Superheroes lend a hand


Parkview students raise funds for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation

By Hope Lecchi - [email protected]



Jocelynne Davidson adjusts her stethoscope after leaving her gym class Friday afternoon at Parkview Elementary. Friday was the final day in a week-long memorial fundraiser for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Aracely Gonzalez was a student at Parkview who died Feb. 20 after a nine-month battle with a brain tumor. The students and staff paid $0.50 each day to dress up in memory of Cely. Cely became a superhero to many in the community for her brave battle and perseverance Parkview Principal Stephanie Jackson said.


Second grade students Austin Lion, left, and Addison Washington aren’t worried about a competition to see which superhero is superior. The two were on the same side as they brought money to the office to support the superhero dress up day at Parkview Elementary. Students at the school raised more than $1,500 during the week for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation.


Ariana Isayko completes her assignment in her fourth grade class while dressed as her hero Cely Gonzalez. Isayko said she had participated almost every day during the week in support of her classmate Cely. Isayko is wearing a Super Cely T-shirt, which were sold through the Hope for Aracely Foundation. The organization was founded by the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office after Gonzalez was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Gonzalez’s father, Javier Gonzalez, is a deputy in the department. The foundation was started to help the family with the medical expenses they incurred during Cely’s nine-month stay in the hospital. The fund will continue to serve the emergency needs of other Pettis County first responders.


Fourth grade student Ziek Barth-Fagan flashes his best Bruce Wayne smile while taking a break from reading during his class. Barth-Fagan said several of his classmates wanted him to dress up as Batman. He added that his friends think Batman is the best superhero of all time.


Bradly Powers, a first grade student at Parkview Elementary, shows off his superhero stance Friday afternoon in the schools library. Students and teachers who paid $0.50 could come dressed as their favorite superhero to show their support for their classmate Aracely ‘Cely’ Gonzalez, who made a lasting impression in lives of many residents with her smile and positive attitude. During the week Parkview students and staff raised more than $1,500 for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Powers said he dressed up Friday simply because it was Aracely Day.


Parkview students raise funds for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation

By Hope Lecchi

[email protected]

Jocelynne Davidson adjusts her stethoscope after leaving her gym class Friday afternoon at Parkview Elementary. Friday was the final day in a week-long memorial fundraiser for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Aracely Gonzalez was a student at Parkview who died Feb. 20 after a nine-month battle with a brain tumor. The students and staff paid $0.50 each day to dress up in memory of Cely. Cely became a superhero to many in the community for her brave battle and perseverance Parkview Principal Stephanie Jackson said.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030516superhero1.jpgJocelynne Davidson adjusts her stethoscope after leaving her gym class Friday afternoon at Parkview Elementary. Friday was the final day in a week-long memorial fundraiser for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Aracely Gonzalez was a student at Parkview who died Feb. 20 after a nine-month battle with a brain tumor. The students and staff paid $0.50 each day to dress up in memory of Cely. Cely became a superhero to many in the community for her brave battle and perseverance Parkview Principal Stephanie Jackson said.

Second grade students Austin Lion, left, and Addison Washington aren’t worried about a competition to see which superhero is superior. The two were on the same side as they brought money to the office to support the superhero dress up day at Parkview Elementary. Students at the school raised more than $1,500 during the week for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030516superhero2.jpgSecond grade students Austin Lion, left, and Addison Washington aren’t worried about a competition to see which superhero is superior. The two were on the same side as they brought money to the office to support the superhero dress up day at Parkview Elementary. Students at the school raised more than $1,500 during the week for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation.

Ariana Isayko completes her assignment in her fourth grade class while dressed as her hero Cely Gonzalez. Isayko said she had participated almost every day during the week in support of her classmate Cely. Isayko is wearing a Super Cely T-shirt, which were sold through the Hope for Aracely Foundation. The organization was founded by the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office after Gonzalez was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Gonzalez’s father, Javier Gonzalez, is a deputy in the department. The foundation was started to help the family with the medical expenses they incurred during Cely’s nine-month stay in the hospital. The fund will continue to serve the emergency needs of other Pettis County first responders.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030516supperhero3.jpgAriana Isayko completes her assignment in her fourth grade class while dressed as her hero Cely Gonzalez. Isayko said she had participated almost every day during the week in support of her classmate Cely. Isayko is wearing a Super Cely T-shirt, which were sold through the Hope for Aracely Foundation. The organization was founded by the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office after Gonzalez was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Gonzalez’s father, Javier Gonzalez, is a deputy in the department. The foundation was started to help the family with the medical expenses they incurred during Cely’s nine-month stay in the hospital. The fund will continue to serve the emergency needs of other Pettis County first responders.

Fourth grade student Ziek Barth-Fagan flashes his best Bruce Wayne smile while taking a break from reading during his class. Barth-Fagan said several of his classmates wanted him to dress up as Batman. He added that his friends think Batman is the best superhero of all time.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030516superhero4.jpgFourth grade student Ziek Barth-Fagan flashes his best Bruce Wayne smile while taking a break from reading during his class. Barth-Fagan said several of his classmates wanted him to dress up as Batman. He added that his friends think Batman is the best superhero of all time.

Bradly Powers, a first grade student at Parkview Elementary, shows off his superhero stance Friday afternoon in the schools library. Students and teachers who paid $0.50 could come dressed as their favorite superhero to show their support for their classmate Aracely ‘Cely’ Gonzalez, who made a lasting impression in lives of many residents with her smile and positive attitude. During the week Parkview students and staff raised more than $1,500 for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Powers said he dressed up Friday simply because it was Aracely Day.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_tsd030316superhero5.jpgBradly Powers, a first grade student at Parkview Elementary, shows off his superhero stance Friday afternoon in the schools library. Students and teachers who paid $0.50 could come dressed as their favorite superhero to show their support for their classmate Aracely ‘Cely’ Gonzalez, who made a lasting impression in lives of many residents with her smile and positive attitude. During the week Parkview students and staff raised more than $1,500 for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation. Powers said he dressed up Friday simply because it was Aracely Day.

A week ago, a young lady who fought a brave battle with cancer and became a superhero to many was laid to rest.

Although Aracely “Cely” Gonzalez is no longer with the community, her spirit and legacy will live on for her family and friends and in her classmates and students at Parkview Elementary.

Gonzalez, 9, died Saturday, Feb. 20 at the University of Missouri-Columbia Hospitals after a nine-month battle with a PNET (primitive neuroectodermal) tumor.

She was the daughter of Pettis County Sheriff’s Deputy Javier Gonzalez and Kimberly Gonzalez.

“We’ve done well in getting through this week,” Parkview Principal Stephanie Jackson said Friday afternoon. “Cely was our superhero throughout the years she was a student here.

“We talked about her again (Friday) morning on Superhero Day and she will always be a part of our student body,” Jackson added. “She just touched so many lives.”

As a tribute to Gonzalez, the student body hosted a week-long event to honor her memory and raise funds for the Hope for Aracely Gonzalez Foundation.

Throughout the week, students were permitted to participate in various spirit days if they paid $0.50 each day.

The students and staff of Parkview raised $1,500 during the last week.

“I can’t even begin to fathom the medical expenses the family has,” Jackson said. “We wanted to do this to help them in any way we could.”

Jackson was asked to speak at Gonzalez’s service last Saturday.

“Throughout the week prior to Cely’s service I had the opportunity to visit with many students and staff on the impact Aracely had on their lives,” Jackson said. “There were several recurring memories that I shared.

“Cely always had a smile on her face and it was contagious,” Jackson added. “She could always make us laugh and smile and had the ability to brighten anyone’s day.”

Jackson commented that many of the staff who worked closely with Gonzalez over the years talked about how she was the student that always tried her best.

“Even though things may not have come easy to her, she never let that stand in her way; she always persevered,” Jackson said. “We have one other event planned for the end of the year that we are going to dedicate to Cely.”

At the end of each school year the students host a Relay Recess, which Jackson described as a mini Relay for Life.

“We decided it would be fitting to dedicate our Relay Recess to Cely this year,” Jackson said. “We are going to have a balloon release in her honor to remember a special girl who will live in our hearts forever.”

Sedalia Democrat
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