Students seeking donations for cancer research

Published 1:12 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

CHELSEA – Three Chelsea High School students are raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of the Students of the Year program.

Elliot Gage, Sarah Hyde and Katie Nail were inspired by the story of Kenna Parramore, who at age 2 was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia—a type of cancer with a survival rate of only 40 percent.

“She’s now 7 and in her fifth year of remission, and in the first grade at Pelham Ridge Elementary School,” Hyde said during a presentation at the Chelsea City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8. “Kelli Parramore (Kenna’s mother) was our 10th grade English teacher and Peer Helpers sponsor. We all got very close with Ms. Parramore. When she told us Kenna’s story, it broke all of our hearts.

“We knew we wanted to do everything we could to help children like her.”

The three students along with other community members formed Kenna’s Warriors to raise money for LLS through the Students of the Year competition, a seven-week philanthropic leadership development program that offers a $2,500 scholarship for the top donor.

Each dollar raised equals one “vote,” with the candidate or co-candidates in each community being named “Students of the Year.”

The competition began Friday, Jan. 18, marking the first day donations could be accepted, and will last into March.

On March 8, the Student of the Year Gala will be held at Roots and Revelry in Birmingham and include a silent auction. A program booklet to be distributed at the gala will provide an opportunity for local businesses to advertise their products and services.

The students will practice public speaking, marketing, entrepreneurship and financial management through the program, Nail said.

Their goal is $50,000 for a research grant and assisting patients with their co-pay.

Kenna’s Warriors are seeking business sponsorships and will hold fundraising events, including designated nights at local eateries where a portion of the sales is donated. Details for these events had not been finalized at the time of publication.

“They’re happy to take sponsorships or donations companies are willing to contribute,” said Julie Barks with AAA Alabama, who is also a member of the multi-generational team.

For more information, visit and email Kenna’s Warriors at

“This is our first year for the competition, and we really want to start Chelsea off on the right foot,” Gage said.