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Waddington teen celebrates her birthday by raising money for cancer research

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WADDINGTON – A Waddington teen will celebrate her birthday by honoring those affected by cancer.

Micaela G. Hargrave, 16, is asking the community to join her as she celebrates her 17th birthday with a “Birthday Bash Against Breast Cancer.” The event will be held from 7:30 to 11 p.m. today at the Waddington Town Hall.

Instead of presents, Miss Hargrave is asking for donations in honor of Darcy Ashley, the mother of friend Courtney Ashley. Darcy Ashley passed away from breast cancer on Dec. 16, 2008, Miss Hargrave’s birthday.

“I guess wanted to do it because I feel guilty seeing one of my best friends mourning her mom when I was celebrating my birthday,” according to Miss Hargrave. “It upset me and made me want to do something about.”

Miss Hargrave said Miss Ashley was not the first of her family and friends to be affected by the terrible disease.

“My mom is a survivor,” she said. “It is coming up soon for 10-year remission of being cancer free. My grandmother and my mom’s great-aunt also had breast cancer. Also, my music teacher and elementary school principal. I looked at all these people, and realized how many people have been affected by it. I just wanted to do something.”

Miss Hargrave and her mother, Linda M. Hargrave, worked for over six months planning and preparing the event.

“I had this in my mind for about two years now,” Miss Hargrave said. “But I didn’t know how we would afford it. I didn’t realize we could ask businesses for donations, and that people would be so giving.”

For the last two months, Miss Hargrave has received donations from several community businesses and organizations in Potsdam, Massena, Norforlk, Norwood, Madrid, Waddington and Ogdensburg.

“Everyday after school for two months, my mom would pick me up and we’d get home late at night just asking for donations,” Miss Hargrave said.

“It’s been amazing,” Linda Hargrave said. “The response we’ve been getting is incredible.”

The crew now has 11 gift baskets for raffle, with baskets valued between $30 to $50 each.

Miss Hargrave said the public is welcome to attend and make a donation. The money will go toward the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research.

“I would like to have people bring pictures of loved ones to share,” she said.

Many local businesses have donated refreshments and door prizes. Music will be provided by dee-jays Double A. Dress is semi-formal, but Linda Hargrave said they would not turn away anyone away in casual dress.

“We just want the community to be able to come out support this great cause,” Mrs. Hargrave said.

For information, call 322-4149 or 869-8801.

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