The school community came together under the auditorium roof Feb. 20 to listen and enjoy music from different student and faculty groups. The benefit concert, Jammin’ with Jamie, was held to raise money in support of twelfth-grader Jamie Myers’ family.
Myers was diagnosed May 15 with a cancerous brain tumor in the pons (part of the brainstem). In order to raise money to assist him and his family with medical bills, several clubs and campus groups have conducted fundraisers throughout this school year. The most recent of these events was the Jammin’ for Jamie benefit concert, which was put on by student senate and sponsored by Assistant Principal Jennifer Nzeza and English teacher Lori Moyer.
The idea for a benefit concert began at the start of the school year, when several teachers and administrators sat down to gather ideas on how to help out the Myers family. After some further thought and consultation with club sponsors, Nzeza decided to let the student senate direct the concert.
Student senate consists of all high school class Vice Presidents and their partners. Each student was assigned with a specific task relevant to the event. Musical groups such as the Flip Side, Forte, the Pine View Chorus and numerous wind ensembles performed at the concert.
Other large events that have occurred this year to benefit the Myers family include several brownie sales and Valentine’s Day rose sales. The idea for brownie sales came from Social Studies teacher Susan Salzman, who bakes brownies for other events as a side business. “I approached Ms. Moyer with the idea to sell brownies for Jamie… He is one of the nicest students I’ve ever had and I felt like I should do whatever I could to help,” Salzman said. According to Moyer, the fundraiser brought $1070 to the Myers family. Salzman and Moyer plan to sell brownies again and take a second order in the coming weeks.
Several elementary classes have been involved in the fundraising efforts this year. During the annual third-grade Bizarre Bazaar, multiple classes donated the money they earned from selling holiday presents to the Myers family. “We wanted to keep the money as close to home as possible. Being the Pine View family we are, we wanted to be as supportive of [Jamie] as we could,” Third-grade teacher Andrea Tirabassi said. Tirabassi’s class sold “Frosty Pots” during the event, or hand-painted pots that were filled with candy and decorated with snowmen designs.
Third-grader Paige Miller helped make the “Frost Pots” and sold them at the Bizarre Bazaar. “It felt nice to think [the money] was going to someone at school,” Miller said.
The French Department and French teacher Judy Black also raised money for the Myers family through the annual Valentine’s Day rose sale. The annual fundraiser, which usually raises money for the French Department, instead allocated its profits entirely towards Jamie and his family.
Throughout the year, the school has also supported events other than fundraisers for Myers. For his eighteenth birthday, the Pine View Association (PVA) worked to send Myers and his family to Orlando for an all-access experience at Universal Studios. On Nov. 22, Myers’ birthday, the PVA also helped throw Myers a surprise celebration at school with several cakes to share with students.
On Jan. 29, students, teachers and community members gathered to watch as Myers was granted a wish by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Make-A-Wish representatives came to campus to inform Myers that he had received his wish of meeting singer Regina Spektor, and that he and his mom, dad and sister would travel to New York from Feb. 10 to Feb. 14 to meet the celebrity.
The day after the Myers family arrived in New York, the family met with Spektor, her husband and two Make-A-Wish representatives for a private concert. When the concert was over, the group drove to a restaurant for lunch. “It was amazing and Regina’s amazing. New York City is really big… It is an amazing city,” Myers said.
After graduation, Myers hopes to attend New College to study education. “I want to be a teacher… Eventually I’d like to come right back here and be a Pine View teacher… I don’t want to leave here. I’m going to miss Pine View a lot,” Myers said.
The Myers family has established a fundraising website and has requested donations. To support Jamie and his family, visit http://www.gofundme.com/9c0czc.
“This would be way harder if I didn’t have the support of the Pine View community… Everyone’s been so supportive in every single way,” Myers said.