PTA Students Donate to #LaurenStrong

Students from the Kent State East Liverpool physical therapist assistant program observed National PTA Month by donating $800 to the #LaurenStrong Foundation, in support of Beaver Local High School senior Lauren Thomas who suffered a life-altering stroke last year.

Presenting the check to Lauren Thomas (center) were PTA students Kaitlyn Meek and Alissa Opsitnik

The PTA students raised the money through a basket raffle. The baskets contained goods and products from several Columbiana County businesses. Just prior to the check presentation, Thomas drew the winning tickets for the various baskets

Each year, PTA students from the Kent East Liverpool campus find unique ways to increase awareness about their field, while raising funds for a cause chosen by the class.

Lauren Thomas draws a winning ticket.

Thomas was attending a volleyball camp in the summer of 2018 when she suffered a serious stroke. Initially, her family was told that she would likely never walk or talk again, nor understand much of anything. 

More than a year later, after countless medical procedures and hours of therapy, Thomas is back at school and her recovery has been astounding. Through her recovery process, Thomas received enormous support from the local community, as well as support from across the country.

To pay it forward, she and her family established the #LaurenStrong Foundation that will help other families facing similar circumstances. 

By donating to the #LaurenStrong Foundation, the PTA students hope to help raise stroke awareness and the role that physical therapy plays in the recovery process.


Cutline A: Showing support for the #LaurenStrong Foundation and its namesake Lauren Thomas (shown in front with the check) are PTA students (front, left to right) Skylar Fletcher, Sydni Bowker, Mallory Ullom, Emily Glenz, Russel Kolat, Audra Pesta, Autumn Armstrong, Jordyn Faustino, Brandon Blystone, Angel Ternasky; (middle, left to right) Anthony Desarro, Cassidy Concato, Jayla Martin, Deanna Zantopulos, Melinda Dailey, Elyse Price, Nick Mattern, Kelly May, Ellie Norman, Noel McCoy, Taylor Clawson, Dustin Henry, Russel Paugh, Jeremy Barton, John Siefert; (back, from left) Alexis Shelley, Sydney Voorhees, Nick Adkins; and with the check (front from left) Alissa Opsitnik, Kaitlyn Meek. 

Cutline B: Presenting the check to Lauren Thomas (center) were PTA students Kaitlyn Meek and Alissa Opsitnik.

Cutline C: Lauren Thomas draws a winning ticket.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 9:42am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 10:10am