Pa’Sha Day returns for third year

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Kilgore Middle School students, teachers and administrators will come together Friday for the third annual Pa’Sha Day.

Started in 2015 to honor Pa’Sha Williams, a sixth grader at the time, who had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the event continues in Williams’ memory after her death April 26, 2016, about a month before last year’s event.

“To be able to continue that legacy and to continue her memory of what she meant to us, this is a way that we can give back to our community,” KMS Principal April Cox said. “We’re now using the funds for scholarships, for ways to help raise awareness for cancer and for research. It’s an opportunity for our students to give back.”

Williams would have been an eighth grader this year, sixth grade science teacher Bylinda Rieves said, and her classmates are excited for this year’s event.

“They’re really looking forward to it and wanting to do as much as they can to help because so many of those girls were close to her,” she said, adding Williams’ younger sister is in sixth grade this year.

The event not only remembers Williams, but also Lynzee Ford and Shaquille Ross, who succumbed to cancer in 2014 and 2010, respectively.

“That’s it, to not forget those three kids and what they went through and the courage and all of those positive characteristics that they had… We want to continue that, like giving those three scholarships,” Rieves said. The scholarships each include a description of Williams, Ford and Ross to remind the senior recipients of the reason the scholarships exist and what they represent.

Although it is a fun time for the students, Cox said, they understand there is a purpose.

“Our classroom teachers do an amazing job of explaining what this event is for,” she continued.

Each of the students helped shape the school district and the community in a positive way, Rieves said.

“Without them ever being diagnosed, we would have never done anything like this,” she said.

Cox said she hopes the event continues to have support from the school, KISD and the community to keep Pa’Sha Day going for many years.

“We hope to be an inspiration to some of those students that are battling the disease right now that are within our district, and we can be a support to those families and let them know they are not alone,” Cox said.

The third annual Pa’Sha Day will include about a dozen cardboard arcade games designed by seventh grade science students, a DJ, Charlie’s SnoBalls and other games and activities.

Students can purchase food and drink tickets for 50 cents and $10 wristbands, which allow students to play all the games. Pa’Sha Day will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the KMS track.

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