Campbell Helps One of our Own

April 29, 2016

submitted by Sam Munnelly, CHS Senior

Recently, Campbell High School paraprofessional Marsha Finnegan was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix. After having her appendix removed, Marsha then began precautionary chemotherapy.

The CHS community was devastated to hear that one of our own is facing such hardship. Marsha is a valued member of the CHS community, and is loved by many of the students and staff in Litchfield. She has been working at Campbell for roughly ten and a half years. Marsha always smiles at you in the hallway or stops for a quick chat, which illustrates her friendly, outgoing personality.

When the community was made aware of this diagnosis, the students and staff at CHS wanted to help her in any way possible, as the treatments are both expensive and physically demanding. Members of the CHS National Honor Society proposed a “Hats on For Marsha” Day, where students could pay a donation to wear a hat for the day at school, and all proceeds would go to Marsha to help alleviate the costs of her treatment. The idea took off quickly and the CHS Student Council wanted to get involved, too. Collectively, the National Honor Society and student council planned the event, which was set to take place on Friday, April 22, the last day of school before April break. That day had already been planned as a pep rally day to recognize student accomplishments in academics, arts, and athletics, so it was a natural addition to the planned events. Principal Laurie Rothhaus approved the fundraising component, for she believes that Marsha “deserves all of the help that we can give.”

When Friday came, students rushed into school early in the morning to give their donations to wear their hats. The line for donating was out the door, which truly shows how important Marsha is to us. Students wore all sorts of hats, from beanies and fedoras to baseball hats and sombreros, and also dressed up in purple, which is Marsha’s favorite color. This was the perfect way for us as school to recognize Marsha and demonstrate to her exactly what she means to us. At the pep rally, the students stood in the bleachers and recognized, as a school, the outstanding accomplishments that our students have achieved this school year. As you looked in the crowd, there was a mob of purple spread across the bleachers, which showed our support for Marsha.

At the end of the ceremony, Marsha was called to the center of the gymnasium. Principal Rothhaus then recognized Marsha as a valued member of the community, and then presented her with flowers and a check for $1,457 from CHS. Following the presentation of a giant check by Sam Munnelly and Zach Moore, members of the NHS who led the project, the CHS Concert Choir serenaded Marsha with their rendition of “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips. The ceremony for Marsha was touching and got the whole school involved in helping Marsha in her time of trouble.

Campbell High School is proud to have Marsha in our community. She always has a caring, positive attitude, and makes Campbell a happy, safe learning environment. Marsha truly deserves recognition for all that she does. The event “Hats on for Marsha” was only a fraction of the recognition she deserves for coming to work every day, even when she may not be feeling well. (As of press time,) the students at Campbell raised a total of $1,510, which is truly an outstanding amount. The requested donation was just $1, yet we raised far more than that, a further demonstration of how much our community can come together and help others in need. Donations from the community are still welcome, and would be greatly appreciated, as we know Marsha could use all possible help. She is an amazing lady, and has touched the lives of many people in the Litchfield community. All of the help that we can give her, as a community, is what Marsha deserves.