Dick and Connie McClone received two checks from New London High School students Dec. 15.
Winnie Cooley, a student of the School of Enterprise Marketing, organized a t-shirt fundraiser for the McClones, who are neighbors and family friends.
Cooley designed the t-shirts and marketed them along with others, to the student body, staff and community in an all out effort to help the McClones with medical expenses.
“Red Outs” were scheduled and these shirts were worn to four designated basketball games to bring awareness to Dick’s struggle.
After a full life of raising a family, a career at Sara Lee and many leisure activities, Dick, at the age of 55, noticed himself becoming short of breath, and after several visits to the doctor and specialists, it was discovered that Dick had hereditary Amyloidosis. In Dick’s case, the amyloid protein was being produced in his liver and being deposited into his heart. He will need a complete heart and liver transplant once he reaches the top of the donor list. He is now traveling to Mayo Clinic each month for checkups.
“I am thankful that I can still get to Kevin’s games and go to work; it keeps my mind off my situation. I told my wife I am down to 10 hour days now,” says McClone. He acknowledged his employer, Sara Lee of New London, for being more than accommodating. “My fatigue factor changes from one day to the next. I find if I go home at noon and catch a 20 minute nap, I can usually finish the day out,” explains McClone.
Cooley said the girls basketball and girls volleyball teams wore the shirts for warm-ups during the Freedom games this month, so it’s a genuine show of support for the family, not just monetary.
After all is said and done, the marketing effort realized $2,812.85 for the family. Cooley and advisor Missy Porath were excited about the results. “We thought $500 would be great, and as the sales grew, were really happy with the results,” said Porath, who is also a neighbor. “We sold 1,000 shirts and are so glad we could help the McClone’s out.”
A second check was presented to the McClone’s on the same day. This came from student council. Each year for Homecoming the committee decides who in the community they can help out. This year the McClone’s received $1,000 from proceeds collected at the Homecoming Dance. Council Vice president Maranda Pittler explained that two dollars from each ticket was earmarked for the McClones.
“The community and both our families have been incredible,” says McClone. “They have made this a very humbling experience for our family. We’re so thankful. I mean, what Winnie and the student council did just demonstrates how great the kids in this community are.”