Tacony school honored for fundraising efforts

Hearts of gold: Elaine Grobman, CEO of Komen Philadelphia, congratulates Gwen Salamone’s third-grade class at Hamilton Disston Elementary School for raising the most money of any class in the Philadelphia school district.

Tacony’s Hamilton Disston Elementary School was recently honored for being the top fundraising school in the School District of Philadelphia during the local Susan G. Komen’s fifth annual Dollar Defense awareness and education campaign. In addition, Gwen Salamone’s class at Disston was the top fundraising classroom.

Among those congratulating Salamone, the students and principal Kari D. Hill was Elaine Grobman, CEO of Komen Philadelphia.

Students from the top 10 fundraising classes throughout the school district enjoyed a hot dog lunch, thanks to Dietz & Watson.

Schools raised more than $13,600 in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. National Mammography Day was on Oct. 16. Breast health educational materials and information on resources for women in need were also distributed to parents and grandparents as part of the Dollar Defense initiative.

The celebration took place at the school district administrative building, 440 N. Broad St. Momma Dietz joined Komen representatives, superintendent William Hite, teachers and about 350 students in grades five through 12.

The Girard Academic Music Program’s jazz ensemble entertained the crowd.

“The fact that we’re now celebrating the fifth year of Dollar Defense is a testament to the importance of giving younger generations a role to play in fighting breast cancer,” Grobman said. “Year after year, the energy exhibited by students, staff and parents for this program grows more and more. Not only is this incredibly inspiring…it is a ‘proof positive,’ that what we are doing is making a difference to the families in our community. What we are doing is helping families fight breast cancer together. Together, they are sharing the hope. Together, they are gaining confidence that one day we will have a world in which every person diagnosed with breast cancer is assured to survive it. That type of hope and confidence is a vital part of nurturing these young lives because it focuses them on positive, happy futures.”

Other local schools that were among the top 10 fundraisers were Louis H. Farrell Elementary School, Stephen Decatur School, CCA Baldi Middle School, Fox Chase Elementary School and Solis-Cohen Elementary School.

“Some may think these children are too young to understand what they are doing through ‘Dollar Defense;’ some think we need to ‘shelter’ them from the ugliness of breast cancer. These ideas couldn’t be further from the truth,” Grobman said. “The children know that they are helping save the lives of their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, teachers — and they are proud of it. ‘Dollar Defense’ isn’t about painting a dark picture about breast cancer, it’s about empowerment…it’s a celebration of survival as well as the power each one of us — young and old — has to continue to save lives.” ••