Community rocks and remembers

Fundraiser helps family of Boys and Girls Club teacher who died of cancer this month

Friends and family of Marie Marshall helped raise money in honor of their friend's battle with breast cancer at Marie Rocks Fundraiser, on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Schenectady Boys and Girls Club, raising nearly $9,000 at the end of the day.

Marie Marshall worked as a teacher at the Boys and Girls Club, mentoring students in pottery and ceramics. In the spring of 2008, Marshall was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. After radical surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Marshall was diagnosed as "clean" according to a press release on the Boys and Girls Web site.

At the same time that Marshall's treatment had finished, her mother was diagnosed with the illness. Marshall left her job at The Boys and Girls Club to take care of her ailing mother, at which time her house was re-assessed, resulting in increased monthly taxes and putting the family in danger of losing their home.

As Marshall took care of her mother, Jean Flowers, her own cancer reappeared in 2009, more prevalent than before. Marshall's mother died Sept. 5, and Marshall died two months later on Nov. 11. She is survived by her husband, Todd, and son, Ben. The benefit is to help the Marshalls with medical and housing expenses, which have become a burden.

The event included local bands Par Six, New Shoes Band, Mitch Frasier and Midlife Crisis. An auction showcasing local artisans' work was also held, while the Boys and Girls club dedicated a workspace in their building to Marshall.

"Marie was one of a kind," said family friend Bruce Blinn Knapp. "It went really well. So many people came out in support of the event."

"It was a really fun day," said friend Diane Blinn. "People really came out to support the cause."

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