A Hauppauge student's creative thinking turned a class assignment into a unifying event for students, teachers and staff throughout the school district.
Jack Weinstein, a senior at Hauppauge High School, raised $2,700 this spring through a "Battle of the Buildings" that attracted more than 900 people and pitted teachers from the district's five schools against each other in a series of competitive activities.
Funds went to Care & Share, a nonprofit organization that supplies food and school items to local families in need, he said.
The concept stemmed from a community-oriented assignment in his school's International Baccalaureate program.
"I love bringing everyone together," said Weinstein, 17. "One of my goals in life is to put smiles on people's faces."
Activities included a tug-of-war and an Oreo challenge in which teachers put a cookie on their foreheads and moved it to their mouths without using their hands. Hauppauge High School was the overall winner.
Weinstein is a member of his school's varsity basketball team, Best Buddies International Club and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Club. He also is a mentor for incoming freshmen at the school.
In addition, he teaches basketball and volunteers at C&H Animal Rescue in Centereach.