Creating a senior project for high school takes time and motivation. Charles Lockard, a senior at Carbon Career & Technical Institute, found this motivation by dedicating his project to the American Cancer Society.

Lockard, 18, built a park bench using the tools available in the CCTI carpentry classroom. He is currently selling chances to win the park bench and will donate the proceeds to ACS.

This is the second year that a CCTI student has built and raffled off a park bench for the American Cancer Society. Senior Cory Smith raised more than $1,000 last year for the cancer society in honor of his uncle, Bill "Alabama" Kilgore. Lockard was inspired by Smith's project, having also lost a loved one to cancer. His mother, Debbie Lockard, passed away two years ago after battling cancer.

Chances for the bench are being sold for $1 each, or 6 chances for $5. The winner will be chosen during American Cancer Society Telethon on TV-13 on April 10.

"This is going to help the cancer society," said Lockard, who lives in Kunkletown. "It was fun, and it will help people with cancer."

Lockard's family was grateful for the support they received during Debbie's struggle against cancer, and he hopes that the money raised at CCTI will help other families in need. As a hands-on person, he enjoyed working with the cement forms and pouring each cement "leg" for the bench. Sanding was fun too, he added. He builds things at home in his free time.

CCTI has also been holding fundraisers for the American Cancer Society throughout the school year. Students and staff raised $2,300 last year, including Smith's $1,000 bench raffle.

Cancer society representatives visited the school this fall to educate students about their mission. Students learned that donations fund vital research programs that seek to prevent, treat and cure cancer. The ACS also provides free educational programs and support services for cancer patients and survivors.

This year's bench raffle has attracted the support of students throughout the school, and members of the marketing, graphic design and carpentry classes are taking part to ensure that this year's fundraiser is even more successful. Graphic design students designed the raffle tickets, and marketing has helped to spread the word about the fundraiser.

"It's great that we all get to come together, and give back to the cancer society," said Stephanie Macaluso, a senior marketing student helping with the project.

Students and faculty members are also excited to see the project grow from last year, when Smith created the first bench.

"The project has evolved, thanks to Cory's great idea," said Lisa Lux, a Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 instructor who has worked closely with both Cory and Charles. "It's wonderful to see this grow and evolve, and to have this benefit a great cause."

Raffle tickets will be sold from now until April 1 at the Mauch Chunk 5 & 10 on Broadway, the Jim Thorpe Market, and the Hometown Market. Tickets are also available by calling the CCTI school store at (570) 325-3682, ext. 1152.