Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Gwynedd Mercy College Graduate honors her mother

Right before beginning her senior year at Gwynedd Mercy College, communications student Rebecca Avery lost her mother to a rare form of cancer called carcinoid in August of 2012.
Avery's mother Barb was a teacher's aide at Holy Cross Regional School in Collegeville for 7 years.
"There is nothing she loved more than her job and she believed strongly in Catholic education," Avery said. 

Rebecca and her mother, Barb Avery.

After her mother lost her 8 year battle with cancer, Avery saw opportunity to do something to honor her memory through her senior project.
Teaching Kindergarten, first and second grades over her career at Holy Cross, Barb apparently gained a pretty big 'fan club.' According to the website that honors her, during masses many grinning children would wave wildly trying to get her attention and say hi.
"I knew I wanted to do something to keep her memory alive at the school she loved dearly," Avery said.
With the help of her family, Avery created the Barb Avery Memorial Scholarship Fund and vigorously worked to promote the cause and raise money for the scholarship fund to benefit families at Holy Cross who cannot easily afford tuition.
Putting her senior project to work, Avery created a Facebook and Twitter account to help promote the cause.
She also hosted a trivia night fundraiser at Gwynedd Mercy College on April 13 that raised just under $1,200 for the fund. 
In total, through donations and events over the past year, the fund now has over $5,000.
Avery said her family now plans to commence talks with the principal of Holy Cross to begin to award scholarships.
On May 11, Rebecca Avery graduated from Gywnedd Mercy College with a bachelors degree in communications. Now in the thick of the job hunt, she dreams of doing public relations work for a nonprofit.
"My mom has greatly influenced my career goals because I would love to work for a cancer organization to help join the fight against cancer," Avery said. "I want to help in any way that I can and show people just how courageous cancer patients are. To me they are the true rock stars!"

Rebecca on graduation day.

To donate to the scholarship fund, visit or mail a check to:

The Barb Avery Scholarship Fund
c/o TD Bank
498 2nd Avenue
Collegeville, PA 19426


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