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Oyster Bay homecoming backs 4-year-old's cancer fight

Oyster Bay Baymen played Friends Academy during the

Oyster Bay Baymen played Friends Academy during the homecoming game on Oct. 3, 2015, but the big winner was Oyster Bay students supporting the fight against pediatric cancer as part of Spirit Week. Photo Credit: Danielle Valente

Touchdowns and tackles are nice, but Oyster Bay High School proved during its homecoming festivities on Oct. 3 that there is more to love about the festivities than football.

In addition to the game and Friday afternoon pep rally, the student council convenes every year and decides to support a cause. This year, Oyster Bay students raised awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.

“We just felt so connected,” school counselor Deanna Cali explained. “It really hit home for us.”

Cali and co-adviser Danielle Urtheil were introduced to Kim Kuck, a fellow counselor at the neighboring private school, Long Island Lutheran High School. Kuck and her husband, Tom, who is Lutheran High’s athletic director, discovered last June that their 4-year-old daughter, Amanda, is suffering from DIPG, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a highly aggressive brain tumor.

The Oyster Bay counselors feel very connected to the Kuck family, being that their children are of similar age to Amanda, and the students feel the connection, too. Throughout the school’s Spirit Week -- which concluded with a football game against Friends Academy -- they competed in activities like lip-synching and hallway decorations contests. But they made sure to mix in some philanthropy.

“We also had another competition to see who could raise the most money for pediatric cancer and on Tuesday we all wore yellow to support it,” sophomore Caroline Scamella said while preparing floats for the parade.

“The kids in our school are very socially conscious,” Tom Gould, media communications specialist said. “They’re always looking for causes to get behind.”

Cali noted that as of the day after the yellow-clothes event, the school community raised roughly $600 toward pediatric cancer.

“It’s important for cohesiveness within the school,” Cali said of Oyster Bay’s annual homecoming fundraiser. “It’s important [for students] to have a cause bigger than themselves.”

To follow Amanda’s progress, like “Mandy’s Mark” on Facebook.






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