Mt. Vernon Register-News

May 22, 2014

Waltonville supports teacher with illness


WALTONVILLE —  — Waltonville Grade School music teacher, John McGhee was showered with support from the community after being diagnosed with cancer.

As the medical expenses began to accumulate McGhee's colleague Pam Green, a special education teacher at the grade school, decided to "pay it forward." Green herself is a cancer survivor and had help during her time of need. She reached out to the community to get them involved in raising money for the teacher.

"When Pam first asked me if they could do something for me I said no it's ok don't worry about it but I eventually said okay you can pass an envelope around," McGhee said. "That's kind of what I thought she would do, but Pam doesn't just do small things."

Carol Williams, a retired music teacher, came up with the idea for a Wizard of Oz musical benefit. The event featured a musical performance by the students at Waltonville.

"We didn't get an official count of how many were at the musical but the gym was full, the community really came together to show their support," said Pam Cash, the secretary at Waltonville Grade School.

The benefit raised $4,000, but the school and the community did not stop there with the fundraising.

"Each Friday we had slices of pizza for sale, the students were able to purchase the pizza for lunch," said Cash. "We also passed around an envelope to the staff of the grade school and high school."

The total amount raised for McGhee was $7,452. He was presented the money during a special school assembly Friday. The entire school was in attendance.

"I was so amazed how much everyone cares and how big this all became," McGhee said. "All the support shown really says a lot about this community and I am just overwhelmed. I plan to one day return the favor for someone else."