Petal Elementary raises more than $2K for American Cancer Society


The students at Petal Elementary School may be small in stature, but that didn’t stop them from making a huge contribution to the American Cancer Society.

Throughout the month of April, the children sold more than $2,000 worth of scannable paper cupcakes to win Petal Relay For Life’s Purple Cupcake Challenge and raise funds for the ACS. The challenge – which saw several teams in Petal competing to see who could sell the most scannable cupcakes – was announced in late March by Petal Relay for Life, a fundraising arm of the ACS.

“I found out about the Cupcake Challenge through our city meeting, and I thought it would be something great for the students to get involved in,” said Hope Lee, the Petal Elementary teacher who headed up the school’s effort. “I had no idea that we would sell as many as we did.”

To celebrate their win in the Purple Cupcake Challenge, the students were awarded Friday with a cupcake party in the school’s gym. The event was hosted by Miss USM Macy Mitchell, who will go to Vicksburg in June to compete for the title of Miss Mississippi 2018.

Mitchell spent time talking, visiting and taking pictures with the kids before they were given their cupcakes and headed back to class.

“For me, it’s really important to see the younger generation in Relay For Life, because it’s something that I’ve been involved in since I was very, very young,” Mitchell said.  “And so it’s important for me to leave that legacy so that we can raise up our future volunteers.”

Lee said the students were excited about the challenge, and especially the cupcake party.

“They loved it, and they loved that Macy Mitchell came and wore her crown and presented the cupcakes to them,” she said. “I think it just gave them a chance to feel special for raising so much money and getting rewarded at the same time.”

Petal Relay For Life also held the Paint the Town Purple challenge throughout April, during which business owners were invited to decorate their business in purple and send pictures to be posted on Petal Relay For Life’s Facebook page. Southern Canvas in Petal, which offers art, pottery, crocheting and photography classes, was the winner of that challenge.

“These challenges have provided a wonderful opportunity for our business community in Petal to join forces in support of those whose lives have been touched by cancer, and to raise money to help fight this horrible disease,” said Leesa Mitchell, community development manager for the ACS South Region.