Islip’s Commack Road Elementary School hosted its inaugural spring Hat Parade on March 18, marking the end of a weeklong fundraiser in which staff and students raised $1,551.41 for the Heavenly Hats Foundation, which collects and distributes brand new hats of all kinds to people who lose their hair due to the treatment of cancer or other medical conditions.
Students created or brought in their own “crazy hats” to proudly show off during the sunny parade, which included brightly clad Interim Principal Brian McCarthy as well as many parents and community members.
The Hat Parade was held in honor of the school’s longtime principal Jeannette Feminella, who is out on medical leave as she battles cancer, and other courageous cancer fighters. In attendance were Feminella’s husband and sons, who addressed the crowd in gratitude.
“Mrs. Feminella is a strong and positive individual who defines herself as a fighter and not a victim,” said school social worker Jasmin Dengeles, who helped organize the event. “Although she is a cancer survivor, she more importantly is a loving mother and wife, supportive community member, advocate for children, and fearless elementary school principal, among many other things. The parade was meant to acknowledge her always positive attitude, as well as show support for all of the other courageous cancer fighters.”
The event ended with a joyous dancing procession back to classes, set to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Photo courtesy of the Islip School District