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SMJUHSD's Lori Cook and Ashly Copenhaver are St. Jude Heroes! back button

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An Orcutt mother and daughter team are undertaking a challenging journey to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For both members of the SMJUHSD family, the 13.1 mile St. Jude Memphis Marathon will be personal.

“You may see me struggle,’’ said Lori Cook, who works at the District Office. “But you will never see me quit. I have five grandbabies and they are all healthy and we have been fortunate. Not everyone is lucky enough to experience that joy.’’
Cook’s daughter, Ashly Copenhaver, who graduated from Righetti High School in 2004, and will become an RN in December, could not agree more. Her desire to help those in need comes from caring for children battling cancer at UC Davis Medical Center while she attended college.

“Being involved in the care of a child fighting for his or her life is both terrifying and beyond humbling,” said Ashly. She hopes that through supporting the mission of St Jude Children’s Hospital that she can help bring awareness to pediatric cancer within our own community.
Ashly points out that, “These past few years our community has seen its youth affected by cancer, and I’m excited to help fight for the treatment and care they deserve.”

The money her and her mother raise goes not only towards funding research that is shared throughout the entire oncology community, but also to help pay for transportation, lodging, and food to ensure that a sick child is never separated from their family.

Since August, the dynamic duo have been pumping out the miles and watching what they eat. They average more than 30 miles a week around town.

The race is scheduled for Dec. 5 in Memphis, Tennessee.

If you would like to support their unselfish efforts, donations can be made at:
40881 (Lori)
40881 (Ashly)

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.