Wakarusa Elementary fundraiser tonight for student with leukemia

Wakarusa Elementary is holding a bake sale for a kindergartener battling leukemia.

Posted on Jan. 18, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 18, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.

WAKARUSA — Wakarusa Elementary will hold a bake sale tonight to benefit a kindergarten student battling leukemia.

The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at NorthWood High School, 2101 N. Main St., Nappanee, during the baseball team’s chili supper event and girls’ basketball game, with all proceeds going to the family of Simon Blanchard, a kindergartner at the school with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Cash donations will also be accepted.

Simon’s kindergarten teacher, Jan Snider, said he was diagnosed with the disease just before Thanksgiving. He has visited his class several times since his diagnosis, but completes most of his schoolwork from home.

Snider described Simon as a good reader who loves dinosaurs.

“He’s one of those little boys who is just contagious,” she said. “Everyone in the class is drawn to him. He’s always smiling; he’s so happy all the time. Even when I visited him in the hospital, he couldn’t stop smiling.”

Several other fundraisers have been planned for the Blanchard family in the coming months.

A Nelson’s Chicken and Pit-tato sale will be held at 10 a.m. March 23 the intersection of S.R. 19 and C.R. 40. Advance tickets can be purchased at Richmond’s Feed Services, 704 East Waterford.

Snider said she and her classroom assistant made “Team Simon” shirts for her class as Christmas gifts and she hopes to sell them as another fundraiser for the family.

“We keep getting so many people asking for shirts,” she said. “We hope to send out order forms sometime between now and the end of the (school) year.”

Interra Credit Union has set up an account for the family called the “Simon Blanchard Benefit Fund.”

“Around Christmas there were so many businesses that just donated straight to the fund for the family,” Snider said. “It was so touching.”

Snider said she and the Blanchard family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community.

“When I chat with his mom, it just brings tears to our eyes,” she said. “It’s amazing the support they have received from the community and the school.”

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