The bleachers in the gym at the Lincolnton campus of Lincoln Charter School were filled with elementary and middle school students while high school students sat on the floor anxiously waiting for a dodgeball game to begin. The gym was a sea of different shades of pink. Almost all of the students, teachers and staff on campus were dressed in pink. Many were in costume as well.

The cheers, fueled by emcee Carl Lykes II, who is a teacher at LCS, were deafening. Wednesday marked the end of the annual “Pink Out” student-led campaign at the Lincolnton campus. This year, the money raised, which was $3,200 and the largest amount ever raised, was given to Hospice and Palliative Care Lincoln County. It was raised through the sale of T-Shirts and pink items which were sold to students on Wednesday. 

The dodgeball game was played by LCS staff members and teachers who were broken into two teams, the “Stranger Flings” and the “Ball Slinging Slashers” vying for the coveted pink trophy. Former LCS chief administrator Dave Machado was the referee. Machado was administrator for LCS for 15 years prior to leaving to become the director of the Office of Charter Schools, where he currently oversees 196 charter schools. 

“Whenever I’m invited, I come back and I try to come back for events like this,” Machado said. “What’s good about what’s going on today is that it’s all student-led which is where Lincoln Charter School does a good job. For them to raise the kind of money that they have over the years is a tribute to the community that has been developed here.”

Hospice and Palliative Care Lincoln County, located in Lincolnton, provides end of life care both palliative and hospice. The organization serves Catawba, Gaston and Lincoln Counties.

“A lot of people hear the word hospice they think it’s for the last couple days of life, and for some it is, but with our programs, a lot of times it’s the last couple years of life,” Andrew Grooms, a strategic account manager for Hospice and Palliative Care Lincoln County said. “This can be a tough and daunting time but it can be some of the most rewarding too. We try to stick to our core values and mission in providing care and giving our patients dignity and respect during those times.”

The services provided by Hospice and Palliative Care Lincoln County are based on the patient, as well as the family, Grooms explained. 

“I’ve been in health care for a while and the reason I came to Lincoln Hospice is because they took care of my mother,” he said. “I got to see first-hand the level of care, communication and respect they gave.”

Every patient who’s under hospice care is under the care of a hospice nurse who’s under a doctor or medical director and they’re also assigned a social worker. The money that is donated to Lincoln Hospice is used to help patients needing hospice care without insurance or under insured, to fund extra needs that aren’t covered under insurance and to purchase items that are needed in the home.

“We turn no one away,” Grooms said. “So if they don’t have Medicare or private insurance we take pride in providing care for whoever we get the order on or walks through the doors.”

Most of the patients who need hospice care are suffering from cancer. However, a growing number are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. October is National Breast Cancer month and pink symbolizes breast cancer awareness. November is national hospice month.

“Our team was floored with how much money the kids raised,” Grooms said. “We couldn’t be more thankful.”

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