Teachers Lynn Burger, Anne White and Jennifer Michaels hug during the Farmington High School pep rally March 22. The school’s charity week benefited Sprout Love, which was started by White after her sister died of breast cancer.

Teachers Lynn Burger, Anne White and Jennifer Michaels hug during the Farmington High School pep rally March 22. The school’s charity week benefited Sprout Love, which was started by White after her sister died of breast cancer.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Farmington High students raise more than $8K for teacher’s charity

By: Mike Koury | Farmington Press | Published March 27, 2019

 Senior McKenna Greaves accepts a goodie basket she won from a raffle.

Senior McKenna Greaves accepts a goodie basket she won from a raffle.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON — Farmington High School’s annual charity week saw students raise thousands of dollars for a cause that hits close to home.

Announced during a pep rally Friday, March 22, at the end of the school’s charity week, students were able to raise $8,403.05 for Sprout Love, a charity started by chemistry teacher Anne White.

Sprout Love is run through the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor and supports people experiencing financial hardship with their basic needs while undergoing cancer treatment, according to its website.

White started the charity in 2015 after her sister, Maureen McCurren, died of breast cancer. The name Sprout was a nickname McCurren called her daughter, Fiona.

“All of our money goes to families going through cancer — not just breast cancer — and the money is specifically slated to help for bills, to help for car payments, food, mortgage, because obviously treatment can be very costly,” she said.

After Sprout Love came into existence, it later came under the Cancer Support Community’s umbrella, which White said McCurren used to fundraise for herself.

“She did that for a couple of years. She felt very strongly about helping people going through cancer and the various programs that the Cancer (Support) Community operates,” White said. “She just did that on her own, and we just kind of took that and created the Sprout Love foundation as a part of it to carry on what she started.”

As of now, Sprout Love awards $2,500 a month to a recipient family, and since 2015, the charity has awarded more than $90,000.

“When we started it, we really didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning, and then the Cancer Support Community kind of took us in under their umbrella and really kind of grew from there,” White said. “I see this growing even more because there’s such a need for it for people struggling just trying to pay for the treatments and daily bills as well.”

Farmington High students raised the money during the March 18-22 school week. They held charity events such as a dodgeball tournament, a raffle and a hypnotist show.

Senior class treasurer Kate Bird said White’s charity was one of the first ones that came to mind when the classes were discussing which organization to support this year.

“I really wanted to make sure that that opportunity was there for her, since it’s something that she’s so passionate about,” she said.

When the senior class was deliberating which of three charities to go with, Bird said, they instantly felt they had to go with Sprout Love. The other school classes felt the same as well.

“We went up to her and gave her the good news, and she just hugged us and thanked us for thinking of her,” she said. “We’re just really grateful that it worked out.”

To be able to raise $8,403.05 meant a lot to Bird, as she said it made her “heart glad” to raise more money than the school ever has done before during charity week, which was between $4,000 and $5,000 her freshman year.

“I was really hoping that this year would be the year that we surpassed that, because even though (Sprout Love) is not based in Farmington, it’s very much a community thing that we all feel very passionate about being involved in.”

FHS Principal Tom Shelton felt the same way, saying the money raised was phenomenal and that he’s proud of the students.

“I’m proud of our student council students and our class advisers, who really put a ton of time and effort and energy into running these fundraisers and making this week work,” he said. “And of course, our student body as a whole, our families and our community. They never cease to amaze us every time we’re raising money for charity or every holiday season we do a canned good drive. Our community always rises to the challenge and give generously.”

White, who also is the senior and junior class adviser, said having her charity chosen by the students meant a lot to her and that she’s grateful Sprout Love was selected this year.

“They just 100 percent chose Sprout Love, and it’s really touching for me because, obviously, my sister … she and I were very close,” she said. “It’s just an honor to her that they took this on, but I have to be honest: Watching the kids do this throughout the week, there’s been such an outpouring of kids coming to me, explaining ‘my family’s going through the same thing; I have a friend going through the same thing,’ and they’re doing their charity in honor of someone they know, and I think that’s the pay it forward part. We’re honoring the Sprout Love foundation, but these kids are honoring others that they’ve seen go through it too.”

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