by ANA OLVERA As 11-year-old Maddie Tomasko faces a difficult time in her life, her friends, family and community rally behind her in support. Maddie, a fifth-grader at Crestwood Elementary School, was diagnosed on April 7 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). According to the National Cancer Institute, AML is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells. Crestwood sent out a press release to students and parents informing them of Maddie’s diagnosis. Maddie left DeVos Children’s Hospital last week Thursday, May 27, after her 50th day of treatment and has a bone marrow transplant pending within the next few weeks. Her stay at the hospital, however, has been one she has been able to enjoy. “If Maddie could describe her stay in one word, it’d be Rhys, her child life specialist,” Maddie’s mom Cheryl Tomasko said. “He’ll spend time with her and take her to the playroom. He keeps it lighthearted and upbeat.” “Maddie is the typical 11-year-old girl who loves life and her friends… even her brothers sometimes,” reads the press release. “Her true love is Hunter, her Brittney Spaniel.” Maddie also has chickens and loves horses. Students keep in touch with Maddie every day by talking with her via Skype, a video chat program, during their recess. Skype was also used during the students’ graduation from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. “We try to take her wherever we go, and technology gives us that opportunity,” said Andrea Zomberg, a teacher at Crestwood. “[Maddie] feels honored. With her fears of being different, it’s been reassuring to still have that contact with her friends. It kind of shows that things haven’t changed, so to speak,” Cheryl said. Crestwood Elementary held different fundraisers every month to help raise money for Relay for Life, beginning with a movie night in January. T-shirts, bracelets, and Airhead candy were sold throughout the fundraising as well. In May, the school held a month-long “Coins for a Cure” competition between all the classrooms. Andrea Zomberg’s fifth-grade class won the “Coins for a Cure” competition. Zomberg motivated her students to donate coins by giving them a calendar of opportunities, such as wearing a hat, reading a magazine during reading time, or […]
Cub Scout Pack 3285 from Crestwood Elementary School celebrated the 87th birthday of Cub Scouting in the United States at their annual Blue and Gold Banquet on February 11 at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church. They also honored their members for their rank advancements during the special evening of ceremonies. Earning Cub Scouting’s highest award, the Arrow of Light, was Webelos 2 Scout Sean McLellan. A fifth-grader, McLellan has been active in Pack 3285 since he began Scouting in first grade. During this time, he earned his all his Cub Scout rank awards, numerous belt loops and pins for sports and academic accomplishments, nine arrow points and 15 Webelos pins. To earn this award, he was required to complete only eight activity badges in addition to learning the Boy Scout oath, motto, slogan and law, and taking part in camping and troop activities with an older Boy Scout troop. The Arrow of Light is the only Cub Scout award that carries over to the Boy Scout level. Members of the Boy Scout Order of the Arrow, a national honor group of Boy Scouts, conducted a special crossover ceremony from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting. McLellan was welcomed by members of Boy Scout Troop 282 during the ceremony. Each den was also recognized for their achievements in special ceremonies. The 10 members of the second-grade den, Gavin Fredericks, Jack Gavan, Isaac Gould, Ian Henschell, Liam Knisley, Matthew Luxhoj, Michael Rozzano, Jackson Smith, Daniel Triesenberg and Zebb VanderKooy, received their Wolf Rank under the leadership of Tom Triesenberg and Kurt Henschell. Fourth-grade members Evan Coberly and Justin Fraula were awarded their Webelos rank with the guidance of their leader Greg Coberly. Scout leadership for the Pack was also passed from the Webelos 2 to the Webelos during a special ceremony. Members of the Tiger and Bear dens were rewarded with achievement beads that are used to track their progress in achieving their rank awards. Adult members Kelly and Guy McLellan were also recognized by the parents for their service to the Pack since 2007. Kelly served as Cub master and den leader and Guy as Pack committee chair. Pack members also took part in a special Scout/male adult partner cake bake contest with people’s choice awards given to the top three […]
Students at Crestwood Elementary were riveted by the wild bird show put on by Joe Rogers of the Wildlife Recovery Association. They learned that loons are not closely related to ducks but are related to penguins. Students had many questions about the owls, hawks and turkey vulture they were able to see as well as a pigeon and chicken they were able to pet. The visit was paid for by a donation to the wildlife program by the family of Lance Urbanski, a student at the school. The Wildlife Recovery Association is a non-profit 501c3.
Cub Scouts from Pack 3285 at Crestwood Elementary School took part in the 9/11 Remembrance Salute at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids. This annual event is held to honor those who lost their lives and those who gave so much love and help following the horrific acts of Sept. 11, 2001. The sun-up-to-sun-down salute conducted by Girl, Cub and Boy Scouts, law enforcement, area fire services, EMS, active military and veterans, and citizens is the only memorial held in the nation for the entire day. This year, 966 Scouts and 656 adults took part in memorial service. In addition to the salute, the Cub Scouts also had the opportunity to send their support to our active deployed military through Operation Pillow Talk. Sponsored by the West Michigan Family Military Support Group, the boys were able to decorate pillows that will be sent to our military troops to show our appreciation for the work they are doing for our country. To learn more about Operation Pillow Talk, visit their website at www.wmmfsg.com.