School, community raise funds and support for student fighting leukemia
Generosity, love and support overflowed at Panorama High School on Friday, January 27.
Students and community members came out in full-force to offer their support for 13-year-old Emma Reinhart, a Panorama seventh grader fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). They also showed their unwavering appreciation for Tori’s Angels Foundation, a non-profit organization helping pay Reinhart’s medical expenses not covered by insurance.
The Panora Lions Club and the Panora Chamber of Commerce served a free-will donation spaghetti dinner to just over 300 guests prior to basketball games between Panorama and Van Meter Friday. Seventh-grade classmates of Emma’s created and displayed 1,000 origami cranes in her favorite orange color. The students made several other decorative cranes, working on them over a two-week period of time, and sold them for $1. Panorama Art instructor Ginger Lindstrom, who helped with the cranes project, said according to Japanese legend, if you make a thousand origami cranes, the crane, a Japanese mystical creature, will grant you a wish.
“Our wish is for Emma to be cancer-free,” seventh-grader Abbi Holloway read during halftime of the girls basketball game as she and her classmates encouraged fans to support their bake sale and purchase a crane in support of someone they know fighting cancer.
All proceeds from the student’s sale of cranes and baked goods was given directly to the Reinhart family.
During a half-time presentation, the Panorama cross-country team presented a $750 check to Tori’s Angels Foundation. The team raised the money last fall during their second annual Rally Run.
The Panorama student council also donated $100 to Tori’s Angels Foundation and another $100 directly to the Reinhart family.
Emma Reinhart and her mom, Steph, were unable to attend the event Friday after Emma was admitted to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines with an infection. Her dad, Troy, brothers Collin and Nathan, and sister Ellis, were in attendance.
“It was hard to miss,” Steph Reinhart said. “Just an unbelievable show of support for our Emma and all of the Angel kids.”
Tori’s Angels raises funds to help the families of their supported children who have lifethreatening medical conditions. The foundation pays all expenses not covered by insurance, including travel expenses to treatment (airfare, hotel, meals), as well as medical co-pays and deductibles until the child reaches the age of 19. Tori’s Angels is named for all the generous community “angels” who supported its original sponsored child, Tori Heckman of Guthrie Center, when she urgently needed heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2011.
The foundation very recently accepted another child for sponsorship, four-year-old Mara Nevins from Adel, who has a brain tumor. She had surgery which removed 70 percent of the tumor. Mara is currently undergoing radiation treatment each week. This brings the count of sponsored children to 18 children in Central Iowa, for a total of 24 children assisted.
Those who were unable to attend the benefit and wish to donate to help Emma Reinhart and other Tori’s Angels children are invited to send donations to Panora State Bank or Guthrie County State Bank in Panora. Donors can also mail a check to Bill Ridgley, 4677 Panorama Dr., Panora IA 50216. An online donation option is located on the Tori’s Angels Facebook page. Supporters can “Like” the Tori’s Angels Facebook page to receive regular updates on the children. For more information about Tori’s Angels or to request an application for support, contact the foundation’s chairman, Bill Ridgley, at bridgley@netins. net or 712-249-6423