A scene from A. Lorne Cassidy's recent production of the musical Annie.

A. Lorne Cassidy community plans musical fundraiser to support teacher

(PHOTO: A scene from A. Lorne Cassidy’s recent production of the musical Annie.)>

This time, the production will be for Mrs. Cooney.

Students, staff, and families from A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School will be honouring and raising funds for Kathleen ‘Kate’ Kelly-Cooney with a Kids on Broadway evening October 5th.

Over the summer, the Registered Early Childhood Educator at ALC was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour that has left her gravely ill in hospital and unable to return to school.

During her five years in the Kindergarten and Extended Day programs at ALC, Mrs. Cooney dedicated countless hours producing successful school plays, including an amazing run of Annie in June, and it was this love of musical theatre that inspired the Kids on Broadway themed fundraiser.

“Kate’s enthusiasm for producing the school plays really inspires the students to put on a great show,” said school council co-chair Eryn Konkle. “We hope Kids on Broadway will show our appreciation for everything she has done here at ALC, and express our love and support for what she and her family are going through now.”

Konkle said Mrs. Cooney has been a vibrant presence at the school, and this fundraiser will reflect her spirit. Kids and adults alike are invited to come in costume as a character from one of Mrs. Cooney’s, or their own, favourite plays. Among these are: Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Alladin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Annie, Stomp, and Les Misérables.

Running from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, attractions will include a performance put on by the students and some special guests, face painting, a bake sale, a dance for the kids and an auction for parents – with all proceeds going to support the Kelly-Cooney family. Anyone able to donate items for the fundraising auction should contact Eryn at erynk15@hotmail.com and anyone who may be able to provide nut-free items for the bake sale should get in touch with Kelly White at moniot777@yahoo.com. All activities will take place at A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School, 27 Hobin Street.

“ALC is a tightly knit school community, and we all want to do what we can to support Kate and her family during such a difficult time,” Konkle said. “We hope to see everyone on October 5th.”

Mrs. Cooney and her husband Dave live in Carleton Place with their three children. A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help with family travel and work disruption costs, expenses not covered by OHIP, and purchases to make Kate’s long-term treatment as comfortable as it can be under the circumstances.


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