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Yonkers Teacher Takes Cancer Fight To School

YONKERS, N. Y. – A Yonkers teacher and her students are doing their part in the fight against breast cancer – one lunch dollar donation at a time.

Alana Rome, an English teacher at Sacred Heart High School, has launched a campaign to raise awareness, and money, in Yonkers as part of the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Her students and colleagues have responded in a big way, donating more than $500 to the cause in just over a week.

“The support from has been overwhelming,” Rome said. “Every day there is just more money.”

The first-year teacher at Sacred Heart kicked-off the fundraising at the start of October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

With the help of student government and the blessing of administrators, Rome has sold more than 100 of her hand-made pink satin ribbon pins around the high school.  In addition, she has placed marked containers around the cafeteria during the lunch period.

And every day, students are responding to the challenge, filling up the jars with dollar bills.

“The response from students has been fantastic,” she said.

For Rome, the fight against breast cancer became personal after she lost her grandmother, Florence Pullan, to the disease.  The Iona College graduate started walking in 2006 and since then, she has been determined to raise more money.

“Every year I'm trying to outdo myself in fundraising,” she said.

Rome said she plans to continue raising money at the school, and on the Making Strides website , until Oct. 19. Two days later, she will join hundreds of other supporters in the 2012 Making Strides of Westchester Breast Cancer Walk at Manhattanville College in Purchase.

While Rome has been able to raise more than $700 thus far, there is still work to be done to reach her goal of $2,500.

She said she is hoping with a little help it can become a reality.

“There are so many people that either are affected or know someone that is affected," she said. "This is a really great cause to contribute."

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