Halloween dance to support student, recent grad

Published 1:13 am Saturday, October 26, 2013


When students in Andalusia High School’s Peer Helper organization came to their sponsor with an idea for a Halloween dance, they had a lot more in mind than just a spooky, fun get together.

“We’re putting this dance together to help a student and a former student battling cancer,” AHS senior Ali Jackson said. Jackson and her fellow Peer Helpers, along with students from AHS’ Anchor Club, spent Friday afternoon preparing the gym for the Halloween-themed dance and haunted house, which will take place tonight from 8 until midnight. She said, originally, the idea was to charge students $6 or $8 per ticket, with all of the proceeds going to Megan Kelley, a current senior at AHS, and Juriah Johnson, who graduated last year. Both students are currently battling cancer.

Peer Helper sponsor Charlotte Spurlin said the dance has since become a free event, thanks to a $1,000 donation from the Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition.

“Susan Short talked with me about it and asked if we could do it for free,” Spurlin said. “I told her we wouldn’t make any money that way, so she found a grant and donated the money. I have to give a big thanks to the Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition.”

Jackson said the $1,000 will be divided down the middle, with $500 going to each Kelley and Johnson.

Jackson said, while the Monster Mash dance and haunted house will now be free to all AHS students, the organizing clubs will be taking donations that will also go to Kelley and Johnson.

“Megan is in our graduating class,” Jackson said. “We’ve all pretty much known her since kindergarten. She’s a great person and she’s a large part of our class. Juriah graduated last year, but we wanted to support him, too. This is very tough.”

Spurlin said she is proud of the initiative and compassion her students have shown by coming up with the idea for the benefit event.

“That is what our Peer Helper group does,” Spurlin said. “They identify areas of need on our campus and then they come up with a program designed to meet that specific need.”

Spurlin said the dance will take place tonight at the AHS gymnasium and is open to all AHS students. Games and a costume contest will also be on tap for the night.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to aid Kelley and Johnson in the fights with cancer can contact Andalusia High School at 334.222.7569.