Audrey Parmenter is the embodiment of a good kid. A tenacious, inquisitive student with good grades and a fierce serve on the volleyball court, the San Lorenzo Valley High School senior has quietly been making a difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Those efforts were recognized by SLVHS’ ASB Teacher/ Activities Director Claire Hackett, who stealthily submitted Parmenter as a candidate for the Peter R. Marsh Student Silent Service Award. Unbeknownst to Parmenter, she was the winner of the award, which came with a fancy trophy and $500.
Parmenter was just 3 when both of her grandmothers were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She began fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at 8, and contributions to the fundraiser each year have increased. In her first event, she raised over $100—“My fourth grade mind was blown!” she said—and in 2019, she raised $2,194.
“It’s amazing to see how this little idea has grown over the years,” she said.
The fundraiser is a combination of food and fun. Her dad Ross Parmenter fires up the grill to serve a barbecue meal to supporters, and Audrey spends the year collecting donations from local businesses.
“Fringe Salon in Scotts Valley, glass artist David Salazar, Scotts Valley Scarborough Ace Hardware, Camp Happy Tails, and my friends and family are all supporters and contributors to the success of this event,” she said.
Last year had a combination of silent auction and raffle items, but 2020 flipped the script on Parmenter, she said.
“We had to do a virtual fundraiser this year due to Covid, so I made succulent pumpkins for purchase,” she said. “That alone raised over $500 which we donated to the Foundation.”
Parmenter says she wasn’t expecting any recognition for her annual fundraising efforts.
“I logged into my ASB class one day via Zoom, and my mom and dad were in there along with my grandparents. I was really confused, wondering why only my parents were in attendance,” she said. “That’s when Ms. Hackett made the announcement about my award, and my parents gave me the letter and the check. I was so surprised.”
Parmenter, who wants to focus on environmental studies and natural resources when she heads off to college, hopes to continue doing these fundraisers for as long as possible.
“Both of my grandmothers survived the disease, and they’re both doing well,” says Parmenter.
As for the $500 award? Parmenter used the money to make photo books for her fellow nominees to the 2020 SLVHS Homecoming Court.
To learn more about the Peter R. Marsh Foundation that presented the award, visit prmfoundation.org.