Abby Haley – Noblesville High School Student Spotlight
Abby Haley, like many Noblesville High School students, has an extremely busy schedule. The 17-year-old, who has lived in Noblesville her entire life, will be a senior this fall. Her time is divided between sports -she plays both basketball and lacrosse- and being a mentor to special needs students in the after-school peer tutoring program. The activity that sets her apart, however, is her commitment to those suffering from childhood cancer by raising money to benefit research and the quality of life for young patients and their families.
This spring, Haley was able to donate $79,158 while participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Students of the Year Campaign (SOY). In this seven-week program, students compete to raise money through developing and overseeing several fundraising projects. Haley is the first student from Noblesville High School to be involved with SOY, and her team of family and friends placed third in the Indianapolis area division.
“I was nominated to participate in the Students of the Year Campaign by a family friend, Kelly Treinen, who is principal at Promise Road Elementary School. Mrs. Treinen lost a son, Michael, to cancer and was a past LLS Woman of the Year. She was really helpful and supportive through the whole process,” Haley says.
During the seven-week program, Haley organized several events. One was a night at Buffalo Wild Wings in which a percentage of every check went toward her campaign. She held a bingo night at Morse Park and Beach in Osprey Pointe Pavilion. In addition, she collected donated raffle items and assembled baskets to be auctioned off. The Noblesville boys’ basketball team donated a signed jersey to be raffled and volunteers supporting Haley sold cookies.
Long before she entered high school, Haley raised money for the fight against childhood cancers. In elementary school she started Quarter Hat Friday, where students were allowed to wear a hat to school if they donated a quarter. When the school had carnivals, Haley would make an item and sell it in order to donate the profits to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Later in middle school, she participated in efforts to package food to be sent to Africa and collect goods for area food pantries.
When asked what motivated her at such a young age to raise money to help others, Haley says, “When I was in second grade, I had a classmate who was diagnosed with leukemia. He was a friend and he passed on around Christmas time. I remember thinking that I needed to do anything I could to help other kids like him. I first asked the students in my class to make cards and ornaments. When I delivered them, it made me feel good to see how happy the patients were to get them.”
Since Haley has entered high school, her efforts to raise school supplies and funds for research have increased. She is a two-time recipient of the Kohls Kids Who Care Award, given to students who have made significant contributions to their community. She received the Outstanding Youth Achievement Award after being nominated by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Manning himself acknowledged her efforts to benefit his foundation at the ceremony.
Haley has advice for someone who wants to make a difference, “Find something that touches you. The more committed you are to it, the more determined and successful you will be.”