Crystal Gauvin
Ashlyn Merritt

Ashlyn Merritt

This week’s featured female is: ASHLYN MERRITT

I’m excited about this week’s winner. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Ashlyn, and she is a great person, great archer, and great friend to many! She is a target archer from Peoria, AZ, and she was one of the first nominations I received!

I also feel like we are somewhat kindred spirits. Ashlyn was kicking butt and taking names in the compound cadet (apoligize if I got the division wrong) division, at the same time I was a top ranked senior compound archer. Then, just like myself, she made the switch to recurve. I’m pretty sure she switched before me, so shout out to Ashlyn, guess I copied you 😉

Here is what her friends and fans have to say about her, “Ashlyn is an amazing archer who was very successful with the compound bow but decided she wanted a challenge and switched to recurve 2.5 years ago (about the same time you did). The road has not been easy but she has persevered with the “struggle stick”! She had a great indoor season, finishing 4th in the junior category and is looking forward to outdoor season which is her favorite.”

Think Ashlyn is just a great archer? Think again…”More important than the archery accomplishments, is the fact that Ashlyn is an amazing friend. Heading into their last semester in high school, her best friend Cass, was diagnosed with leukemia. Cass quickly transitioned to the hospital where she began an aggressive treatment regimen. Ash also made a quick transition, and became the go-to friend for Cass, disseminating info for her friend so she was not overwhelmed in the hospital. With the lengthy hospital stays and endless appointments, Ash made it a point to keep Cass’s spirits high with constant calls and many trips to the store to keep her friend stocked with treats and snacks to keep her strength up.”

“Ash also knew she wanted to do something to help with the family’s financial burden. She designed a “Team Cass” t-shirt to sell as a fundraiser and began to collect donations. Ash spent numerous hours at school selling shirts and asking for donations, all the while keeping her efforts a secret so Cass and her family would not know what was happening. When her fundraising efforts began to slow, she went public with a Go Fund Me account for Team Cass. Within a month she has been able to collect over $6000 for her friend! She was able to present the money to Cass on her 18th birthday last week [this was now a few weeks ago].”

“Ash has done all this while juggling high school, online college classes and passing her board exam to become a CNA (certified nursing assistant). As her mom, I know I am bias, but I think she is a pretty extraordinary 17 year old with a huge heart! It is refreshing to see someone take up the fight for a friend who is honestly in the fight for her life.”

Please help me in not only congratulating Ashlyn, but also saying a big, “Thank You!” I’m confident that Cass and her family are very thankful to have Ashlyn in her life. What a true blessing! Let’s encourage her to keep working hard on the archery field, and being a great friend to those around her!

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