LP fundraiser sheds hair, raises funds for cancer awareness

Maria Cieslarczyk, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Feb. 24, Lake Park students and staff participated in the Cha Cha for Children fundraiser, hosting a dance and various activities to spread awareness about cancer while also raising donations for Lurie Children’s Hospital.

The event took place at the West Campus gym from 1-5 p.m.

The organizers of the event were faculty members Kathryn Roll and Aimee Allison, and included student committees from junior and senior class council. All worked extremely hard, from selling tickets the week before during lunch hours, to organizing their committee’s responsibilities, and to finally, helping run the event during activities.

The student committees out into the community to find donors for food and raffle prizes, and organizations that accept donated hair to turn into wigs for cancer paitents.

Other Lake Park clubs were also involved, including Spanish Honor Society volunteers who taught the Cha Cha dance, and various sports teams that raised funds.

“There’s been a lot of hard work and planning for this event to be successful, and I have been super excited for it to come. I loved being a part of this cause because I am able to contribute my part along with many others,” said Serena Mistry, committee volunteer and senior.

She and fellow senior, Jorie Myers, made a Snapchat filter for the event so students could further publicize and showcase all the fun.

“It’s nice to be able to contribute to something that will benefit others and inform the people around us that we can step up and help brighten someone’s life, together,” Mistry continued.

At the event there was a $20 minimum donation that got participants a t-shirt and a raffle ticket. It also provided them with food, a photo booth, Kevin Johnson’s obstacle course, and activities such as making no-knit blankets and getting henna designs.

Lake Park also hosted speakers who had personal experiences of loved ones impacted by Lurie Children’s Hospital, including principal John Gouriotis who shared his son’s story. All the stories intertwined to form the crucial message of unity and compassion in support of patients and their families.

“The stories touched the hearts of its listeners, making the event so much greater and the cause much more real. You are able to listen to these words and make a connection with someone, opening your eyes to how impactful Cha Cha is,” said committee member and senior, Alexa Colella.

The St. Baldrick’s event during Cha Cha for Children was successful in shaving and donating locks of hair from students and staff alike. Alexandra Hamilton, Joel Tellinghuisen, Tracy Mize, Mary Fulmer, Aimee Allison, and Tracy Fink were among the faculty members to donate hair.

This year’s raffle prizes stirred major excitement, with donations such as gift cards for PS4, XBox, movies, restaurants, salons, massages, and more. Winners were drawn at 4 p.m.

At the end of the day, Cha Cha for Children exemplified true Lancer spirit in coming together as a school and a community to create a positive ripple effect in helping other people overcome their illnesses.

“I believe that it is important for students to get involved in fundraising events because they allow us to to have fun and demonstrate kindness. I think that our involvement even encourages those around us to become more active. This way, we are generating an impact that will only make the world a better place,” concluded Colella.