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Medina students put on benefit to help family with funeral costs

Staff Reports Posted 11 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Monica Silversmith

MEDINA – Students at Medina Central School on April 2 put on a carnival, spaghetti dinner and basket raffle to benefit the family of Karissa D’Ambrosia, a 9-year-old who sadly passed away on March 4. The former Oak Orchard Elementary student was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

The top photo shows the basket raffle with, from left: Christina Rivera, Emily Silversmith and Sherri Bensley.

Karissa was initially diagnosed with AML in late August 2013. She did not complete her planned therapy course due to life-threatening infections. She had a relapse of AML in March 2015, and received a bone marrow transplant in May 2015. Then in January 2016, Karissa’s leukemia returned. The benefit on April 2 raised enough money to pay for a headstone for Karissa.

The JV lacrosse team helped with the benefit on April 2. The group includes, front: Mason Eick. Second row, from left: Colby Petrie, Wesley Hughes, Blair Prest, Zach Blount, Christian Silversmith, Chase Prest, Da’Ron Bellan, Joe Gates, Ethan Leonard, and Alex Strickland. Row three: Rhett Wagner as Maverick, Kyson Bellan, Luke Wilson, Bobby Geiger, Dylan Weese, Mason Pecoraro and Tim Roy.

Ian Joseph, Medina FFA Co-Treasurer, serves beverages.

Monica Silversmith, one of the benefit organizers, thanked the Medina community for supporting the benefit.

“The community had given so much,” Silversmith said. “So many businesses, teachers, friends and family had donated. Anywhere from spaghetti to sauce and paper products to drinks and baskets were donated. Most everything was donated. We had well over 115 baskets for the raffle.”

Silversmith also said many students volunteered to make the event a success.

“We had a free carnival for the kids that the FFA and JV lacrosse team took care of it all,” she said. “They cooked, cleaned and played with the kids. There is no way we could have done it without them. Mr. Eick, whom is the FFA teacher and JV Lacrosse coach, made it mandatory but the fun those kids had I think they enjoyed it just as much.”

FFA member Jake Bensley runs one of the carnival games.