West Rowan senior plans to hit the roof

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 11, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
CHINA GROVE — A West Rowan High School student will spend about 14 hours at Porky’s BBQ in China Grove on Saturday, but he won’t chowing down on the southern delight.
Senior Tyler Goodson will sit perched on the roof of the restaurant collecting donations to benefit the family of West assistant principal Nelson Cowden.
The Cowdens lost their 15-year-old son, Tom Cowden, to brain cancer April 17.
But Goodson said the family still needs money to cover hospital bills.
That’s why he’s taking to the roof in hopes of raising at least $1,000. He’ll climb up at 7 a.m. and stay there until the restaurant closes at 9 p.m.
“He’s always done a lot for me,” Goodson said of Nelson Cowden. “I figure if he helps me, I should go the extra mile to help him too.”
This isn’t the first time Goodson has done some fundraising for the Cowden family.
When Tom was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, he went door to door asking for donations and rallying people to support the Tom Cowden 5K, which has become an annual event.
“I was going to doors of people I didn’t even know,” he said. “I had a flyer about the race, and I just hoped for the best.”
He raised $350 the first year and $475 the next.
But he decided he wanted to make even more of a difference this year. He got the idea to take to the roof from West junior Dani Burris, who spent part of her Thanksgiving break on top of Mario’s Diner in Salisbury to raise money for developmental research.
“I wanted to do something to draw more attention to the need,” Goodson said.
Scott Goodson said he’s proud of the initiative his son has taken to help out the Cowden family.
“He’s a good kid, and this is just something he believes in,” he said. “This is the third year he’s done it, but not to this magnitude.”
Tyler Goodson will have a donation jar set up inside Porky’s after he leaves the roof Saturday.
He said those interested in participating in the 5K, set for 2 p.m. May 20 at Sloan Park in Mount Ulla, can get a registration form from the school or sign up online at sportoften.com by searching for Tom Cowden 5K.
The registration fee for the race is $20 through May 16. It will increase to $25 after that date.
For more information about the race, contact Brittany Chester at 704-201-8475 or chesterbp@rss.k12.nc.us .
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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