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OP Men For Others Assembly

Luke Bernstein, Staff Writer

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For the first time ever, the entire school gathered to hear from many of Oratory Prep’s service clubs regarding their accomplishments and goals for the upcoming months and years. There were six presentations on April 13th that ranged from diabetes awareness to a dodgeball collection. From each of the six groups, two or three representatives spoke and tried to drum up support and membership for their various organizations.

Following a brief introduction from Mr. Martin, the St. Philip Neri Club kicked off the festivities with a presentation by Addison Drone, Luke Bernstein, and Will Sanyour. Addison gave a brief overview of the Club and spoke about many of its accomplishments throughout the year. Luke Bernstein, then spoke briefly about the upcoming used sports equipment drive going on at OP from April 16 to April 24. To finish, Will Sanyour addressed the grievous issue of child slave labor in Africa, specifically in the chocolate industry. Included in his presentation was an informational video regarding this issue, details highlighting the severity of the problem, and ways to help combat the epidemic, notably the selling of chocolate during CWP on Fridays to raise awareness and funds for those combating child slavery.

 

After the St. Philip Neri Club, the two representatives from Oratory Prep on the Overlook Foundation Junior Board spoke about the initiatives they are promoting this year. Senior Corey Vita spoke about his time on the board during which he fundraised over $60,000 for the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumour Center and the positive impact of this money for patient and doctor morale and care. However, most of their presentation was spent discussing the plans for next year as current Junior Nick Sannito spoke about the Overlook Junior Board’s plans for 2018 and beyond. He explained that their current goal is to raise money for the Movement Disorders Program at Overlook. This program helps care for people with Movement Disorders such as Parkinson’s and Tourette’s, but the Junior Board’s goal is not to raise money for the hospital itself, but rather for social workers. They hope to raise enough money to fund the salary of a social worker to come in and care for the patients and their families as they try to get through this very difficult time in their lives.  Therefore, the Overlook Foundation Junior Board is looking for all our help to raise enough money for this salary so that the families and patients have someone to try and make their lives as easy as possible in a very difficult time.

 

Next came a presentation regarding Operation Smile from Thomas Paglinco and Jack Sildat. Their presentation included informational videos from Operation Smile regarding the dire problem they are trying to combat and how anybody can help. Here at OP, members of this group meet twice a month and run many fundraisers including pretzels sales at soccer games and a $3 dollar donation to wear sneakers on one specific day during the school year. All of these funds go towards raising money for cleft palate surgeries on underprivileged kids in poor areas throughout the world. These surgeries are crucial for these children as they reduce bullying levels, improve living styles, reduce mouth disease, and lead to a better, safer, and cleaner daily life.

 

Following Thomas and Jack was a presentation from Fernando Aviles regarding the Blood Drive Program at OP. He explained that the two blood drives run at Oratory each year are crucial endeavors that everyone who came donate blood should participate it. Fernando truly stressed the importance of giving blood as every two seconds someone needs blood and that over 36,000 units are used every day in just the United States, which adds up to over 21 million blood products used each year. Therefore, it is truly paramount that every percent of the 38% of Americans eligible to give blood donate during blood drives, instead of the measly 10% of the population that donates.

 

Next came one of the most interesting presentation from the event as it even featured a guest speaker. OP’s second to last presentation of the day centered around Juvenile Diabetes and was led by Aidan Jones. He first spoke about the most common form of Diabetes, type 2, which can be avoided by a proper diet and exercise. However, this was not the focus of his presentation, which instead centered on Type 1 Diabetes. This is the most common form of Juvenile Diabetes and is not easily preventable as it is not caused by poor diet and exercise. It is instead caused by genetics, viruses, and certain environmental factors, most of which are almost impossible to detect. In Type 1 Diabetes, the individual does not produce any insulin which can lead to a build up of glucose and cause Heart, Blood Vessel, Nerve, and Kidney Damage, as well as pregnancy complications and even unconsciousness.  Even worse, there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, only medications to lessen the symptoms.

 

This is why organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation were created to raise money and awareness to help fight Type 1 Diabetes. This organization raises awareness by connecting the community through One Walks, Kids Walks, Rides to End Diabetes, and many others. Aidan concluded his presentation by inviting up JDRF representative Stacy DiArchangel who spoke about the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes starting April 16th at OP. This week long event helps to raise awareness, funds, and community outreach through celebratory walks, hanging paper feet throughout the school, raising money, and prizes. All of these things go a long way to reaching JDRF’s goal of eradicating Type 1 Diabetes from the world.

 

Finally, Student Council President Patrick Heffernan spoke about the Make-A-Wish program beginning at Oratory Prep. OP has partnered with Saint Joseph’s University to sponsor a child named Nick and help him reach his wish of going on a Disney cruise with his parents. In order to accomplish this goal, the Student Council is planning on selling Make-A-Wish t-shirts to raise the funds necessary to send Nick on a cruise. Each t-shirt costs $10 with all the proceeds going directly to Nick and his goal. Congratulations to all of the service clubs in action throughout Oratory Prep and the surrounding communities, and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

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