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Middle schools set aside rivalry to help Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund

Liberty Middle School students and teacher Courtney Elrod, seated, wear their game-day T-shirts to help the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. (CONTRIBUTED)
Liberty Middle School students and teacher Courtney Elrod, seated, wear their game-day T-shirts to help the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Leading to their intra-city football skirmish, Madison middle schools’ rivalry took to the sidelines to support the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund.

For game day on Oct. 2, students at Liberty and Discovery middle schools bought T-shirts stating “Fighting together for a cure.” All proceeds will benefit the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund.

Two years ago, Liberty first held a similar fundraiser, which “was a huge success. “We thought we would bring Discovery on board this year to show the kids that some things are bigger than rivalry,” Courtney Elrod said.

Elrod, who teaches performing arts and digital communications, coordinated the effort for Liberty, while eighth-grade science teacher Emily Parker handled the Discovery work.

In 1998, WAFF-TV news anchor Liz Hurley was diagnosed with breast cancer. When Hurley was a child, her mother died from the disease. She established the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund in 1999 to support awareness programs and purchase diagnostic equipment for the Breast Center at Huntsville Hospital and Madison Hospital.

Even as young teenagers, the Liberty youth understand the importance of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Unfortunately, I don’t think there are many people who have not been affected by breast cancer in some way or another,” Elrod said. “The kids really seem to get the significance of it.”

Volunteers also decorated Liberty’s building with pink ribbons and balloons. “On Oct. 2, the kids came to school decked out in pink,” Elrod said.

“Liberty also challenged students to donate money to see their teachers get ‘pied’ in the face at our pep rally,” Elrod said. By only $1.50, the eighth-graders won.

Elrod and coaches Michelle Breeden and Michael Harper endured pies in the face as they sat in the Liberty gym with protective goggles and black plastic drapes.

“The following teachers volunteered but were spared the pies: Coach Daniel Yocom, Tabitha Odom, Kristen Gist and assistant principals Jamie Golliver and Dr. Kary Roberts,” Elrod said.

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