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Breast Cancer Walk Honors Malverne Teacher

The Malverne school community raises funds to fight breast cancer in honor of teacher who lost her nearly 15-year battle.

Carolyn Klingbeil will always be remembered for being a great teacher, role model, mother, friend and a "Warrior of Hope."

The East Rockaway woman who was raised in Malverne and taught Spanish at Malverne High School for 17 years passed away five years ago from breast cancer but her legacy continues to inspire others.

On Thursday, the school community held its annual breast cancer walk in her honor, inviting students, faculty, local residents and Klingbeil's friends and family to stroll or jog around the track at the high school while raising funds to find a cure. Teachers from Maurice W. Downing Primary School brought their students to the track earlier that day and in the afternoon, after dismissal, the event attracted students from the High School and Middle School sports teams, community service club and Honor Society, among others. 

Now in its fourth year, the walk has raised more than $10,000 for the American Cancer Society, which presented one Klingbeil's daughters, Courtney, who circled the track that day with friends, with a framed T-Shirt. It read: "Warrior of Hope: Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the fight against Breast Cancer."

Klingbeil was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 and went into remission three times during her nearly 15 year battle.  She left behind her husband of 34-years, Don, three daughters - Megan, Courtney, and Caitlin - and her parents, who still live in Malverne today and attend the walk each year.

"She was one of the nicest people," said Diane Pryor, a Math teacher at Malverne High School who coordinates the event each year with the Art Honor Society and Key Club. Anyone wishing to still make a donation in Klingbeil's name can do so by contacting Pryor through Malverne High School.

"She was not just my best friend, but our best friend," she added, gesturing to her fellow volunteers.

Paul Gruol, director of Special Events for the American Cancer Society, spoke a few words about Klingbeil as he presented the gift to her daughter. '"She was a role model to everyone whose life she touched and instilled the spirit to fight back and never ever give up hope. Her memory is an inspiration on how we should live our lives daily."

Wild Bill October 18, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Thank you to Patch.com for the coverage of this awesome annual event that raises funds for the American Cancer Society . Thank you to all of the students, faculty members, and school board members that all came together to make this a beautiful and fitting tribute to an amazing woman, Carolyn Klingbeil . I salute you all for your fund raising efforts and compassion shown that day. It was truly awesome for me to witness and be a part of. The framed "Warrior of Hope" proclamation will be placed permanently in a hallway display case near to the Principal's Office at Malverne High School so that all can see it and remember legacy at Malverne High School through it. Respectfully submiited, Bill Holzapfel American Cancer Society volunteer
Jax October 18, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Mrs. Klingbeil was one of my favorite teachers at MHS when I was there. I cried the day I found out she passed. I'm glad they remembered her! <3
Lorraine Liberti March 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I am Carolyn's sister and was missing her today as usual, but especially since her birthday is tomorrow. I just googled her name to see what would come up and was overjoyed to see this article and the postings of Mr. Holzpfel and Jax. I can never thank the Malverne school community enough for the joy and meaning you brought to her in life and the affection and honor you continue to bestow upon her since her parting. Her Malverne friends and colleagues (Thank you, Diane!) have once again invited me to join them in a birthday gathering to remember my extraordinary sister and the indelible mark she left on our lives. Because of your outpouring of love and compassion throughout her struggle, she died knowing that she was truly loved and appreciated by her Malverne family. Thank you for keeping her alive in your hearts by what you say and do. I know "Mrs. K." is still teaching us in ways that inspire us to use our talents and gifts to make the lives of others better and more beautiful. Bless you one and all! Her grateful sister, Lorraine

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