Alida Bonomo, Emilee Spinelli, Marlena and Macey Mazza, Samantha Manes and Victoria Keca agree their first time organizing an event fundraiser couldn’t have gone any better.
The six friends, who all attend Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, put on a dance to raise funds for McMaster Children’s Hospital’s Child and Youth Mental Health Unit on Feb. 15 at the parish hall. The three-hour event, which was held in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month, helped raise about $1,800 for the cause.
“I was nervous at first because I didn’t think a lot of kids were coming; we only had around 70 kids that had bought tickets and all of a sudden, we had close to 150 kids because they just came and purchased tickets at the door and it turned out to be amazing,” said Samantha, adding fellow students from grades six to 8 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Elementary School were in attendance. “Everybody was dancing all night; it was a great night. We’ll definitely do it again.”
Alida, Emilee, Marlena, Macey, Samantha and Victoria came up with the idea for the event after attending a dance at Valley Park Community Centre.
They began planning their event during the Christmas break.
They then made flyers and started selling tickets at the parish.
“We had a great time at the dance at Valley Park and just thought, ‘Why not do something fun that can also make a difference?’” Alida said. “We began the planning process and all the work that went into it was really worth the effort.”
Marlena said it only made sense to pick a cause that included children.
“We’re kids, so we really wanted to help a cause that would benefit kids,” she said.
Alida, Emilee, Marlena, Macey, Samantha and Victoria said they’re looking forward to visiting McMaster Children’s Hospital’s Child during the March break, when they will present the money to the Child and Youth Mental Health Unit.
“We’re so excited to be able to help out such an important cause,” Alida said. “We had a lot of people help us out with this; we had people sponsor the hall, the DJ did everything for free and lots of friends and family donated prizes. We want to thank everyone who helped make the event such a success.”