DOBSON — Carrie Elmore Award winner Kaitlyn Turner was able to receive her gifts in person Tuesday afternoon at Central Middle School.
Her mother, Jeanette Terry, said Turner, who is battling a rare form of leukemia, has improved from chemotherapy treatments and felt well enough to appear in public. The 13-year-old is a seventh-grader at Central Middle.
“Kaitlyn, today is all about you,” said Surry County Schools Educational Foundation Liaison Melissa White.
She explained that Turner’s sister, Schyler, had accepted the honor in May at Central on her behalf due to her health. According to White, the $500 award and various gifts, including a therapeutic cover for Turner’s bed, were similar to a small-scale Make A Wish Foundation grant.
She said the award is given to one student each year from grades kindergarten through 12th who has a chronic or terminal illness. She said Elmore died on Oct. 3, 2012. after battling a form of cancer. Elmore’s brother, Billy Lee Elmore, and and award founder Courtney Scott also helped with the presentation.
“Carrie was a special young lady who really could light up a room with her smile,” White said.
Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves, Board of Education members Sue Stone and Clark Goings and Chairman Earlie Coe were on hand. Central Middle Principal Bill Goins, Assistant Principal Sherry Cox, School Nurse Anita Hill and family and friends of both families also were present. Rhonda Parker attended the event representing Foundation Board President Gary York.
Terry recalled meeting Elmore’s aunt, Sherry Scott, who was delivering T-shirts for Carrie Elmore Day to the Burger King in Dobson where she worked. Terry said meeting Scott “gave her cold chills” as she admired the love demonstrated by Elmore’s family. One day later, Turner was diagnosed with leukemia.
“Thank you for loving us as a family,” said Terry. “I’ve never received so much caring. The doctors and nurses who take care of Kaitlyn told us about Carrie. They talk of water fights. There is such love from the people at Brenner’s for her. Thank you for taking time out and even considering us for this award.”
Terry said Billy Lee Elmore was an amazing young man and said Turner was looking forward to being able to sleep in her bed without so much pain because of the special mattress cover.
“It’s inspiring to see our students do good work,” said Reeves. “To see our seniors thinking about someone other than themselves is remarkable. That is why we are in education, because it is making a difference in the lives of others. Thank all of you for taking time out of your busy summer to pause and reflect with us.”
This award was started through the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation in 2012 as Courtney Scott’s Senior Graduation Project at Surry Central. Scott established this award in honor of her cousin, the late Carrie Elmore, a student at Mountain Park Elementary.
Scott saw first-hand the hardships that her cousin and her family went through dealing with Carrie’s illness. She decided the Carrie Elmore Award would be a $500 award granted to the recipient to enjoy a day of fun and no worries. Carrie Hazelwood was the first recipient of the Carrie Elmore Award.
Scott and her family plan to continue the award in the Surry County Schools. Persons may send their contributions to the Carrie Elmore Award at the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation, c/o The Carrie Elmore Award, P.O. Box 364, Dobson, NC 27017.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.