A group of students, connected through a leadership course at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, NY, sought to start the new year on a giving foot. Supporting both local businesses and their community, they turned to the Long Island Alzheimer’s and Dementia (LIAD) Center to make a hands-on impact.
Within only two weeks, the ambitious group of students organized a fundraiser to provide diagnosed individuals the gift of art. From crayons and markers, to paint and yarn, their collection of donated items grew rapidly!
Art therapy, beyond supporting creativity, stimulates fine motor skills and exercises memory in many ways. The class's inspiration for this fundraiser stemmed from their classmate, Jenna Schanstra. “My grandma, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is very into art and drawing,” Jenna said, “so I thought it’d be sweet to give back stuff like that. [It] reminds me of her.”
“Our mission was to spread awareness and make an impact,” said Isabella Cespedes, Junior at Calhoun High School, “if you do something for someone else, it makes you feel good inside and can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Thanks to the generosity from the class and its fundraiser supporters, the LIAD Center can continue its mission to improve the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Left to Right: John Schwab, T.J. Morash, Deven Kirpalani, Michael Bilardello, Isabella Buono, Alexa Stabile, Daniela Scheffler, Holly DiPalo, Rebecca Markoski, Isabella Cespedes, and pictured on the screen, Jenna Schanstra.