Here's a roundup of weekly good deeds, good people and good organizations in the Jacksonville area.
Despite the adversity of a COVID-19 lockdown, Bishop Kenny seniors Patrick Patangan and Katie Vossman wanted to make sure that the Jacksonville high schools came together for Dance Marathon 2020. They wanted to stand for those children who can’t stand by themselves and give something back in a time of need.
The students, along with sophomore Charlie Esposito, attended a Zoom meeting after the lockdown, hosted by Children’s Miracle Network, with colleges around the globe to learn how to move forward with the event virtually.
The BK Interact Club joined forces with Bolles and the Episcopal School of Jacksonville’s Interact Clubs for the virtual #dancingontheriver event.
"This event would not have been possible without the efforts of all three schools who have been involved in the fundraising and planning efforts since the beginning of the school year," Patangan said. "Without the help of Charlotte Rosenberg, ESJ, and Gentian Fairman, Bolles, this event wouldn’t have been the same."
The third Dance Marathon took place April 13-17 to raise money for Wolfson Children Hospital. They followed a daily theme: "Not Done Fighting, FTK" on Monday; "What are you doing during quarantine?" on Tuesday; "You Can Still Make an Impact" on Wednesday; "Morale Dance Challenge" on Thursday; and "We will NEVER stop fighting for the kids, FTK" on Friday.
The event was a big success and raised $29,931.59 in five days.
"Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with, planned with and prayed for the ‘saints among us’ who are determined to carry out service above self," said teacher and club sponsor Christine Keyser. ‘‘They have Zoomed from their kitchen tables, bedrooms, backyards and sitting in the middle of the St. Johns on their boat. To complete this call to service has never left the minds and hearts of these BK student leaders."
Here’s more good news:
• Cindy Pearson was recently named the 2020 Duval Public Schools Volunteer of the Year. Pearson was honored for the work she has done as a volunteer parent at Samuel Wolfson School for Advanced Studies.
For eight years she has used her background in event planning and fundraising to support fundraising, alumni relations and community outreach at Wolfson and other schools. She also helped lead the effort to transition Wolfson High School to a magnet school.
Pearson and her husband, Scott, have three children in Duval schools. She said she was shocked and humbled by the award.
"Of course, it’s not why any of us volunteer to help public schools," she said. "But being recognized with an honor like this makes me so proud to be among the hundreds and hundreds of dedicated volunteers who help make Duval County Public Schools great." Pearson is a candidate for School Board District 3.
• On the first Friday of each month prior to COVID-19, local musicians and volunteers performed a mini-concert for Community Hospice & Palliative Care patients and their families at the Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring. Because of the virus pandemic, Betsy Miller, volunteer engagement specialist, proposed that the May concert go out virtually on social media. Local musician Scott T. Horowitz accepted immediately when Miller approached him to play. Chris Underdal joined Horowitz for the mini-concert.
"The purpose of these uplifting concerts is to provide an experience that enhances the lives of our patients, their families, visitors and staff through the power of music," Miller said.
Horowitz recently became a volunteer at Community Hospice. Since 2014, he has held The Scott T. Holiday Jamboree, which brings together music, food and people to celebrate life and raise money for Community Hospice & Palliative Care.
Related | Read more good news stories from the Jacksonville area
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