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Clay shoot at Nemacolin Woodlands to benefit Alexandra's Butterflies

Alexandra’s Butterflies of Hope is named for Alexandra Schaney.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

As the fourth annual clay shoot at The Shooting Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort benefitting Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania and Alexandra's Butterflies of Hope quickly approaches, the latter's namesake is fighting for her life once again.

Alexandra's Butterflies of Hope is named for Alexandra Schaney, 13, of Charlotte, N.C. who was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma in 2004. Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that affects the central nervous system and the adrenal gland. Since being diagnosed in 2004, Alexandra has had several recurrences of the disease. The latest was in January.

“She was not even clean for six months this time. She's holding up well. It was very hard the day she found out. She just wants to be a kid. That's why this is so hard. She is stronger than I will ever be,” said the girl's aunt, Christine Schaney of Hopwood.

Alexandra's parents, Clint and Kelly Schaney, formerly of Uniontown, have taken their daughter back to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York for treatment. The hospital specializes in 3F8 immunotherapy treatments, which are designed to destroy the neuroblastoma cells. Each treatment can cost as much as $30,000.

“It's a very painful procedure,” Schaney said.

Schaney, who is also chief executive officer of Alexandra's Butterflies of Hope, said the charity was started several years ago at her niece's request after she saw all of the other young children who were ill like her and were having trouble getting to the hospital. The nonprofit organization provides financial, emotional and logistical support to children with life-threatening health conditions, primarily juvenile cancers.

“Even with all this going on, she still worries about other kids. She says, ‘Aunt Chris, we have to get busy to help these kids,'” Schaney said.

The clay shoot will benefit both Alexandra's Butterflies of Hope and Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, whose mission is to empower young people to own their economic successes. Programs range from teaching the difference between needs and wants to building a city to learning about different forms of energy and the careers related to them.

“All the monies raised for Junior Achievement will help to offset the programs we offer in Fayette County for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. We served 1,500 students this year. All of our programs in some way relate to financial literacy,” said Jennifer Knepper, executive director for the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania Allegheny Regional Office.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with registration, games and warm-up. At 10 a.m. the main event shoot begins for teams of four. At 1 p.m. participants will be treated to a catered lunch at Orville's Pub and Grill. There are several ways individuals and businesses can participate. Corporate sponsorships are available for $1,000. They will receive two teams and four during the event, thank you signage, one game station signage and one practice station signage. Game or Practice Station sponsorships are available for $130 and will receive signage displayed at one of the Game Stations or the Practice Station. Team and Station sponsorships for $525 get one team of four for the event and one sign at a Game Station. Cart sponsors are $100 each and will have their company name displayed on one of the carts for the day. Teams of four can be sponsored for $450 and single participants can join in for $125. Single participants will be matched with other single participants and or teams short of participants.

Jason Miller, field club manager at The Shooting Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, said participation has grown from 25 to 35 participants to 65 to 75 shooters last year.

“You need minimal experience. It is helpful if you have shot a gun before but there is a helper and a gun already at every shooting location, “ Miller said.

Those who are interested in participating in the event can contact Schaney at 724-437-3707 ext 310.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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