Last spring Christopher Pendergast and the Ride For Life team rallied in Sayville School District and energized the faculty and staff in the fight against ALS, a disease that has personally impacted the lives of many in Sayville schools and the community.
In preparation for the annual Ride For Life visit, the Middle School committee members Cathy Thorvaldsen, Paul Simonsen, and Tara Felice united with the students and their families by fundraising for research. Donations were collected from selling candy and paper ‘baseballs’ both at the middle school dance held in May, as well as during lunch periods.
The paper baseballs (chosen for its symbolic link to Lou Gehrig, a famous baseball player who passed away from ALS) were displayed in the front windows of the middle school building and bore the name of each contributor.
In addition, other fundraising contributions included “a Karaoke night" spearheaded by music teacher Kerri VanBoxel, a Middle School Student Council donation, and districtwide staff contributions totaling $400 from "Denim Day,” according to Thorvaldsen.
When the Ride came to Sayville on that first Friday in June, Sayville came out in full force with a great welcome. First it stopped at the high school, proceeded to the middle school where the art department, chorus, bBand, and cheerleaders showcased enormous enthusiasm, at which time the mMiddle school donated $1,050 it had raised, before the Ride For Life was escorted by some Cherry Avenue students back to the elementary school.
Even after Ride For Life had passed through Sayville, “we raised $1,500, when all was said and done,” Thorvaldsen said.