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Jason Carr, President of The ChadTough Foundation (left) and ChadTough supporter Joey Radio of Channel 955

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Clarkston High School’s annual Charity Week. Students raise money for student-selected charities through various activities that are held all week long. On Friday, January 31, they honored The ChadTough Foundation through the varsity girls and varsity boys basketball games for the fourth consecutive year.

Charity Week has evolved quite a bit over the last decade, explained Amy Quayle, assistant principal and director of the Leadership Program at Clarkston High School. “In the first couple of years that I got involved, I worked to revamp the concept of the week and to emphasize the importance of learning, participating, and actively engaging in charitable work,” said Amy. “I wanted them to truly take ownership and invest in what we were doing, so the driving force behind the entire week had to be from the student perspective.”

The week is set up to include events that celebrate students and their various talents, beginning with a talent show and followed by a dodgeball tournament, a lunch carnival, the ChadTough basketball games, and a Sadie Hawkins dance. All of the proceeds are donated to charities determined by the class, but the largest donation benefits The ChadTough Foundation.

Amy has a personal connection with pediatric brain cancer, as her niece Sophie Quayle lost her battle to DIPG in 2007 at the age of four. The experience was devastating and left the family eager to help change the future for other children with pediatric brain cancer. The family created the Smiles for Sophie Forever Foundation in an effort to help other families who undergo the same types of experiences that they themselves endure.

“Opening students’ eyes to the opportunities they have to make an impact is significant,” said Amy. “I think that Charity Week and the ChadTough basketball games have inspired kids to get more involved. Whether it’s giving back to their communities, learning more about what they can do to help, or finding a path where they can impact others, the students seem to connect with the charities and ask how they can get more involved.”

by Jen DeGregorio, Director of Communications, The ChadTough Foundation