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Student holds dance for ill boys

Proceeds to make treatments easier
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer High student Holly Kenoyer created a senior project that incorporates her future career goal: keeping people healthy. Kenoyer, 17, is hosting a dance from 8-11 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Liquor Outlet Event Center in Auburn. All Placer High School students are invited. Tickets are $10 each, and a student identification card is required. Students can purchase tickets during lunch Nov. 4 and 5 at Placer High School, and tickets will also be sold at the door. Kenoyer is donating the proceeds from the dance to Bowman Charter School students Keaton, 10, and Hayden, 8, Guilfoyle, who both have cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease that results in the production of mucus that clogs the lungs and could cause life-threatening lung infections. The disease also makes it more difficult for enzymes to help break down and absorb food. Kenoyer said her future career goal of nursing helped inspire her to work on this project. “I have always been into nursing, and I have been looking into that as a career,” Kenoyer said. “I have heard a lot of stories of kids in the community who are seriously ill, and I thought it would be really cool if I could give back to the community.” Kenoyer said the project was challenging in the beginning, because it wasn’t easy to find a family to benefit, and finding a venue was an issue. “It just seemed impossible,” she said. “There were so many roadblocks and everything was just falling apart. I went to a couple different organizations, and I had no luck with them. My mom works at Bowman … and the principal said the Guilfoyles would be a great family. They talked to the Guilfoyles, and they were 100 percent into it.” There are fairly basic reasons why she thought the Guilfoyles were the perfect family for her to help, Kenoyer said. “It’s one thing if you have a kid in your family with such a serious illness, but they don’t have just one, they have two,” she said. “So, it’s a financial burden I guess you could say. I feel like someone who doesn’t really need anything and has always been blessed with their health should give back … to a family that could use help.” Kristine Guilfoyle said the family hopes to buy two portable nebulizers with the money raised through the dance. Nebulizers, which may come in a mouthpiece or mask form, allow those with cystic fibrosis to directly inhale medications. Guilfoyle said the family has a hard time visiting relatives who live more than three hours away, because the boys need treatments twice a day, and there is nowhere to plug in a nebulizer on the road. Insurance doesn’t cover the portable nebulizers, which are battery operated, because the boys already each have non-portable ones at home. The devices cost $200 each. “It’s just one kind of convenient thing that makes our lives less complicated,” Guilfoyle said. “If we have to go drive to see family … we would have to put that on hold right now, because there is no way to give (the treatment) to them on route.” Guilfoyle said after the purchases, the family would donate any additional money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “I wanted to impact more people with cystic fibrosis,” she said. Guilfoyle said she thinks another benefit of the dance is that Kenoyer is spreading knowledge about the disease throughout the community. “I have learned a lot just having my boys diagnosed with it, and I thought it was really cool that she wanted to do something meaningful and impactful,” Guilfoyle said. At the dance, students can look forward to a disc jockey as well as raffles throughout the evening. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Food and refreshments will also be available at the dance, and students can dress casually. Kenoyer said local businesses have donated 50 raffle prizes in the form of gift cards. “I was nervous, and scared of rejection, but there have been very few businesses that have said, ‘No,’” she said. “I’m pretty sure just about everywhere we have gone, they have said, ‘Oh, no problem.’” Kenoyer said she has learned several things from working on the project. “I have learned how much effort it actually takes to put on an event like this, and I have learned how close knit Auburn is as a community and how appreciative families are,” she said. Jeanne Roy, Kenoyer’s grandmother and mentor for the project, said this kind of project seemed like a natural one for her granddaughter. “She’s a sweetheart,” Roy said. “She is a kind, caring person. It doesn’t really surprise me she would go this route.” Kenoyer said it’s been a pleasure to work with the Guilfoyles on the project. “I love them,” she said. “They are probably the sweetest family you will ever meet. They boys are so outgoing and they are so full of life and joy.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------ Rave for cystic fibrosis victims What: A dance for Placer High students to raise money for Keaton and Hayden Guilfoyle When: 8-11 p.m. Nov. 6 Where: The Liquor Outlet Event Center, 145 Elm Ave., Auburn Cost: Tickets $10, Raffle $1 each or six for $5