Putting for Patients coming back to WHS


Marla Schay

The Weston Wildcat mascot helps out at a Putting for Patients event on April 7, 2018.

Emma McNulty, Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 30 the WHS gym will be transformed into an 18 hole mini-golf course, wrapping around the gym like a maze. For the past five years, the WHS Dana-Farber Club has been running the Putting for Patients event, working with members of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to raise money and awareness for cancer funding.

Club advisor Marla Schay expressed her belief that Putting for Patients is an opportunity for students and their families to have fun while supporting an honorable goal.

“It’s a fun way to take a break from whatever you’re doing during the day and contributing to a really good cause,” Schay said.

Senior Lydia O’Connor, who has been a member of the Dana-Farber Club for the last four years, expressed a similar sentiment. She added that it’s an opportunity for parents to have fun with their kids and to introduce their kids to an important issue.

“Putting for Patients is really fun because you get to mini golf with your kids, but also its exposure for little kids and kids who aren’t in the high school to see something they could be a part of,” O’Connor said.

Over the past several years, Putting for Patients has found success in raising money. Since the club started running the event, they have raised over $20,000 for cancer awareness. However, they are still looking to improve the program.

“We’ve done well over the past few years with raising money and getting sponsorships, but we haven’t really felt that attendance was as high as it should be. We are really hoping that more people will show up,” Schay said.

Additionally, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been researching cancer for decades, but in order to continue, they need funding. Senior Adele Mah, another active member of the club, believes support from Weston can help support the doctors and resources.

“It’s such an important cause, and Dana-Farber needs to do more research. They need resources and to have strong support from a community like Weston is really important,” Mah said.

The money raised this year will be dedicated to the research of Dr. Allison O’Neil, a pediatric oncologist who treats many children affected with different types of cancer. O’Neil also leads the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s pediatric Liver Tumor Program, and researches treatment for different liver cancers as well as ways of fighting and identifying cancers.

Schay also expressed hopes that students and teachers would create groups and challenge each other to friendly competitions in order to create more excitement around the event.

“We’d love to see almost a buzz created around teachers challenging teachers from another department or different [sports] teams or different clubs catching on and creating teams of four,” Schay said.

Mah and O’Connor agreed that their favorite part of Putting for Patients from past years was seeing little kids trying to play mini-golf.

“When you see the little kids come in, even if they may not play mini-golf properly, it’s  fun to see their faces,” Mah said.

Schay commented on why supporting cancer is such an honorable cause to her.

“I think like most Americans, unfortunately, we’ve all been touched by someone with cancer, so I have that personal connection…” Schay said. “I just know that it’s such a great cause.”

This year’s Putting for Patients will be dedicated to Weston students Christina Dangond and Ash Baird, who lost their lives to cancer last year.