Inspired by Outpouring of Concern, Two Centereach Fourth Graders Create Event
STONY BROOK, N.Y., March 8, 2010 – Two fourth grade students from Holbrook Road Elementary School in Centereach, N.Y., were moved during the winter when they read the story about the earthquake in Haiti and the outpouring of concern for that nation and their people. Emily Dwyer and Leandra Whalen, who ride to school together on the bus, were so inspired they decided to do something on their own. They hatched a plan to hold a “lemonade and brownie” fundraiser. In February they held the fundraiser at Christ Community Church in Stony Brook and raised $70. The money will go directly to the Stony Brook University Medical Center /Health Sciences Center Haitian Relief Fund.
The girls planned the details of their fundraiser during bus rides. Emily would supply the brownies and homemade bread, and Leandra would supply the lemonade and cookies. They even figured out how they would put the spread on the table. Once the two had the details, they brought their idea to their mothers, Lisa Whalen and Deb Dwyer. Ms. Dwyer proposed the use of Christ Community Church after services, and the congregation agreed to hold the event.
On February 7, the fundraiser was a hit at the church. The girls brought enough lemonade and goodies for hundreds, charging only 25 cents per cup and 50 cents for other bagged items. Leandra’s five-year-old sister, Alexandra, helped out too. That day Ms. Dwyer also taught Sunday School at the church and incorporated the message of community service to all the kids attending the class.
The entire donation will be funneled through the SBUMC/HSC Haitian Relief Fund via the Shamrocks for Haiti Fundraiser, to be held at the Nutty Irishman in Bayshore on March 20. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Operation Hope for Children of Haiti, the United Methodist Committee for Relief, and PAZAPA (Creole for “little step at a time”), an organization that specifically works with handicapped children in Haiti. Tickets for Shamrocks for Haiti can be obtained at http://www.ticketweb.com.
Fourth graders Emily Dwyer (second from left) and Leandra Whalen, two young philanthropists who helped raise money for the Stony Brook University Medical Center/Health Sciences Center Haitian Relief Fund, were recognized for their creative efforts by Dr. Steven Strongwater, left, CEO of SBUMC, and Dr. Craig Lehmann, HSC Interim Executive Dean.
Credit: Sam Levitan