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MQA Teacher’s Act of Kindness is Going Viral | Community Spirit

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MQA Teacher’s Act of Kindness is Going Viral
MQA Teacher’s Act of Kindness is Going Viral


Jackie Sandel, the AIS reading teacher at Mary Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School in Cheektowaga, has always been a big fan of the band Def Leppard and has seen them in concert several times. But on July 12, when the band visited Darien Lake, it was the very first time she was able to obtain meet-and-greet tickets that would provide a brief opportunity to meet members of the band prior to their local performance.

Sandel, who has a knack for making people feel welcomed and appreciated, decided to present the band with a gift bag welcoming them to Buffalo. One of the items was a “Campbell Tough” T-shirt that she personally designed and created for one of the band members, guitarist Vivian Campbell, who is currently battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Also in the bag were a “Kelly Tough” T-shirt, symbolizing former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly’s battle with cancer, and a copy of the “Kelly Tough” book, written by Jim Kelly’s daughter, Erin Kelly.

“They were honored to receive the gift, and very thankful,” Sandel recalled of the meet-and-greet. While she thought her connection to the band probably ended there, it was really just the beginning of the next chapter.

“During the band’s encore at Darien Lake, one of the band members came out wearing the Kelly Tough T-shirt, and everyone in the crowd started cheering,” said Sandel. A few days later, Def Leppard’s lead singer, Joe Elliott, wore the Campbell Tough T-shirt while out and about, and a fan, Heather Kurth, had her photo taken with him which she then posted on Facebook. People immediately began asking where they could purchase the T-shirt, and that’s when things really took off!

“I responded on Facebook that I was the person who made the shirt for them,” Sandel said. She then contacted Kim Rozler at Artdog Designs, a T-shirt company in Depew that produced the Kelly Tough shirts, and asked if they could make and distribute more of the Campbell Tough shirts, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Campbell’s charity of choice. He chose the American Cancer Society, and Artdog agreed.

As of mid September, Sandel is pleased to report that at least $5,000 had already been raised for the American Cancer Society and, specifically, Hodgkin’s lymphoma research. Fans of the band have also taken to posting photos of themselves wearing their Campbell Tough T-shirts on the Facebook page titled Def Leppard - Booty Ruben, administered by Debbie Holman. Sandel prints all of the photos and has begun to decorate the door of her Mary Queen of Angel’s classroom with a Campbell Tough photo collage.

Those interested in purchasing a Campbell Tough T-shirt can do so by visiting the Artdog Designs website at www.artdogtees.com/product-category/campbell_tough/.

“This is just another great example of how someone from the Mary Queen of Angel’s family is having a positive impact on our community,” said Principal MaryAlice Bagwell. “Community service and teaching our students how one person can make a difference is a very important part of the MQA educational experience!”

Mary Queen of Angels School is located at 170 Rosewood Terrace in Cheektowaga. For more information about the school, please visit www.mqangels.com.



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