It’s a tradition that Lisa Abbenante, executive director of The Tomorrow Fund, described as “really incredible.”
Abbenante was on Cherry Hill Monday to accept another “extraordinary act of giving” from the Johnston High School Student Council. Abbenante was all smiles as she joined Emily Raposo, Nicholas Petrillo and Caleb Lee for the proud student group’s annual donation, which Monday totaled $1,150 for The Tomorrow Fund.
That sum was the result of the Student Council’s annual “Dress Down Days,” which Raposo – who served as the group’s president during the 2018-19 academic year – said “came from the students at JHS, faculty, staff and even administrators.”
Perhaps even more impressive is that teachers donate money after enjoying a Student Council-hosted breakfast on the designated morning of a Dress Down Day.
Johnston High School faculty members like Greg Russo, who doubles as the Student Council advisor, said it’s a trend that has “very much been part of our school for at least a quarter-century. During one 10-year span, we donated upwards of $10,000 to The Tomorrow Fund.”
He added: “Our Dress Down Days are held on certain Fridays and the members and officers from the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes arrange to be at school at 6:30 a.m. to prepare refreshments for the staff prior to their arrival.”
This time around, as Russo noted while watching Raposo present Abbenante the check, “we again were able to present over $1,000 to The Tomorrow Fund, which is a huge help to families who have children being treated for cancer.”
Russo, as well as Raposo, thanked faculty and staff for their contributions to “this worthy cause.”
“While we were raising the money, I always knew it was for a good cause, but I never understood the full picture of it,” Raposo said. “Back during Homecoming we had a car [in the parade] with kids that were part of The Tomorrow Fund community, and seeing them nearly brought everything into perspective. We got to see how our contributions were going to and drove us to want to help more.”
The 2019 Johnston High School graduate, who left an impressive mark during her four years on Cherry Hill and will enroll at Rhode Island College in September, concluded: “It was an honor being able to hand the check to Lisa because we know out small contribution could help a family in need.”
Abbenante simply smiled and stepped back saying: “With respect to the incredible donation from the Johnston High School Student Council … the Tomorrow Fund relies heavily on community support, so it is greatly appreciated and particularly meaningful to us when young people are able to demonstrate caring and compassion that directly makes a difference in the lives of others – in this case, children with cancer.”