By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The faculty and students at Gaston School didn’t need pink ribbons to make them aware of breast cancer. The school has rallied around teacher Annette “Toni” Sims during her battle with breast cancer.
A few weeks ago, several male faculty members and one student had their heads shaved at a school assembly in show of support for Sims, and funds have been raised for a breast cancer-related charity.
To end National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, kindergarten teacher Rena Sims, no relation to Annette Sims, organized a balloon release as another fundraiser. Hundreds of pink balloons were released, bearing a card reading “We love you Mrs. Sims,” with the name of the school and a message encouraging people to give to the American Cancer Society.
Gaston Principal Dr. Miria King-Garner said when the balloons were released Oct. 29 she looked at the heavy atmosphere and thought “those balloons aren’t going to go very far.”
She was one of many surprised people who learned later that one of the balloons made it to Atlanta, Ga. – landing on the playground at Adamsville Elementary School.
Students who found the balloon took it to their teacher – Monica Sims – because they thought it might belong to her.
Adamsville Elementary’s Ms. Sims took the balloon’s label and googled Gaston School.
She found articles about the school – about the teachers having their heads shaved – and she emailed Gaston’s Mrs. Sims, who let others at the school know about the interesting travels of their balloon.
Dr. King-Garner said the story was slated to make TV news in Atlanta.