Way to Go: Jason Kopp

Jason Kopp, 13, a student at Alfred G. Jason Kopp, 13, a student at Alfred G. Berner Middle School in Massapequa, raised more than $500 during October -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- by selling bracelets and rings that he made from pink rubber bands. Photo Credit: Handout

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A Massapequa eighth-grader found an artistic way to bolster breast cancer research.

Jason Kopp, 13, a student at Alfred G. Berner Middle School in Massapequa, raised more than $500 during October -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- by selling bracelets and rings that he made from pink rubber bands. He came up with the idea after an injury earlier this year prevented him from playing baseball and he spent his weekends making bracelets.

"I decided to set a goal of $500, so I brought them into school to sell to my friends and then used social media to spread the word," said Jason, who sold bracelets for $2 and rings for $1.

As part of the effort, he also set up a stand in front of his home, dressed entirely in pink -- from socks to sunglasses -- and biked his neighborhood to pass out fliers about the sale.

Jason said he was particularly touched during a visit by one of his mother's friends who is a breast cancer survivor. "That was the best part of the fundraiser," he said, "because that opened my eyes to why I was doing it."

He next turned his hands to making purple bracelets in support of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, which is this month.

"My cousin lost his grandpa to the disease," Jason said. "I want to do this with my cousin to help make a difference."

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