It was only appropriate that on Valentine’s Day Syosset High School’s Interact Club held its latest philanthropic endeavor to raise money to provide life-saving heart surgeries to children in need. The group hosted a Sweet-Hearts Fair in the student lobby area, which doubled as a celebration of life, as students video conferenced with a recipient of a life-saving heart procedure made possible through Interact and the community’s generosity.
The Sweet-Hearts Fair offered a dessert bar, games, a mural painting project, a photo booth and much more – all for a mere $5. All proceeds from the event were donated to the school’s charitable partner, Rotary International’s Gift of Life, which assists in the treatment of pediatric heart patients around the world.
Recent Syosset Interact campaigns include “Mission Heartbeat” and “7 in 7.” Two years ago, the club shattered its goal of raising $35,000 by raising over $65,000 for the organization. This year, the club sold Syosset spirit wear on True Blue Day in support of the cause, last year they sold dog tags.
Natasha, the latest child to benefit from Syosset Interact’s fundraising efforts, stole the show during a brief ceremony to kick off the Sweet-Hearts Fair. Skyping from Uganda, Natasha and her family thanked Interact, Gift of Life representatives and other students and school staff members in attendance. Although soft-spoken, and at times speechless, her visual presence served as a touching message that resonated with everyone in the room. She was operated on in a hospital in Kampala, the country’s capital, just a day after the fair. Her procedure was made possible through this year’s True Blue event.
Interact co-adviser Carisa Steinberg put it best: “We are just trying to heal one little heart at a time.”
Syosset HS Interact members with school officials and representatives of Rotary International’s Gift of Life at the Sweet-Hearts Fair as they Skype with Natasha, a recipient of a life-saving heart procedure made possible through their fundraising efforts.
Photos courtesy of the Syosset School District