Lancer Media promotes service project with “Ryan’s Case for Smiles:” Photo of the Day 3/24/19


Elizabeth Rajnik

Bailey Bennett tapes flier promoting need for donations.

by Elizabeth Rajnik

On March 21, students in Mrs. Natalie Rebestky’s third period journalism class distributed fliers promoting their need for donations in order to sew pillowcases for “Ryan’s Case for Smiles.” Lancer Media is joining SSL Lauren Miller’s project.

“Ryan’s Cases for Smiles” is a non-profit organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients and children with other serious illnesses, while undergoing treatment. Founded by Cindy and Gavin Kerr, “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” was inspired by their son Ryan who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age twelve. Despite the setbacks, Ryan never failed to continue living his life to the fullest.

Having gone through the difficult experience, Ryan’s parents began devoting their time into making the lives of children with illnesses and their families easier through the creation of fun and whimsical pillowcases. Each pillow case is sewn using two different colorful and printed fabrics in hopes to brighten up, and bring joy to the child’s hospital room.

Each year, Rebetsky’s journalism students plan a service project as a class. Sophomore Sierra Rossman had the idea of bringing “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” back to the journalism class after her sister, Sydney Rossman, first introduced the idea to Mrs. Rebetsky in 2017.

Both Sydney and Sierra became involved with “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” after sewing pillowcases in 4-H. Sydney said, “I was more determined than ever to get journalism to do a service project. I loved sewing pillow cases for “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” and I thought the class would love it.”

 “I am a proud big sister that she was able to step it up a bit and get the school to participate. This organization is amazing and I feel everyone should be aware of who they are and what they do,” Sydney said.

Sierra is looking forward to sewing with her classmates to produce the pillowcases.  She said, “It’s really rewarding to use the skills that we have practiced for years to help others. Just imagining the smiles on the children’s faces is the best possible feeling you can ask for. I wanted to continue to grow the involvement in “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” by reintroducing it to journalism so that maybe a few people can carry it on themselves and get their friends and family involved.

Senior Lauren Miller is gathering donations, preparing the fabric and organizing the sewing workshop as her SSL project. Lauren’s SSL project requires her to plan something that will help or better the community in someway.

Miller said, “Anything would brighten up the room… Imagine just adding a fun colorful pillowcase to the bed… Not only would it be your style, but it would also make you feel more at home.”

Miller said, “This is definitely one step in the right direction for this community.”

The journalism class hopes to complete their goal of sewing and donating at least 24 pillowcases. They are working to raise money to purchase the fabric. The fabric for each pillowcase costs on average $7.00, but any amount is appreciated. In order to reach the desired goal, they need to raise approximately $200.00.

If you are interested in donating, you can stop by C207 at any time. If you have a portable sewing machine and want to be involved in this amazing service project, please let Rebetsky know by early May.