By Janee Law
Students of Northport High School National Art Honor Society were hard at work last month, crafting origami cranes for a good cause.
The art honor society and other students at the high school set out to fold 1,000 cranes for Camden Lawson, a 3-year-old boy who has cancer and is going through chemotherapy.
Constance Sloggatt Wolf, artist and art educator at Northport High School, is the great aunt of Lawson and said that she was able to deliver the cranes to his home in California on Dec. 30. During the time she delivered the cranes, Lawson had caught a fever and was being treated in a hospital in Sacramento, California.
“Hopefully since everyone was folding with a wish of good health and prosperity and a prayer he will get better,” Wolf, who is also the advisor for the National Art Honor Society, said. “I know that when Camden feels better he’ll get [the cranes] and he’ll enjoy them.”
The origami crane is a powerful symbol for loyalty, nobility and beauty, according to 1000cranes.com. In Japanese tradition, anyone who’s shown commitment and patience to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish because they have demonstrated what the crane symbolizes.
As they were folding their cranes, Northport High School students wished for good health for Lawson.
“I’ve been folding cranes with kids for most of my career at the high school, teaching them how to do origami,” Wolf, of Huntington, said. “I’ve always asked them if they wanted to fold the cranes but they never had a really good reason until now.”
Wolf said she mentioned the idea to the art honor society co-presidents, Zac Rodriguez and Mary Stahl, who decided to have an event on Dec. 14.
Both art honor society students and non art honor society students folded 500 cranes the day of the event.
“We got a bunch done that night but once a person catches on to it, if they really like it, they become addicted,” Wolf said, adding that students would take some paper and continue folding cranes at home.
By the time Wolf was ready to deliver the paper cranes to Lawson, around 60 students folded a total of 1,000 cranes and strung them together using 15 long lines of string, Wolf said.
She added that students wanted to participate because they wanted to help Lawson.
“It was important for the kids to do something for a little child,” Wolf said. “We do all kinds of fundraisers but this was a very repetitive, meditative practice, an act of compassion for the high school students to do so it was really important to them.”