MANATEE -- Combining a lip sync and a silent auction, students and staff at Braden River High School rallied around one of their own Friday, raising more than $5,000.
The money raised by the event will goes toward the Carrier family, which includes Braden River High School Band Director Kendall Carrier, to help pay for 21-year-old Kris Carrier's medical expenses. Kris was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Kris' brother and Kendall's other son, Zac, died in August 2014 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.
When the Student Government Association at Braden River got wind of Kris' diagnosis, they wanted to step in. Members of the band first noticed something was off in the fall, when Kendall Carrier began missing school.
"He had to take days off, we were all curious," said Kim Evens, an 18-year-old senior and a chair of the event.
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Just before winter break, the assocation came together and began planning their spring events, said SGA president Blake Middleton.
"We decided we wanted to do it for the Carriers," he said.
With the family's musical background -- prior to his diagnosis, Kris was a music education major -- a lip sync battle seemed like an easy fit, said Domenic Aluise, another co-chair of the event. Kendall's wife, Kerrie Carrier, also works at the school, with the chorus. The students helped organize the participants and worked with local businesses to find suitable items for the silent auction.
On Monday, the final numbers came in, said SGA advisor Dan McLean: $5,223 will go toward helping the family's medical expenses.
An online fundraising page has also been set up to help the family. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/388unjvc
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.