Jan 28, 2013 12:42 PM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
HAVRE - Several months ago, Dylan Hendrickson was playing soccer with his classmates. But just before Christmas, the Hendrickson family heard tragic news that their son had cancer.
It was Hodgkin's lymphoma. And for students and staff at Havre Middle School - both those who know and don't know Dylan - it was tough news to hear.
"He was having some abdominal pain and his parents kept taking him to the doctor and one of our local doctors diagnosed him and they took him right to Seattle," said Jean Murphy, the school librarian.
"It was sad to know that he got cancer and we wanted to help," said 6th-grade student Marcee Murphy.
Another student remembers her first thoughts when she heard the news.
"At first, I didn't really know it was him because we had a nickname for him," Kaitlyn Anderson said.
Anderson was on Hendrickson's soccer team. They called him "Specs." And with Specs in mind the Junior Helpers, a student community service group, set up a soccer-themed fundraiser.
Their goal was to raise $587.76, the exact walking distance in miles from Havre to Seattle.
"We raised that in about the first three days. And so we decided to double our goal," Jean Murphy said.
And the overwhelming response from Havre Middle School faculty and students left the Junior Helpers feeling like there were doing the right thing.
"It feels good because we're raising money for a tough situation," Sarah Faber, another Junior Helper said.
And after the fundraiser ended on Friday, they had raised $2,000. That's enough money to make the walk to Seattle almost three and a half times.
"We didn't know what we would get for our goal-- our final outcome. We're pretty excited that it's tripled what we've initially wanted to raise," Jean Murphy said.
Jean Murphy said each dollar donated meant students could hang up one paper shoe on the school's walls. By Friday they had enough donations to line the entire middle school with paper soccer shoes.