Gilman Middle School Holds Relay for Remembrance

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Chris and Jodi Tully light the torch at the start of the Relay as Matt Tully stands nearby.
Chris and Jodi Tully light the torch at the start of the Relay as Matt Tully stands nearby.

In memory of Spencer Grace Tully, daughter of Jodi and Chris Tully and niece of Gilman Middle School Language Arts teacher Matt Tully, the MS Student Council sponsored a relay race to benefit patients at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Cancer Center. Spencer Tully succumbed to brain cancer in 2015, one week after her third birthday. Both Chris and Matt Tully are graduates of Gilman.

The entire Middle School gathered to hear Chris Tully speak about his daughter and the importance of supporting the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Cancer Center. Middle School Head Peter Kwiterovich introduced the Tullys and The Middle T Singers performed at the ceremony.
The entire Middle School gathered to hear Chris Tully speak about his daughter and the importance of supporting the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Cancer Center. Middle School Head Peter Kwiterovich introduced the Tullys and The Middle T Singers performed at the ceremony.

Last year Middle School students held a book drive in Spencer’s name and donated over 1,000 brand new books to the Cancer Center’s library, completely fulfilling the Center’s need for books. This year, the students decided on a relay race to fill another need: electronics for use by patients.

On April 15 each Middle School boy ran or walked for a 15-minute period, one advisory group at a time. Spencer’s parents attended an opening ceremony and lit a torch, which was carried in Spencer’s honor and was passed from group to group throughout the day.

Boys ran with the torch throughout the day.
Boys ran with the torch throughout the day.

Each boy received pledges for the minutes they ran or walked. They also honored people in their own families who have dealt with cancer.

Tony Tacka ran two laps with his nephew.
Tony Tacka ran two laps with his nephew.

One boy took the opportunity to honor his uncle to a higher level by running 15 miles. Tony Tacka, a survivor of pancreatic cancer who is now battling cancer in his liver, joined his nephew for two laps.

 Flanking the co-captains of the Student Council are their advisor, Bryan Kelleher, and Matt Tully, who holds a tee shirt that was signed by all the relay participants.
Flanking the co-captains of the Student Council are their advisor, Bryan Kelleher, and Matt Tully, who holds a tee shirt that was signed by all the relay participants.

More than $6,000 was raised to purchase iPads, headphones and FitBits for use by pediatric cancer patients while they are in treatment at Johns Hopkins.

“The Tully family is in awe of Gilman’s loving response and impressed with the amazing effort of the boys. The Relay was a beautiful event that honored our angel Spencer while also providing needed support to our neighbors at Hopkins. Gilman is a special place, and our boys’ empathy in this situation reveals the character of the institution,” said Matt Tully.

Another event, Strides for Spencer, will take place at Gilman on May 21 to benefit the Spencer Grace Foundation, a nonprofit which funds research for pediatric brain cancer.

 

Edited from Press Release

Edited from Press Release

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Edited from Press Release


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