On November 17, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School students, faculty and staff gathered at an all-school assembly for a unique reason – to support 2nd grader Anthony Gabriel who is fighting lymphoma cancer at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, to shave heads and to rally against cancer.
Preceding the “Assembly for Anthony’s Angels” was a $5 raffle that students could purchase for a chance to help shave the heads of Assistant Principal Greg Slee and 5th grade teacher Leslye Yarde. The two educators agreed to have their heads shaved to be in solidarity with Anthony. The two students whose names were chosen from the raffle were Luke Ellis and Anna Topmiller, who patiently held hair clippers and shaved the heads of Slee and Yarde, as students in the bleachers cheered. Three hair stylists from Pin-Up Curls Hair Salon, Aby Yarde, Alyssa Gould and Kyla Westerman, were present to oversee the head shaving. Aby Yarde, a family friend of the Gabriel family, helped to organize the event.
Anthony Gabriel was able to watch the event as he was currently receiving treatment at Riley Hospital. The students were able to view it through Face Time on a smart phone. A video from Riley Hospital was played during the assembly that showed the floor at Riley Hospital where Anthony is a patient. A short powerpoint on cancer was presented by Anthony’s 5th grade sister Carmella Gabriel and 5th grader Ellie Leja.
“Coming together for one of our own students is what Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School is all about,” said Principal Lois Widner. “Everyone showed their true Pioneer spirit as they cheered on Anna Topmiller and Luke Ellis while they shaved Mr. Slee and Mrs. Yarde’s heads. What a beautiful way to show respect, compassion and love for each other, as the school comes together in support of Anthony and the Gabriel family.”
After school, a long line of students had the opportunity to support Anthony by either having their heads shaved or getting their hair braided by the three Pin-Up Curls hair stylists. Each student paid a $5 donation, which was added to the proceeds of the raffle, as well as the sale of pink t-shirts that have “Anthony’s Angels” printed on them. All profits from the event — which amounted to $1,074 in raffle, head shaving and hair braiding and $1,200 in t-shirt sales — will be donated to Riley’s Hospital for Children in Anthony Gabriel’s name.