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Mar 9, 2016 3:48 PM

Everyday Heroes: Seniors at Profile High School gave up trip for principal battling cancer

BETHLEHEM - All 41 students from the class of 2015 at the Profile Junior/Senior High School are being recognized as Everyday Heroes by the American Red Cross NH Chapter.

Last year, after learning their school principal Courtney Vashaw was battling cancer, students decided to give all of the money they raised for their senior class trip to Vashaw instead. The money is being used for her medical expenses.

"I don’t think they will ever know how much their act of kindness has helped me and my family," Vashaw said.

The students had raised nearly $8,000 to take a trip to a Dude Ranch in New York, and days before leaving their principal announced that she had a rare cancer called synovial sarcoma.

The seniors held a meeting and decided unanimously that they would donate their class money to Ms. Vashaw.

"We sort of came to the decision together, " senior Courtney Burgess said. "It wasn’t one person saying we’re going to do this. It was all of us deciding this is what we wanted to do."

"Right off the bat everyone was on board," senior Eric Tholl said. "She was there encouraging us to be on a better path to a better life."

Taking the students’ lead, the entire community stepped in to help raise money for the school principal. Through donations they also arranged for the students to go on a class trip to Alpine Adventures.

“The kids were thrilled and came down and stayed overnight and we had a DJ for them and they had a barbeque and a local restaurant donated meals," trip organizer Jeffrey Woodward said. "The kids ended up having a great time."

As Vashaw continues to recover, the students don’t regret giving up their trip to New York in order to help her out.

"I think North Country people are grown a little different, " senior Jordan Webb said. "You help out your neighbors. That’s what you do."

The entire class of 2015 will receive an award on March 16 at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, where The American Red Cross is recognizing New Hampshire’s Everyday Heroes at the reception.

If you’d like to attend, please visit

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