Four Hamden Hall Country Day School students who also serve on the Junior Board of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital recently raised $300 to purchase hats for children undergoing chemotherapy.
The fundraiser, called Hoops for Hats, took place at the varsity basketball games of the Hornets’ girls and boys teams. This is the second year Hamden Hall students have raised funds to help pediatric oncology patients who are affiliated with Yale-New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital.
“Hamden Hall’s efforts are greatly appreciated. It is comforting for children to know they have the support of other children, their peers, in their fight against cancer,” said Yale-New Haven Development Officer Michelle D’Amore.
The Hamden Hall students, junior Sara Bennett of Hamden, sophomore Doria Weiss of Orange, and Woodbridge residents Jake Teplitzky and Ronald LoRicco, both freshmen, serve on Yale’s Junior Board and help brainstorm and coordinate fundraising ideas.
“The Junior Board works extremely hard to raise money to buy any supplies, games, clothes, and equipment the hospital needs to care for all of the children there,” said Sara Bennett who is serving her second year on the board and is the current vice president. “Our board clearly helps the children but it also helps me to know that I am helping children in need.”
Hamden Hall is dedicated to preparing its students for the challenges of life and fosters the belief that students have a responsibility to give back to others. As such, community service is a key component of the Hamden Hall experience and students are provided many opportunities to get involved both on and off campus.
“Community service is an important part of our core values at Hamden Hall and that’s why I’m involved with the Junior Board. This is an opportunity for me to do something in the community and to bring it back to school and share with my friends,” said Jake Teplitzky, who is serving his first year on the board.
For Doria Weiss, who has helped with many fundraisers during her two years on the Junior Board including Christmas parties for sick children and their siblings, it’s the actual impact from the various donations and events that has been most unexpected.
“My biggest surprise was how the little things, such as hats, actually have a big impact on the sick children,” said Doria. “There are many benefits of being on the Junior Board, like the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping children in need. The ones who benefit the most from our efforts are the children with cancer in the Smilow Center.”