Number of Participants: 903
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $7,630
Event Amount Raised: $903
Event Type: Sports & Recreation
Date: December 13, 2023
Connetquot High School
7th Street, Bohemia
The annual Dimes for Dezy fundraiser held at Cherokee Street Elementary School in the Connetquot Central School District raised a total of $903 for those struggling with cancer.
The Dezy Strong Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Matthew “Dezy” DiStefano, who was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in February 2019 and passed away in January 2020. Dezy was a Sachem High School North alumni, teacher and coach whose family lives in the Connetquot Central School District.
For weeks, Cherokee Street students emptied their change into a large water jug in the front of the school in Dezy’s memory. With the help of faculty members Ms. Daria Passero and Ms. Cindy Campanella, Dezy’s children Giuliana DiStefano and Giovanni DiStefano, both students at Cherokee Street Elementary, run the fundraiser to continue the work of their father. At the end of each week, they emptied the donations jug and counted the money collected.
Dezy’s mantra of, “We get to,” lives on in the school building and beyond, helping to build positivity with a focus on gratitude in everyday life. In addition to the money collection, student’s fill out “We get to” cards which are displayed in the hallway each year.
1: From left, Matthew “Dezy” DiStefano’s children Giuliana DiStefano and Giovanni DiStefano raised money to assist those with cancer through the Dimes for Dezy fundraiser.
2: Dezy’s mantra of, “We get to” lives on in the school building as student’s fill out “We get to” cards which are displayed in the hallway each year.
Photos courtesy of Connetquot Central School District