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PATHS Fashion Students' Sew-a-thon for ALS Cure

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PATHS Fashion Students' Sew-a-thon for ALS Cure
Posted on 02/10/2015

Fashion Marketing students at the Portland Public Schools’ Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) will hold a sew-a-thon on Thursday, Feb. 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to raise money for a cure for ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The sew-a-thon will be held in memory of a student’s mother, who died in December from the disease.

About eight students will be participating in the sew-a-thon and are getting sponsors and pledges, according to Jane Krasnow, PATHS Fashion Marketing instructor. They plan to raise a minimum of $100 but hope for much more, she said.

What is a sew-a-thon? “A sew-a-thon is just like a walk-a-thon, but it’s too cold to walk,” Krasnow explained. “So we will sew because it’s what we know how to do.” The event will take place in the fashion classroom.

Karen Patterson, the student whose mother died from ALS, plans to participate in the sew-a-thon, Krasnow said. Karen, whose sending school is Gray-New Gloucester High School, was formerly in the PATHS fashion program.

Karen’s mother, Elizabeth Patterson of New Gloucester, began having difficulty walking in September 2012 but didn’t receive a diagnosis of ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig's Disease," until a year later. She died on Dec. 31, 2014.

Karen said she hopes the sew-a-thon will result in “just plain awareness” about ALS.

“Nobody realizes how fast and scary ALS is until they are put into the situation,” Karen said. “Anybody can be diagnosed at any time. It’s something that has been treated very lightly until the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer. Up until then, nobody really knew about the disease. I’m so thankful for all of the support I’ve been receiving over this past year; it means the world to me and I strongly believe that by doing this fundraiser, a cure will be found in no time.”

Krasnow said, “Karen has been a wonderful student and warm and  kind human being. She has been loved by all who know her in our class and we all support her. In a time when teenagers tend to be in a self-centered mode, it is heartwarming to see the students come together in honor of another student.”

The sew-a-thon will be the students’ DECA project. Krasnow said DECA is a national marketing club at the high school level to which PATHS belongs. Each year, students go to the DECA state convention and present projects. This year the students chose to do a community service project – the sew-a-thon.

To sponsor a sew-a-thon participant or pledge a donation, please contact Jane Krasnow at  874-8165, ext. 6522.

PATHS – Portland Arts and Technology High School – is located at 196 Allen Avenue and was constructed in 1976 as the Greater Portland region’s first vocational school dedicated to training and certifying students in various industries. Since then, PATHS has evolved into a school that offers a wide variety of programs that include mechanical training, construction training of all types, an Arts Academy, and programs related to the service industry, including health science occupations and culinary training. The Fashion Marketing program offers an introduction to the business of fashion.