In some ways, it's been a rough year at Laurel High School, where two students are battling cancer.
"It runs in my family, so I'm used to that, but not friend-wise," said junior Kaitlyn Kelley.
In other ways, it's been uplifting. Kelley and other students at Laurel raised about $1,400 to support the students and their families as they get treatment in other states.
Students already knew that Junior Casey Burrows was battling her second round of cancer this fall. Then, shortly before Thanksgiving, news spread that sophomore Tysen Baeskens was also fighting the disease.
"I think it hit a lot of people," said junior Hannah Kopp. "They're part of our schools, part of our community."
Kopp and Kelley are both part of the Laurel High student council. The group started organizing a fundraiser Nov. 20.
"They didn't hesitate at all," said Lori Hodges, Laurel's librarian and student council adviser.
Student council members manned a desk near the school entrance, collecting donations, and a round of collections went out during a class period.
"We're just trying to help out by collecting whatever we can," Kopp said. The school even had a few checks delivered from community members without kids attending school.
Burrows has been getting medical care in Denver, while Baeskens has been in Salt Lake City.
Hodges handed over the money to families Dec. 1.
The student council has also helped organize another fundraiser with the Vue and Brew movie theater in Laurel.
The theater will ask for a $5 donation at the door, and proceeds from the films shown will go toward Burrows and Baeskens' families. Attendees choose from three films shown in two rounds, beginning at 4:30 p.m.