JCNHS senior steps up in a big way

Carley Elias

Submitted photo Carley Elias, a senior at Jefferson County North High School, presents a check in the amount of $500 to Marilyn Rowland, owner of Hair Secrets in Topeka. Carley raised the money by selling T-shirts like the one she’s wearing to make people more aware of the ongoing battle against breast cancer in America.


by Rick Nichols
In search of a senior project to do to fulfill a requirement she and the rest of her classmates at Jefferson County North High School are expected to fulfill, 17-year-old Carley Elias just knew in her heart of hearts she’d found one the minute her aunt, who’d recently undergone treatment for breast cancer, suggested that she do something to raise the general level of awareness about the disease.
So Carley came up with the idea of selling T-shirts inscribed with the familiar pink ribbon connoting breast cancer awareness and words such as “hope,” “courage” and “strength” to raise some money. But then she went one step further and decided to give all of the proceeds to Hair Secrets, a salon and wig boutique located at Topeka’s Fairlawn Plaza that handles wigs and prosthetics for women who are fighting cancer.
“I just thought it’d be a good thing to do,” Carley told the paper Friday afternoon when asked what had motivated her to want to do something that would benefit others. Pressed for additional information, she proceeded to say she has other relatives who have cancer and that she knows of people in the Winchester area who also are dealing with the disease.
During a two-week period in March, Carley, who lives in the Cummings area, managed to sell a total of 83 T-shirts, netting $500. “I thought it (the project) went pretty good,” she said.
Check in hand, Carley recently paid a visit to Hair Secrets and handed the money over to Marilyn Rowland, the owner of the 25-year-old business. “I thought it (the donation) was wonderful,” she told the paper Friday afternoon.
“How wonderful is this?” Rowland is quoted as saying in a March 30 press release Fairlawn Plaza event coordinator Kris Saia sent to the paper. “Every so often, a chemo (chemotherapy) patient comes in who can use a hand. Carley’s hard work will really make a difference to someone who needs help.”
Saia was equally impressed by the gesture. “I find it heartwarming that a teenager would be so generous to strangers,” she said in the cover letter that accompanied the release. “I’m sure her family and friends in Winchester and Cummings are very proud of her.”
The release went on to report that in response to both Carley’s donation and the $500 donation Hair Secrets received in October from firefighters at the Mission Township fire station in Topeka, Rowland and her employees would be “paying these kindnesses forward” by participating in the Girls’ Night Out celebration planned for this Thursday evening at the shopping center. From 5 to 7:30, the boutique and other stores will be accepting donations of new or gently used bras that, in turn, will be given to Silverbackks, a local non-profit volunteer organization that strives to aid those in need, for use in its community outreach program called SilverBras.
At JCNHS, Carley was on the volleyball team last fall and the basketball team over the winter. She is out for track this spring and will be occupying a slot on the Chargers’ 4 x 100-meter, 4 x 400-meter and 4 x 800-meter relay teams.
But more important, Carley is an honor roll student. She was listed on the Green Honor Roll (GPA 3.5 to 3.99) for both the first quarter and the second quarter and thus secured a spot on this same honor roll for the first semester as well.
Carley is the daughter of Clint and Shani Elias, and her aunt who’s trying to beat cancer is Tina Clevenger. She lives in Missouri.

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Posted by on Apr 13 2016. Filed under Featured, The Independent. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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