms of raising awareness for types of cancer.
"Even though you'll be able to see the different colors and know they separate the schools, I think this really proves that there is a sense of community between our high schools," she said. "I just hope we have a good turn out ... we've been working on this for so long."
While this event is the first of its kind, Woznak said she hopes a similar unifying event will take place every year.
Directions to registration: Turn onto Redbud Road from Rt. 11 (Martinsburg Pike) - this turn is just east of the Intersection with Interstate I-81 (exit 317). Continue on Redbud Road, and after driving just under a mile (0.9 miles) the parking area for the Third Winchester trailhead will be on your right.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org