Pine-Richland’s Mooney honored for fundraising efforts

Friday, May 25, 2018 | 5:06 PM

Pine-Richland senior Sarah Mooney won the 2017-18 Most Positive Athlete in Western Pennsylvania honor for field hockey after spearheading a campaign that raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For her philanthropic endeavor, Mooney will be honored by the Positive Athlete Pittsburgh program at their Western PA Positive High School Athlete Awards on June 12 at the Heinz History Center.

Mooney and her family have been involved in fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for years, ever since her youngest brother, Daniel, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 1.

Daniel Mooney recovered from his bout with cancer, but the experience compelled his older sister to get involved in helping others. She said she took on more responsibility in the past year or so after her father received an email notifying participants of a student-led campaign.

“I was able to help raise a little over $11,000, and one of the main ways I did that was an email and letter campaign. I emailed and actually sent out physical, handwritten letters to friends, family and anybody I could get contact information for,” Mooney said.

“We asked for donations that way, and then we also had a couple of events. One event was a jewelry party that we organized, and another was a Skate for a Cause event at the Lemeiux Center in Cranberry. The events were really helpful, and it was a little easier to help raise more money that way.”

In addition to raising money to fight leukemia and lymphoma, Mooney plans to dedicate her studies to battling the illnesses. She will attend Bucknell in the fall, where she was awarded a Presidential fellowship that includes a scholarship and research position.

Mooney said her inspiration comes from the experience of watching medical professionals care for her brother while he was in the hospital.

“It still sticks with me, especially in what I want to do in college and after college,” she said. “I want to major in biology or biochemistry and work in the medical field either as a doctor or as a researcher, or maybe something else.

“I think being in the hospital at such a young age with my brother and seeing the doctors and nurses taking care of him put them in a kind of superhero position for me. Seeing that really molded my ideas of what I want to do with my life.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.


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