MOSES LAKE - A fundraising campaign has been started to help raise money for Tony St. Onge, recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
St. Onge was the swim coach at Moses Lake High School for 42 years.
“He was known for his ability to form strong connections — with his swimming students, with the school board, with the entire community,” stated Mary Rathbone, organizer of the GoFundMe page (https://bit.ly/2TIS8pI) "His ability to make a difference in the lives of his students is what ultimately led the Moses Lake School District to name the pool building, Tony St. Onge: Pool of Dreams."
After retiring, St. Onge had planned to spend time fishing and be with his wife and family.
“Recently, Tony received terrifying news in the form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma,” Rathbone stated. “Tony’s children, Joanne and Tyler which to be able to spend as much time with their dad to help him navigate the fight of his life.”
St. Onge has already faced significant medical obstacles, paralyzed in the car accident in 1977 and in 2003, suffering a complication that resulted in spinal cord surgery. He continued to teach and coach at the high school during the five years it took him to recover.
The GoFundMe page was created to assist with medical and travel expenses as St. Onge begins treatment in Wenatchee.
“My hope is that the community will be able to give back to a man who has dedicated his entire adult life to enriching the lives of our youth to better succeed and have a bright future,” Rathbone stated.
Since the fundraiser was posted, more than $17,000 have been donated.
“I truly thank and appreciate you all for what you are doing,” St. Onge stated. “Having one less major financial stressor is going to help us focus on wellness. This has caught us off guard but we know what we have to face. You all are truly making a huge difference in our lives when we need it most.”