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Giving Hearts by Jennifer Thomas and Colleen Stone
Click to enlarge On November 14, 2002 I read an email message sent to the faculty/staff listserve from Colleen Stone. In her message Colleen announced that the Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical Construction & Maintenance students were selling raffle tickets to benefit Eric Murdie. Eric had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. All proceeds from the raffle would go to Eric and his family for expenses.

I was immediately struck by how these SUNY Canton students and their instructors were taking time out to help Eric. For me, this was one of the best examples of "Character in Action" on campus. It also made me wonder who Eric was. I wanted to know more. As a follow-up to this email I asked Colleen if she would share with us how she, the students in EC&M, and EET got involved in this project, and the results. Colleen put together these thoughts for us to share.

On December 6, 2002 two raffle drawings were done by students in Electrical Construction & Maintenance and Electrical Engineering Technology, the money to benefit Eric Murdie and his family, particularly the financial aspects of this awful disease (cancerous brain tumor). Eric's mother Cindy came and did the actual drawing for the two winning tickets. Mrs. Halpin and Joseph Burke, a student in EET were the winners. In all EC&M and EET raised $929.00 for Eric and his family in a short time. We could not have done it without the giving hearts of all of you. It is not good to dwell on the could be's, but just think if it were our child, grandchild or friend. We would want giving hearts to help us. It is not just the giving; it is the thought behind it, perhaps a prayer, and cards sent that carry you through the tough times. Eric and his family are very thankful for this. I wish to thank the students in EC&M, EET, Mr. Ratowski and Deb Ames for all the work they did. It shows giving hearts and opens the mid that you can do something to help.

Eric Murdie is the only son of Cindy and Reggie Murdie, Canton, NY. Cindy is the owner of Cindy's Cake Shop on Route 68, Canton. Eric was a student at Plattsburg and was recently diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. In November her was operated on in Burlington for 10 1/2 hours and the tumor was completely removed. Biopsy results showed it is third stage cancer, a mix of two different types of cancer and centered on the motor skills in his brain. Eric came home from the hospital three days after surgery. Reggie, his father, to show support for his son shaved his own head that night. Now Eric is a mini me of his father. There is great love, strength and compassion in this family and it shows. Eric is now undergoing radiation for 6 weeks to be followed by chemotherapy and is doing well. His only wish is not to be a poster child and to be able to return to Plattsburg and resume a normal life and his education.

I went and asked my students and EET to do this fund drive, especially if connected to this college as Cindy was with the cake shop. EC&M always tries to do something, just as we did last year for Misty Grant, and two years ago we raised $500.00 in toys and books for needy children at Christmas. We work with EET as much as possible because a good third of my students go into that program. Once they are my students, I follow them and support them as long as I can. It's not bragging, I simply love the students.

Thank you, Colleen for caring.

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