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DUCK Week goal reached; community raises $100K during first week

Submitted by Mendy Blankenship
2014 DUCK Week recipient Shelly Norton shares a moment with her three daughters, Ashley Wager, Whitney Song and Nikki Norton at the beginning of DUCK Week.

Submitted by Mendy Blankenship
Mandy Lake shares a moment with her daughters during the kick off assembly for DUCK Week.

By Matt Montgomery

The first week of this year’s DUCK Week has turned out to be a very successful one. The DUCK Week organizing committee had hoped to raise $100,000 for the two recipients, Mandy Lake and Shelly Norton, and they did just that.

Last year, was the 10th anniversary for DUCK Week, and reality TV star Jase Robertson from Duck Dynasty was the guest speaker. The totals for last year’s DUCK Week were $160,000. There were also four recipients last year.

“On Friday afternoon, we got final word from our accounting department that we did reach the $100,000 goal again this year,” said DUCK Week organizer Alissa Antwine. “Knowing they were going to raise a smaller amount than last year, the students chose two families because they really wanted to impact someone’s life rather than just giving them a small amount.”

Antwine said they expect more donations to come in over the course of the next few weeks. In fact, the donation period will last through this school year in May.

There is still money coming in from restaurants and other fund raisers.

This year’s DUCK Week recipients, Mandy Lake and Shelly Norton were both in need of the community’s help.
Lake was diagnosed with a rare form of Sarcoma Cancer Tumor this past December.

She is on a current treatment plan that will take six weeks of chemo, spread over 18 weeks. Lake and her husband, Travis, have three young girls who attend Piedmont Schools. Two of her girls attend Stoneridge and the other is at Piedmont Intermediate.

Their family is active in school activities, sports and attends Putnam City Baptist Church. Lake is a stay-at-home mom and is trying to deal with battling cancer along with taking care of her three girls who are all under the age of 13.

The other 2014 DUCK Week recipient, Shelly Norton, was diagnosed on Jan. 21, 2014 with Rectal Cancer and the cancer has also spread to her lymph nodes.

She is at this time in stage 3, possibly stage 4, if the three spots on her liver turn out to be cancerous.

She is on radiation five days per week and recently had a chemo pump installed which will give her chemo treatment continuously for five days. Her treatment plan is 28 days, followed by surgery. Her extended treatment plan will take six months and up to one year.

Norton is a single mom of three. Her daughters are Ashley Wager, Whitney Song and Nikki Norton. Ashley and Whitney are graduates of Piedmont High School and are both married. Nikki is a freshman at Piedmont High School.

Antwine said the school is working to partner with the new soccer team coming to Oklahoma City. They are trying to plan an exhibition game with the new team and Piedmont High School to raise more money for the two recipients but that is still in the works.

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