Students at William McDonald Middle School and St. Joseph School came together on Thursday night to support a local teacher who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Eugene Roach teaches physical education at St. Joseph and was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 adenocarcinoma lung cancer in the fall.
Tegan Konge is in eighth grade at William McDonald and organized the event in support of Roach. “He’s a family friend of ours,” said Konge.
“Our school Me to We team wanted to do something, so I took the lead because I knew him,” she said.
“He’s a really nice guy, he’s fun.”
Around 20 students were involved in show, with performances ranging from singing and dancing to gymnastics.
The joint talent show between the two schools was also a fundraiser and raised $2,500 for Valour Place, an Edmonton-based military family support house.
“We talked to Eugene and he said he wanted the money we raised to go there. When they’re in Edmonton for his treatments they stay there,” Konge explained.
An emotional Roach thanked the organizers, performers and the community for their support at the end of the show.
“I am a musician but it took me four years to get up on a stage like that and they’re doing it at the age of ten and twelve and it’s amazing,” he said. “They’re ten times more talented than I’ll ever be”
“It’s a bit overwhelming,” said Roach. “It means a lot. We’re very thankful.”