By Janee Law
Every year, students across grades 1-8 at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in East Northport decide on an end-of-the-year project. This year, the 20 participating classes, banded together to aid a cause that stretches far past East Northport. They’re raising money to build a medical clinic for a village in Kisoro, Uganda.
A total of $85,000 is required to build the clinic, which would be constructed in the home village of Father Vian Ntegerej’Imana, associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua.
One of the participating classes, the 6th grade religion class of Govinda Willard, hosted its fundraiser on Saturday, a basketball tournament that raised more than $2,000. These funds will be combined with other funds raised by other classes, and tallied Saturday on the final day of the school’s “Young Stewards' Day Fair.”
The round-robin basketball tournament was held in the gymnasium of the Trinity Regional School, drawing around 34 athletes from the Catholic Youth Organization, eight students from Willard’s class and 20 volunteers.
Students also enjoyed a video game tournament booth, a face painting station and got to chat with members of the Columbia Lions, the NCAA Division I 2016 CIT Champions. Five of the Lions put on a halftime dunk show during the fundraiser.
Funds were raised through a suggested $5 donation at the door; a bake sale; and 50/50 raffles. Each player was also asked for a $25 sponsorship in order to participate in the event.
Willard said more than 70,000 children in Uganda die every year because of lack of medical care.
The other classes at Saint Anthony of Padua Church are also raising funds through events like a car wash, bake sales, a walk-run, returning soda bottles. Some of the younger students are doing chores in order to earn funds for the cause.
“We had people put across our path who are in great need of things that we have so easily,” Willard said, adding that the students were moved by this notion. “They really wanted to help when they heard about this situation, and I just wanted to help them achieve their goals to help the people in Uganda who are in need.”
For more information about the medical clinic, contact Willard at email@example.com.