Blue Moment Turns Pink

Cancer Society Presents Quilt in Honor of Contributions


Beta Club members display the tshirt quilt presented to Mrs. Welch by the cancer society.

Rachel Reyes, Reporter

It happened in May of 2012 – the loss of a significant loved one to math teacher, Michelle Welch. It wasn’t unprecedented;  however this time, change came along with it. The introduction of a hardworking and dedicated organization was on its way to the high school. 

After the death of one of her best friends, Jonya Anderson Schuman, Welch incorporated Pink Out as a fundraiser in the high school. The organization has been ongoing for 8 years and has raised about $30,000 from the community.

“We started Pink Out in October of 2012 after she had passed away,” Welch said. “It is one of the biggest fundraisers for the cancer society.”

Jane Morrison and Janet Bulger of the Freestone County Cancer Society presented Welch with a tshirt quilt in recognition of her contributions.

“‘Till the day she died, [Jonya] was positive, it didn’t matter she would lift you up,” Welch said. “My hope for anyone is that they are blessed with one good friend in their life like I have been blessed.” 

Welch and Anderson became best friends in adolescence and stayed close together. They married best friends as well and raised their children together. 

“I think a lot of people look out for the Pink Out shirts,” Welch said. “The cheerleaders love it, it’s their favorite thing.”

Pink Out supports the cancer society by selling the iconic pink shirts showcased by cheerleaders, twirlers, colorguard, students, and teachers.  The money raised from the fundraiser goes toward helping the local cancer community. 

“I would like for them to still always give a scholarship,” Welch said. “We’ve given about 3 or 4 thousand dollars in scholarships.” 

Anderson was the Beta Club President and mascot when she was in high school. In order to preserve her memory, money raised from Pink Out goes into scholarships for Beta Club members every year. 

“I just want people to realize that it’s a lot more than wearing pink,” Welch said. “It’s about why it got started and not just for Jonya but for anyone.”