This year, Hubbard High School art students again have created a plow for ODOT and the City of Hubbard. When given the opportunity to make something funny and silly, teacher Josh MacMillan and his students chose a simple message - Choose Joy. This message resonates not only because of its simplicity, but because of the people and story behind the message.
Prior to the school year, MacMillan reached out to Michelle Edenfield, a family friend and counselor, to see if she would speak to the girls soccer team, the girls volleyball team and cheerleaders about the importance of mental health, social media responsibilities and share her story of overcoming tradegy. In May 22, 2020, the lives of the Edenfield family changed in an unimaginable way, when their youngest of three daughters, Melina Michelle Edenfield — a joyful, energetic, and brilliant little four-year-old — was diagnosed with a deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG). Despite initial hope from the doctors that radiation treatment might extend her already limited prognosis, the tumor was one of the most aggressive the doctors had seen, and just a month and two days later — on June 24, 2020 — the tumor took sweet little Melina’s life. The Melina Michelle Edenfield foundation was established in her memory to help find a cure for this terrible disease. All proceeds go directly toward research.
“Edenfield’s message to students and their parents was tremendous and we were blessed to have her take the time to show our young female student athletes how to deal with adversity and have self accountability. A lesson we didn't realize we would have to be so prepared for this school year,” said MacMillian. "I just felt it was a great message that was set forth by a tremendous person and family that we could all gain something from knowing. With the loss of Nick, Paul, Sam, Jillian and others it is so important that we give our students every outlet to have their minds opened up to the compassion we should have for others. I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about their cause to visit www.mmefoundationjoy.org/. Choose Joy, it just made sense.”