By Jeff Gallatin
Teamwork is the key to many successful activities, and many students and staff at North Olmsted High School have used the concept to offer assistance to a young Pine School student suffering from cancer and his family.
During North Olmsted High School’s Annual Day of Giving (a day in which students participate in different activities to make donations such as clothing or raise funds for different worthy causes), many groups participated in the activity – with much of it being focused on raising more funds for Logan Massey, a straight A student at Pine Intermediate School, who is undergoing chemotherapy for medulloblastoma (a form of brain cancer that is more likely to strike in children).
Between $2,500 and $3,000 was raised by different people and groups at North Olmsted High School in recent weeks and during the Day of Giving, (which was Dec. 20 this year) for medical expenses for Logan. The money was part of more than $12,000 raised for the event overall; a record, officials said.
As part of the efforts to assist Logan and his family, Tim Brediger, head football coach and an AP biology teacher at North Olmsted High School, and a group of football team captains went to Massey’s home to deliver the funds and some gifts.
“It was a pretty neat experience for all of us,” Brediger said. “I got a lot out of it, and the the captains and the team really got into it. I know (quarterback) Bradley Novak and his mom have been doing a lot. And Logan and his family really appreciated it.”
Brediger said he initially became more involved in the effort to aid Logan a few weeks ago.
“It was a couple of weeks before the end of the (football) season, and as I heard a lot of the details, it was something I wanted to be more involved in and the team also got involved,” he said. “They’re a close-knit group of guys who play and work well together. That’s part of football, but another part is having them learn how to be outstanding young men who help people and are active in their community, and they do that as well.”
Joey Keleman, one of the captains, said it was special for the players as well.
“It shows how something like helping out like this, isn’t just a little thing, it certainly was big for Logan and his family,” Keleman said. “It gives you some perspective about what is really important. We all had a great time and enjoyed being able to spend time with him.”
Brediger said it was much more than just the football team involved.
“I was getting checks put in my mailbox from teachers, staff, the student council and a lot of other students were all involved in this,” he said. “The school administration and principal (Jeff Stanton) certainly encouraged the work. (North Olmsted police school resource officer) Jim Carbone has always been great at working with the students on the Day of Giving and a lot of other activities through the years.”
Carbone said everything seemed to work especially well this year.
“It’s always great to have the kids active in the Day of Giving, the Mocktail Party (an annual event designed to show students you can have fun without the influence of drugs or alcohol) and all the activities,” Carbone said. “This year, I think having a local person like Logan, who is a great kid, well-liked and fairly well-known helped bring a lot of focus to the events,” Carbone said. “We also were active with other groups like the Salvation Army, which brought different kettles for different classrooms, so they could put their donations in every day.”
Carbone said all the good feeling led to the record-setting events. In addition to the assistance for Logan, several thousand dollars as well as donations of clothing and more than 1,000 cans of food went to the Salvation Army and other community groups, like the annual Shop With a Cop event done by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25, which consists of area police departments.
“It really is kind of humbling to get this kind of response and help,” he said.
Maryann Ruben, a friend of the Massey family who has helped raise funds and support for Logan, said the assistance shows the quality of the community.
“Logan’s a great kid and they’re really good people, so this really helps people who can use the assistance,” she said. “We really appreciate all the help and support which has come from so many people and groups.”