Riverside DECA Donates $18,000

“How did you earn $18,000?”

That was the stunned reaction from Susan Mills, the co-president of the Loudoun Breast Health Network, after a big reveal on Thursday, December 13th, at Riverside High School.

Members of Riverside’s DECA – an association of marketing students – had just flipped over a large, ceremonial check revealing that was the amount being donated to Mills’ organization.

DECA member Marilyn Baker, a junior, said the check presentation was the culmination of months of hard work. “Lots of planning; we started planning in June.”

DECA staged a Powder Puff football game, a 5K Race, a themed football night, sold 700 pink T-shirts and held a “really big” bake sale to raise the amount donated.

For many DECA members, like Baker, this cause is personal. “It hits home, because my nana was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was younger… It’s really awesome to see so many of our students mindful of it.”

Mills said Thursday’s donation was the biggest of its kind that the Loudoun Breast Health Network had ever received. The money will be used for people going through treatment for breast cancer so that they can meet expenses such as car and house payments. “They are sometimes on the verge of losing both,” said Mills.

“They don’t have food. They have kids who need clothes.”

Mills said Loudoun Breast Health Network asks one thing when applicants apply for financial aid. “We ask them ‘What keeps you awake at night? What do you worry about in the middle of the night?’ Sometimes it’s a doctor’s bill.”

Mills, the former principal of Catoctin Elementary and a 13-year breast cancer survivor, said donations such as Thursday’s are vital to her organization. “We would not be able to do the things we do for people. We’d have to do what we did one year, which is saying ‘Sorry, we don’t have any money.’ That just breaks your heart.”