For Archmere Academy, community is one of the five tenets that make up the core values of the school. The B+ Foundation Club allows students to get involved in the community in a very meaningful way. They host fundraisers throughout the year to support the B+ Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families experiencing childhood cancer, as well as cancer research, awareness, and positivity.
Because of the pandemic, students have needed to find new creative ways to support the B+ Foundation instead of the usual annual volleyball tournament in March. “As we were nearing Thanksgiving break, everyone was so excited about Christmas coming up,” said Ava Courtney ‘23. “When I proposed the idea to Marini's Produce about Archmere hosting a poinsettia sale for the B+ Foundation; they were honored to help. Andrew McDonough's sister, Ali, used to work at Marini's in high school. That's what makes the sale so special.” As of December 18th, the club will donate over $600 to the B+ Foundation, thanks in large part to the Claymont Comunity Center purchasing all of their poinsettias through the fundraiser.
For Club Moderator Kathryn Hudson, her connection to the B+ Foundation Club is personal. She was also a freshman in high school the year that Andrew McDonough lost his battle with childhood cancer. And while she did not know Andrew personally, his story felt very close to home. “That was a big awareness moment for me,” said Kathryn. “Cancer affected people my age, people like me. Because I coached volleyball at Archmere, I was always involved in organizing things for the volleyball tournament. So when there was an opportunity to serve as club moderator it seemed like the perfect fit.”
During a typical year, the B+ Foundation Club would have guest speakers meet with Archmere students. Last year, the club invited Archmere alumnus Mike Henry ‘07 and his daughter Blair Henry, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, to a basketball game. “I think seeing the foundation’s direct impact gives you hope and helps you see the difference you’re making,” said Anna Garcia ‘21. “I am always so grateful Archmere has given me opportunities to help serve the community around me and this club has given me exactly that.”
Sadly, Blair passed away in April at the age of three. Bill Ludlow, head coach of the Archmere Varsity Basketball team, wanted to honor Blair this upcoming season. “We started each practice or game with a prayer thanking God for the opportunity to meet such a wonderful little girl and her incredibly strong family,” said Bill. This season, the team is adding the letters B.H. to their warm-up jerseys in remembrance of the girl whose strength and spirit taught them all a powerful lesson.