'Bengals helping Bengals': Oak Forest HS Key Club raises $1K for daughter of alumni with cancer

OAK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- The DeVries family said they are forever grateful for a donation that will help make their daughter's life better.

Oak Forest High School students proudly presented a $1,000 check to Erin DeVries. She and her husband are both alumni, and their 6-year-old daughter, "Maggie," is battling brain cancer.

"We don't want her life to be cancer and being in the hospital," Erin said. "We want her life to be horseback riding lessons and cheerleading and dance class and being wrapped up in love by our community and her family, and, because of you guys and things like this, we're able to do that."

The donation was made possible by the Oak Forest High School Key Club, with a mission to donate their change to a program called "Pennies for Patients." This year, Maggie was their main recipient.

"We do a competition of which second hour can raise the most money, and so, this year, Miss Galloway's class, which is standing right here, they dominated everyone," said Gary Andruch, Oak Forest High School Key Club leader.

The Key Club placed boxes in those second-hour classrooms, and, in three weeks, they had raised over $1,000.

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"We really bought into the idea that every little bit helps. So we all wanted to do as best we could and started with some change here and there, and by the end of it we were giving full dollar bills," said Chris List, an Oak Forest High School student.

"You don't really have to get them to buy in when it's something that's the Bengals helping Bengals," teacher Lynn Galloway said.

Maggie's mom Erin said she wished she could say Maggie will someday grow up to raise money for brain cancer, too, but her form of cancer has no cure.

"So my hope is that we get as many good days as possible with Maggie, and that they're good days for Maggie; whatever can get us good days for Maggie, where she's having fun, is all I can hope for," she said.

The Key Club is very proud of their efforts, and next year they are setting their goals even higher.
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