Letter to the Editor: Deepest Gratitude For Support of Fundraisers for Joy Handsberry

By Emma Lathrop and Emily Pittman
Los Alamos

We watched recently as our community came together to support Joy Handsberry, a beloved math teacher at Los Alamos High School, in her fight against cancer.

As the organizers of the fundraisers, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the members of our community who gave their time, energy and services to help make these events possible.

First, we want to give special thanks to Valynn Purvis of “Parties To Go!” for donating a dunk tank and for providing a discounted bouncy house for the Jump For Joy fundraiser, as well as lighting for the overnight shifts. In addition, several other local businesses helped nourish and refresh jumpers and chaperones during the 24-hour event. Brad and Abbie Burk, owners of Film Festival and Hot Rocks, Ruby K’s, the LA Co+op, the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club and several families all contributed.

To the chaperones of the Jump For Joy event, we thank you for setting your alarms to ungodly hours, dragging yourselves out of bed, and listening to bad pop music for an hour and a half with some pretty amazing kids. We also thank each and every student who volunteered to jump (which is quite a bit harder than it looks) and collect pledges in honor of Ms. Handsberry.

Those who helped run the benefit dinner, dropped off ingredients and desserts, gave their time serving spaghetti, and The Christian Church for letting the dinner take place in their building were all greatly appreciated. A special thanks goes to Joanna Gillespie for all her hard work in helping arrange the benefit dinner.

Our advisor, LAHS teacher Judy Nekimken, took on way more than she expected in helping show our admiration and appreciation for Ms. Handsberry, and for that we are grateful. LAHS’s Lynn Ovaska was pertinent in helping us make the Jump For Joy event become a reality.

Our biggest thank you of all goes to the one-and-only Joy Handsberry. Ms. Handsberry has touched the lives of thousands of LAHS students in her years as our beloved math teacher, and we are unequivocally grateful for her commitment to our education. We could not have asked for a better teacher, or a more deserving recipient of this town’s support.

Ms. Handsberry thanks you as well. In email to her staff she wrote, “This money will make a tremendous difference in my life. I can’t possibly express how much I appreciate it.”


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