ShareThis Page
News

Connellsville Area High School students helping Finley's Fighters

| Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010

Four-year-old Finley Pletcher has a high school full of fans.

Each year, Connellsville Area High School Student Council raises money for a cause by selling links for a paper chain that will be hung up around Falcon Stadium for the Homecoming game. The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

This year, the students chose Finley's Fighters as their cause. Finley, the daughter of Jennifer and Mathew Pletcher of Connecticut and granddaughter of Phyllis and Ted Kovall of Connellsville, is going blind.

In August 2009, Finley was diagnosed with Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, caused by a mutation on the RD12 gene. This is the rarest form of LCA and may only affect about 85 Americans. No treatment exists, but genetic therapy has been effective with another form of LCA and the Pletchers hope a similar technique with the RD12 gene will prevent Finley's and others' blindness.

The Pletchers plan to raise $10,000 yearly for research.

Finley visited CAHS several times and met student council members, other students, teachers and staff. She will be at the bonfire tonight and ride a float in the Homecoming Parade on Friday.

"She's really enjoying herself," Ted Kovall said.

Local Lions clubs also donated to Finley's Fighters.

"Please support your Lions Club wherever you live," Phyllis Kovall said. "This just continues to amaze us. Finley will probably never really appreciate all the people who have stepped forward for her and for us. Our hearts flow over."

Last weekend, 60 of Finley's Fighters participated in the Pittsburgh VisionWalk. They raised $10,600 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a Maryland-based group that drives research to prevent, treat and cure degenerative retinal diseases.

"There are no words to say thanks," Ted Kovall said.

The high school will hold at least one more fundraising event for Finley's Fighters.

The CAHS National Honor Society is planning a dinner to support Finley's Fighters. It will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 4. at the Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center. More details will follow.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me