Friday, 17 July 2009 00:00
Since 1993, Syosset High School’s student government has been gathering for two nights during the school year to continue the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). This year has been no exception. Over 30 students participated in an annual phone-a-thon, part of a national school program through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation called CureFinders, that over the years has raised over $180,000!
The students began their evening with a buffet dinner generously donated by local merchants including Mim’s, Woodbury Country Deli, Prime Time Butcher, Christina’s Epicure, Celebrity Diner, Dugan’s Sandwich Shop, China View, King Kullen (Syosset), Shop Rite (Plainview), Bagel Boss (Hicksville), Phil’s Pizza, Kikku of Empire, Mario’s Pizzeria, Cardinali Bakery and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Student government advisor Ray Gessner and teachers Rich Cafiero and David Steinberg, as well as Syosset resident Ilene Zelniker spearheaded the program along with student Rachel Messer, who also is a member of the Student Youth Board with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A representative from the foundation then spoke with the students to educate them on the disease as well as the advances being made in treatment. After a brief training, the students hit the phones and called members of the community to ask for their help in funding research to find a cure. Residents of the Syosset School district once again generously “answered the call” with their contributions to this most worthy cause.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of individuals and reduces their life expectancy. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation began in 1955, most children with CF did not live long enough to attend elementary school. Through the fundraising efforts of the foundation to advance research, the average life expectancy of those with CF is 37 years old. Recent breakthroughs have added urgency to the organization’s fundraising efforts and Syosset High School has been a faithful partner in the race for a cure.