Oak Knoll Junior Raises $350K for Leukemia Society

A picture of Haley Meehan and team after raising money for charity.Oak Knoll School junior Haley Meehan ’22, of Morristown, was part of a three-person team recently named New Jersey Students of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for raising more than $355, 285 to help fight blood cancer.

Meehan’s team, “Better Together,” included teammates and friends Lucas Depasquale, of Delbarton School, and Kieran Hyland, of Morristown High School.

The triad broke the state record in New Jersey for the most funds raised by a candidate team while ranking third in the nation for raising the most funds of more than 11,000 candidate teams.

“This cause is important to me because my grandmother died in 2004 from Lymphoma,” said Meehan, who first became involved with the LLS during her freshman year at Oak Knoll.

“She never failed to have a smile on her face when she fought her brave battle,” Meehan said. “I know that she would be very proud of the things my team did. If the money we raised can help even one person it will have been a total success.”

Meehan’s seven-week fundraising effort wrapped up this past spring with an in-person banquet before COVID-19 ordered the closing of schools and events.

The team fundraised by sending out letters, emails, attending basketball games at elementary schools and selling lottery tickets for Rangers seats. They also shared the fundraiser on Instagram and on their family Facebook pages.

Meehan said community service is important because it helps people in need and brings them happiness.

“I have been blessed with an amazing life and it is the most important thin to give back to those that are not as lucky as I am,” she said. “People who are struggling need people to believe in them and support them and that is something everyone can do.”

Meehan, who plans on staying connected to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the years ahead, wants to show the parents and children affected by cancer that people are always there to support them.

“I am honored to be one of those people,” said Meehan.

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