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Pueblo PTA going all out for young leukemia patient

By Jonathan J. Cooper

April 29, 2006

For most Corona del Sol High School students, the approach of May means the approach of carefree freedom. But for sophomore Clint Sorenson, the end of school is bringing with it hospital stays and chemotherapy treatments.

Late in March, doctors determined that Sorenson’s leukemia had returned. He would need a bone marrow transplant from a match found in a nationwide donor bank.

In an effort to defray the costs associated with Sorenson’s treatment, two teachers at Pueblo Middle School—from where Sorenson graduated, and where his mother taught until last year—quickly began to organize a large-scale fundraiser. They enlisted the help of the Parent Teacher Association and are planning an event which PTA President Sandy Lowe predicts will be one of the “most meaningful and largest events that has ever been put on” by the Pueblo PTA.

The May 3 fundraiser will involve an Italian dinner at Carraba’s Italian Grill at Ray and I-10. A raffle and silent auction will complement the dinner. Raffle prizes include a 15-inch flat-screen television and an iPod video.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” Lowe said.  I thought that we would get a favorable response, but I really am overwhelmed by the reaction in the community.

“It’s wonderful to see this community so united in this.”

She said the television and iPod were donated by someone who’s never met the Sorensons. She just wanted to help. Getting donations from businesses for the silent auction has been relatively easy, she added--much easier than collecting donations for general school fundraisers.

“(Sorenson) is the most amazing, phenomenal kid,” said Beth Salas, who is co-chairing the fundraising committee, and whose son is close friends with Sorenson.

“He has the most unbelievable faith and determination. He doesn’t let anything get him down. He is definitely a fighter. He’s just a really, really neat kid.”

Raffle tickets cost $2 each or three for $5. Dinner tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children under eight. For raffle or dinner tickets, contact Pueblo Middle School at (480) 783-2400 or Salas personally at (602) 414-4456 or

“I think the south Tempe and Chandler area, we have kind of a small-town feeling,” Lowe said.

“We all know each other. So when you hear about something like this you just want to help out. I’m very happy that everyone is pitching in to make this a great event.”

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