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Saugerties Students Create Special Plaque in Honor of Pediatric Cancer Patients

The plaque was created as part of an annual project inspired by the Friends of Jaclyn (FoJ) Foundation, which supports children with pediatric cancers. To make the memorial plaque, Ava and Lillian used a Computer Numerical Control machine to outline doves displaying the children’s names.

The Ulster BOCES students learned about the foundation after its namesake, Jaclyn Murphy, and her father, Denis Murphy, visited the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center to share the story of the organization’s founding. After Jaclyn developed a brain tumor at the age of nine, she was “adopted” by the Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse team, which offered her constant encouragement through social media and invitations to their games. Seeing how the team’s actions brightened Jaclyn’s spirits–and believing that the players’ support was key to her eventual recovery–the Murphy  family established a non-profit organization that pairs children with cancer with athletic teams. 

Denis Murphy has been visiting Ulster BOCES for more than 12 years. His visits help to reinforce a learning experience initiated by Ulster BOCES instructor Tim Priest, who wants to show students how they can help bring about change.
The two students who worked on this year’s project needed more than their acquired precision machining techniques and problem-solving skills. They also had to tap deeply into their hearts while designing the doves to mark the lives of the children. Mission accomplished!

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