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6th Grader Inspires Fundraising Effort for March of Dimes

posted Mar 29, 2017, 11:39 AM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 1:18 PM ]
At Seneca Middle School the administration uses friendly competition between grades and a special trophy to motivate and inspire ample participation in various activities throughout the school year. One of the latest activities was to raise money for a good cause, the March of Dimes. As usual, the competition between the grades had bragging rights and intramural points on the line but this time the students had a real-life trophy and example of the importance of supporting this great organization and cause.

Thirteen years ago sixth grader Delane Rosemond and his family were direct beneficiaries of the important and valuable work that the March of Dimes does with the families of premature babies. Delane was born 15 weeks premature weighing only 15.5 ounces. The harrowing time that followed in the NICU at Greenville Memorial lasted 104 days and included three surgeries, the first occurring at only one week of age with Delane still weighing barely 1 lb. Even when he was finally ready to be released from the hospital, he weighed a mere 4 lb. 9 oz. Something that sustained the Rosemond family throughout those 104 days and beyond was the generous support of the local March of Dimes chapter. They provided the family with both emotional and material support during their time of great stress and uncertainty for Delane’s health and survival. They even stayed in contact with the family once Delane was released from the hospital and went home.

Over the years since, Delane has remained a bit small but his physical size has been overshadowed by his oversize personality and charm. Even before the student body saw a video interview of his mom about their experience, he had made a sizable impression upon the students. His ever-present sunny smile and happy attitude is contagious and impossible to ignore. Who needs a trophy when you have the likes of Delane around? Delane and his family may have once benefitted from all the March of Dimes has to give, but now they are pleased to have the March of Dimes be the recipient of what Delane, his family and his school have to give.

The original goal for the entire school was $1,000.00 but recently Delane and his mom were able to present the local March of Dimes chapter with a check on behalf of the school in the amount of the $2,975.10 that was ultimately collected for this important cause. In the end, while the seventh grade may have technically won the competition between the grades for this activity, the March of Dimes and the countless local families they support will ultimately be the winners. In fact, Delane’s mother, Tonya Rosemond, said about the importance of participating in the March of Dimes drive, “It is such a joy to give back to others and there are so many families that need support. A lot of times that support is made possible through financial giving, so any way that you can help raise money for others it is a blessing to them and it is a great feeling that you will have just because you got to do your part.”

 Delane at birth WYFF's Mandy Gaither, Delane and Tonya Rosemond Delane as SMS's real-life trophy