WESTFIELD - After one of its own was affected, the Westfield Teachers' Association (WTA) is joining the fight against cancer.
Doctors diagnosed Aili Makuch, a Chautauqua Lake Central School junior, with pediatric kidney cancer last spring. Although a student at CLCS, she has a special place in the hearts of WTA members as she is the daughter of Sandra Makuch, Westfield Academy and Central School's music teacher of eight years.
WTA President Karen Belcher explained the situation and the organization's sympathy. "As a community, we were very concerned that one of our own was afflicted with cancer - therefore we are organizing a push to attempt to help the Makuch family pay for bills," Belcher said.
The benefit on Sunday will include a nonprofit concert at the WACS auditorium at 3 p.m., followed by a spaghetti dinner from 4-6 p.m. Belcher noted the WTA will only be selling 300 tickets to the spaghetti dinner, with tickets available from any Westfield teacher.
Kent Knappenberger, WACS music teacher, said the concert will be a mix of professional and amateur musicians from local churches, Westfield, SUNY-Fredonia and local folk musicians.
There is no set admission price for the concert, but Knappenberger said they encourage a monetary donation for admission. The cost for dinner is $6 per person, with a choice of eating in or taking out.
"We have a goal to make $2,000 from the proceeds in order to offset medical costs and travel related expenses related to Aili's treatments. Our hearts go out to her and her family," Belcher said.
Belcher said the benefit wouldn't be possible without sponsors, and while they are still seeking more, the WTA thanks: Carriage House Co. Inc, Cott Corporation, Webb's Captain's Table Restaurant, WACS food service director Patty Benton, Petri Baking Products, Inc and Better Baked Foods Inc.