It is homecoming week at Ashford High School. However, students are making it about more than just touchdowns and tiaras.
Ashford's Student Government Association is taking on a new project to help a friend. Members say it's been a runaway success so far.
Since Monday, the high school has raised more than $3,000.00. The money is all going toward medical costs for a fellow student who just found out he has leukemia.
Last Friday at school, Cody Hayes seemed fine. He thought his symptoms were just allergies and a fever. On Sunday, however, he went to Birmingham by ambulance.
He immediately started treatment for blood cancer. Cody's friends at Ashford High acted just as quickly as his doctors. They jumped on the chance to use homecoming week to help their classmate. By noon on Monday, they were selling orange bracelets that say 'strength,' 'hope,' 'faith,' and 'survivor.'
The wrist bands are selling so quickly that SGA had to place three separate orders since Monday. Cody's classmates say they were moved to take action because Cancer does not discriminate.
"It's a humbling experience even if you're not going through it. It'll teach you to through it," says student Parker Molman. "It'll teach you to cherish life and don't take things for granted because it could happen to you."
Ashford paid tribute to Cody with a float in its homecoming parade. Students released balloons into the air and made banners wishing him a quick recovery.
In a phone conversation with Alicia Hayes, Cody's mom, she said he's "been a trooper" this week.
She also made it a point to say how grateful she is to the community for their support.
Bracelets are available at the Ashford Recreation Department.