Nonnewaug Students Awarded Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year

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Nonnewaug Students Awarded


Anna Shupenis and Rebecca Varnum

Anna Shupenis (left) and Rebecca Varnum have earned the title Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year by raising more than $35,000. They are grateful for the community’s involvement and thrilled to have made a difference in the fight against blood cancers.


WOODBURY — Rebecca Varnum and Anna Shupenis were nominated by their Nonnewaug High School teacher for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year program.

The leadership development program recognizes exemplary high school students.

Ms. Varnum, whose parents are Randy and Martha Varnum, and Ms. Shupenis, whose parents are Christine and Dave Shupenis, formed Team RACE, which stands for Rebecca & Anna, Cancer Extinguishers.

They engaged in a seven-week competitive campaign to raise money for blood cancer research and patients.

Their project involved the entire school district and community with Spirit Days, Red Outs, popcorn sales, raffles, a car wash, pet bandana sales, a Panera night and more.

Ms. Shupenis and Ms. Varnum engaged with many local businesses who generously donated silent auction items to the campaign, including a golf flag signed by Tiger Woods.

The students kept the LLS mission in sight and were very moved by donors who lost a loved one to blood cancer.

Out of nine teams, Ms. Varnum and Ms. Shupenis raised the most money, a total $35,076, earning them the title Students of the Year at the Grand Finale event on Friday, March 25, at the Lake House in Wolcott.