Valley Stream Central High School homecoming queen Bella Gandasegui didn’t have much time to bask in her newfound royalty Saturday.
She was too busy holding an umbrella in the rain while supervising a T-shirt table during the varsity football game.
She has been selling pink T-shirts after school for the past several weeks, part of an overall effort by the high school to raise money for breast cancer research.
Headed by physical education teacher Britt Klein, Valley Stream Central has undertaken this cause in October for the last nine years as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We’re hoping to raise $3,000 this year,” Klein said.
Gandasegui, 17, has walked with Valley Stream Central High School each year at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach in Wantagh. (This year's walk is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16 at 7 a.m.)
With umbrellas in tow, student volunteers climbed through the bleachers to collect donations from the crowd Saturday.
The group also raised money by selling the pink T-shirts, which are emblazoned with this year’s theme “Pink Strong,” a play on the United States Army’s motto, “Army Strong.”
“I think it’s a really good cause, and me and Ms. Klein are really close, so I like to help her,” Gandasegui said.
Gandasegui, who plays soccer, basketball and softball for her school, is also a member of the National Honor Society.
She was joined by homecoming king Rahman Chambers, 17, who wore a “Pink Strong” T-shirt to the game in support of the fundraising efforts.
The student volunteers at the game raised money while also advertising the school’s fourth annual Pink Fair, to be held at the high school on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m.
Students each pay $1 to attend the event where school clubs sponsor tables, and host games and activities to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.
Senior Eleni Demas, 17, has been attending the Pink Fair and the annual walk since she was in eighth grade.
“A lot of people have ties to breast cancer, and it’s really important to help,” she said.