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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Striking out cancer

Ashley Carini
Exploring the marvels of Biology. Students and Partsch collaborated in the classroom together, now posing for a picture before Partsch’s absence.

On Saturday, April 13, the girl’s softball team will be hosting a Sideline Cancer game in support of biology teacher, Heather Partsch who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  

The game will be held at 11 a.m. at Logan Elementary School. Admission for everybody is free, but there will be different fundraising opportunities throughout the game.  

“There will be a basket raffle, a concession stand, 50/50 tickets and T-shirts for sale,” Head softball coach Alyssa Fasolo said. “There are a lot of good options for baskets. We have a Stanley cup, a Bogg bag, a Keurig machine and other fun baskets with candy. There’s something for everybody.” 

Senior Baylee Newman is excited to have the chance to play for such a good cause during her last year of high school. 

“Not only does the game have a huge meaning, it’s against Hollidaysburg and we’re having basket raffles that have some cool items in them,” Newman said. “It’ll just be a fun environment overall.” 

Two of the players who have Partsch as a teacher share their love and support for her as a way of giving back. 

“Mrs. Partsch is always so much fun, and I love her class,” sophomore Kaya Sprankle said. “She is the kind of teacher that you can go to with anything and she’ll help you no matter what it is that she has going on at the moment.” 

“Mrs. Partsch is a great teacher who understands and listens to all of her students. She does great at supporting us no matter what,” freshman Jayda Yost said.

Fasolo shares that she had Partsch as a teacher when she was in ninth grade. Now she works with her and her feelings have remained the same. 

“She is one of the most genuine people that I’ve met,” Fasolo said.  “She’s one of those teachers that you always remember if you had her as a student. She’s willing to go out of her way to do anything for anyone. Coaching softball this year wasn’t something that she planned on, but she knew that we needed it, so she stepped up and filled that position because she cares about the students and she cares about us as people.” 

The Sideline Cancer foundation reached out to Fasolo asking if Altoona would be interested in hosting the game against Hollidaysburg. This was a great opportunity to make a change. 

“They let us choose who we wanted the game to benefit since we are hosting,” Fasolo said. “That was close to the time that Mrs. Partsch found out about her diagnosis. We thought that it was perfect timing and that we could take the opportunity to benefit her and help out her and her family.” 

Sitting back and watching everyone come together for a cause is the most exciting part of this whole process. 

“It’s cool to see how close-knit our community is, the more people that show up, the more money raised for such a good cause,” Newman said. “Even if you don’t personally know Mrs. Partsch, coming to the game is a huge way to show her our support.”

Sprankle is thrilled to get to use her love for softball and rivalry against Hollidaysburg to give help to a big part of the school’s community. 

“I feel like I’m playing for an extra purpose other than my own,” Sprankle said. “I’m able to play in this game knowing that it’s benefiting someone that I know.” 

The school did a T-shirt fundraiser in support of Partsch for $10. The Sideline Cancer Foundation reopened the fundraiser last week for anyone who didn’t get a shirt. They also had people volunteer to make baskets for the raffle that will take place at the game. 

“We had a goal of 25 baskets and we doubled that,” Fasolo said. “We have over 50 baskets and we raised $700 from just the shirts. As far as how much the game raises, I’m not sure what to expect. There’s the potential to raise a lot of money, but it depends on people showing up and spending money at the game.” 

Yost believes the game is an inspiration to all of those around the community who can watch the softball team come together and create a fun way to raise money. 

“I love having the chance to help others,” Yost said. “It’s always fun to play and now we get to change someone’s life.” 

Fasolo said the most important thing for students and staff to know is that showing up is what matters the most. 

“It’s great that we have a lot of donations,” Fasolo said. “People need to show up because that’s what’s going to make the difference in how much we’re able to raise. When something bad happens people always want to know what they can do to help. Well, this is what they can do to help.” 

The softball team along with all of the Altoona community want Partsch to know that everyone is in her corner, ready to give her the utmost support and prayers.

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About the Contributor
Megan Shultz
Megan Shultz, Associate Editor
My name is Megan Shultz, and I am an associate editor on the Mt. Echo staff. Ever since I was young I would spend my free time writing stories for my family. Now, entering my senior year, I still get excited to show them my work. When I'm not reading or writing, I love to dance and hangout with my friends. Once I graduate, I hope to attend Mount Aloysius for their sonography program. Until then, I'm looking forward to my senior year and the awesome memories I will make.

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