McCallie/GPS Mission: Remission

McCallie and GPS students had an ambitious goal of raising $20,000 for cancer research… and breezed past that goal like it was standing still. The combined student bodies, through the schools’ second annual Mission: Remission project, will be donating $25,000 to local organizations working to find a cure for cancer. Last year’s total was nearly $15,000. “We have all been impacted by a loved one or a friend who has battled cancer,” senior day student Ralston Hartness said. “We try to give to foundations that members of the McCallie and GPS communities have been affected by.” Funds were raised through official Mission: Remission T-shirt sales at the schools, and club, team, organization, student and family donations. Student groups spent $100 to get their respective group’s name on the back of the shirt, and that effort raised more than $3,000. Nearly 95 percent of McCallie students purchased a T-shirt, raising another $8,600. McCallie’s Middle School raised nearly $1,500 by accepting students’ donations. The three teachers whose classroom jars generated the most money got a pie thrown in their face by a student, more a treat for the students than the popular teacher. Around 1,800 students from the two schools united March 19 for a 2.7-mile walk to raise awareness for the cause. The march started at the GPS campus and took the students through Chattanooga’s North Shore, across the Walnut Street Bridge, around the Tennessee Aquarium, up the twisting walkway toward Hunter Art Museum and the Art District and back across the Bridge before returning to GPS. Student Councils from both schools organized the event and distribute the collected funds to a variety of charitable and research organizations at a later date.


Mission:Remission moves to the fall

The move to a fall date gave McCallie and GPS students an opportunity for a second Mission: Remission walk in 2015, as both schools continued to work together to raise awareness and money to aid in the fight against cancer.

Wednesday’s 2.5-mile walk along the North Shore, the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge and on the Tennessee Riverwalk featured about 1,500 students from both schools beginning and ending on the GPS campus. This was the fourth Mission: Remission walk held by McCallie and GPS students.

Before the walk Rachel Raisin, president of GPS’s Partnership in Community; along with Alyson Parris and Duncan Moore, presidents of the GPS and McCallie Student Councils, announced that the sale of the shirts had surpassed the project’s $20,000 goal. GPS and McCallie’s student councils and PIC work together to organize Mission: Remission each year.

Wednesday’s event was held on a beautiful fall day in Chattanooga. The event was delayed briefly to await McCallie students in PSAT testing, but otherwise the event went off without a hitch.

The financial success was even more inspiring considering the Mission: Remission walk was moved to the fall for the 2015-16 school year, meaning this event came just over six months after the 2014-15 Mission: Remission walk. Even with the quick turnaround, the event raised $22,000, which will be used to help fund cancer research.

This is a great net profit with almost $6000 in sponsorships and 1,700 shirts ordered where $11 of every $15 shirt went to fight cancer,” said Beth Gaffney, Director of McCallie-GPS Coordinate Programs. “We are happy with this $22,000. In March we raised $27,000, and just 6 months after our March walk we are extremely grateful for this success.

“The weather was unbeatable, and the kids enjoy being an army of one for a day.”

The name Mission Remission was coined by 2014 McCallie graduate and Walker Casey Award winner Ralston Hartness who had cancer as an infant and walked as a student in Mission: Remission 2013 and 2014.

The funds were raised by t-shirts purchased by students, donations by members of the McCallie and GPS communities, 20 percent of the sales by food trucks and vendors at the event.

Sponsors for Mission: Remission this fall were Momms and True Blue Dads, the Monen Group, Lamp Post Group, Jay Dye of IAG, the Chattanooga Children’s Clinic, State Farm agent David Sharpe, Keller Williams Realty Greater Downtown, Platinum Financial, Debbie and Mike Brown, Engineered Flooring and Sophie’s Shoppe.

In addition, Naderade, a group of McCallie students in Chris Carpenter’s class on entrepreneurship donated the money raised from a lemonade stand they ran at the event.

While the $22,000 raised Wednesday is amazing in itself, an added benefit of having Mission: Remission in the fall is that the student bodies at both schools still have months to raise even more money before the school year is over. Students are already brainstorming ideas for more fundraising events in the coming months.

A student leadership committee from both schools will help determine where the funds will be allocated. In the past, Mission Remission has given to organizations such as the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation, Emily’s Power for a Cure, the Christian Bryant Foundation and the Joe Dance Foundation.

For more pictures from the day’s events, visit

You can also read the GPS story and pictures from the day by clicking here.

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JoedanceMission:Remission moves to the fall
JoedanceGPS & McCallie: Mission: Remission