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South Forsyth students raising money for Leukemia research
Leukemia research
From left, Ross Ashby, Watson Kimel and Jake Hale are raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Georgia in January and February. - photo by For the FCN

Three South Forsyth students are taking it upon themselves to make a difference by raising money and awareness for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Georgia. 

Their goal, to raise $50,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research in the seven-week period between Jan. 12 and March 2, is part of the annual students of the year campaign held by the Georgia Chapter of LLS every year. 

Ross Ashby, Jake Hale and Watson Kimel will represent South Forsyth High School in the competition, and if they win each will receive the title of student of the year and a $2,500 college scholarship.

“The students of the year campaign is a wonderful opportunity for local area high school students enrolled in public or private schools who are enthusiastic about volunteerism, philanthropy, community outreach and developing leadership skills to participate in the fight against blood cancers,” said Piper Medcalf, executive director of the Georgia Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The three students are planning to kick off the seven weeks of fundraising with a school assembly at South Forsyth High School, featuring guest speakers on Leukemia and Lymphoma and the research being done to fight them.

Throughout the competition the boys plan to approach businesses in Forsyth County for donations and sponsorships, and they will host several different proceed nights at local restaurants and establishments like Jekyll Brewery, Rosati’s, Fridas Mexican Cuisine at The Collection and the Black Diamond Grill in Cumming.  

“It’s not only just a great opportunity to fundraise, it’s a great learning opportunity,” said Ross Ashby on Friday.

“I’m hoping that a lot of people are going to have their eyes opened to LLS and the research it does,” he said. 

Ashby also hopes he can continue to use the fundraiser as an opportunity to learn about business and entrepreneurship. He said that he has already learned a lot from the meetings he has had with local Forsyth County businesses so far. 

“I was pretty shaky on the first couple of meetings that I had, but then I realized that these are people that I’m talking to, not some mythical being,” Ashby said. 

“Now I treat it as a conversation rather than a big speech and it goes fine,” he said. 

Ashby went on to say the trio has many LLS fundraiser events planned for January and February and that details will be released soon.