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Granite Oaks Middle School students make caps for cancer patients

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Looming for Love Club students at Granite Oaks Middle School in Rocklin are learning a skill and helping others at the same time.

Club members learn how to loom, while simultaneously making caps for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. In its third year, the club has 41 members in the seventh- and eighth-grades.

Wendy Sherrill, a world history teacher at the school for 20 years, is the Looming for Love Club advisor.

“I am a breast cancer survivor, so I’ve been bald,” Sherrill said. “I’ve been clear for nine years. The kids all have stories about family members who have had cancer.”

Most of the students interviewed had a friend or family member who has or had cancer.

Natalie Nollette, 12 and a seventh- grader, joined the club so she “could help out cancer patients.”

“When you’re in chemotherapy, you lose your hair and nobody likes a cold anything, especially a cold head,” Natalie said. “I just want to help as much as I can and I have a cousin who went through chemo.”

Izzy Thomas, 13 and an eighth-grader, joined because every female in her family, except she and her mother, has had ovarian or breast cancer.

“I’ve been in the hospital a lot and can’t imagine not being able to leave,” Izzy said.

Shelby Hildenbrand, 13 and an eighth-grader, joined the club because both “my dad and grandfather have had cancer and I want to help people.”

Kendallyn Fillipe, 12 and a seventh- grader, is making hats with her family.

“My brother and mom are also making hats,” Kendallyn said. “We’ve made 40 hats so far this year.”

Eliana Washoe, 13 and an eighth-grader, joined because she wanted to learn to loom.

“It’s fun and I can help people at the same time. It feels like you’re doing something good with your life,” Eliana said.

Sherrill said the Looming for Love Club is inclusive and non-competitive.

“Looming is super easy to do,” Sherrill said. “We sit in here, watch a movie and have a snack and loom. The club has made 135 hats so far this year. We donate the hats to both Kaiser and Sutter oncology departments.”

Club co-founder Terry Hughes said the club will likely start donating to the Gathering Inn as well because so many hats are being made. The Gathering Inn in Roseville provides services for the homeless and runs the homeless shelter in Auburn.

“Students buy their own looms and loom hooks,” Hughes said. “We supply the yarn. It’s like a little factory. It takes two to three hours to make a hat and some kids make three to four hats per week.”

Donations of baby blanket yarn can be made at the Granite Oaks Middle School front office or money can be donated and the club will buy yarn. The Rocklin school is at 2600 Wyckford Blvd.