Students urged to put lessons from peer into action
ROCHESTER — Months after their classmate Chloe Harding died of acute lymphatic leukemia, students at Rochester Memorial School shared lessons they had learned from her at a school assembly and were asked to put those lessons into action to help find a cure for cancer.
Children wearing red stood at the front of Rochester Memorial School cafeteria stage. One by one, students took the microphone to share what Harding taught them. “Chloe taught us to give our voice to the world,” said one child.
Another student said Harding taught her to challenge herself, even if she was in a tough situation. After the kids read their pieces about Chloe they did a dance while a song played in the background. Everyone clapped in unison as the students showed off their dance moves.
After they danced, students were urged to put the spirit of those lessons into action by joining the PMC Kids Ride. The PMC Kids Ride is an annual charity bike-a-thon that raises money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Students saw a slideshow with photos from past Kids Rides, including a photo of Harding on a bike with her father, Harrison Harding, riding along.
Chloe was the top fundraiser for the local version of the kids ride, the Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride, for two years in a row. This year, the Cranberry Country ride will be held in her honor.
“She always wanted to be there no matter what, wanted to put the effort in to ride. She believed strongly in it. It wasn’t easy for her to do but she did it,” said Harrison Harding.
Her father described Chloe as a strong-willed, ambitious go-getter who made an effort to learn everything she could.
Cranberry Country PMC Kids Ride Coordinator Bill Goldsmith said that this will be the fifth year holding the ride, but the first year that the ride will be dedicated to a single person.
Goldsmith praised every kid at the assembly who attended the event last year. “You guys are my heroes,” he said.
The organizer said the purpose for holding this charity event was to get children involved with the community. “What’s cool about the kids ride is they get to be an example,” said Goldsmith, “They don’t have to wait to be an adult to make a difference.”
Riders between the age of 2 and 16 can participate in the PMC Cranberry Country Kids Ride on June 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oak Point in Middleborough. People can register to ride or volunteer at https://kids.pmc.org/cranberrycountry. It is $15 to register online and $20 to register in person. Participants must raise a minimum of $30 to participate. Participants are advised to wear a bike helmet.