Cancer fundraiser organized by Chicopee middle school student

Money raised for Griffin's Friends, as well as family of student battling cancer

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A student at Chicopee’s Bellamy Middle School has made a big difference for local children with cancer, and particularly the family of one of her schoolmates.

Eighth grader Lisneida Pena organized a fundraiser on behalf of Griffin’s Friends, a local cancer charity run by the Baystate Health Foundation. Students paid $2 to walk around the building Friday, and also purchased $10 tee shirts. Part of the money raised also went directly to the family of Cory, a Bellamy student who is currently battling cancer.

Pena conducted the fundraiser as part of Project 351, a statewide organization that encourages student-run charity events. Pena told 22News that she found out about Cory’s situation as she was planning her project, but those developments have made the effort all the more meaningful.

“My reason was basically cancer runs in my family, so I wanted to do something to help that specific cause, and then what happened to Cory drove me more to do it,” Pena said.

Dan Phelan, the eighth grade vice principal at Bellamy, and also the advisor for Project 351, told 22News that Pena’s fundraiser has exceeded all expectations.

“We didn’t have a goal, really. We were just hoping for like $1,000. A good, decent number. But we doubled that, and more,” Phelan said.

Pena said that they have raised about $3,000 toward their cause.