By Janee Law
Melville 17-year-old Jordan Belous has been an unstoppable force during her campaign to raise funds for pediatric cancer research through her nonprofit, Whip Pediatric Cancer, which has raised $93,000 since August 2015, and she recently hosted another event focused on helping families affected by pediatric cancer.
The second annual Skate for GOLD was held at the Dix Hills Ice Rink over the weekend and gave families affected by pediatric cancer the opportunity to enjoy a day of skating for free.
“To see the kids who literally have had their life flipped upside down skate is just amazing,” Belous, a senior at Half Hollow Hills High School East, said. “There was really good feedback from it last year so we wanted to do it again and make it even bigger and better this year.”
Belous said the idea behind Skate for GOLD was originally inspired by her own passion for skating.
The event drew around 160 people, along with more than 50 volunteers, including players from the Long Island Hawks, Long Island Rebels and the Long Island Royals hockey teams.
There were also tattoos, face painting, snacks and a photo booth. By selling t-shirts and bracelets, Belous said the event raised over $1,000 for her cause. The funds go directly to pediatric research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The Huntington Town Board twice passed resolutions approving use of the ice rink and free skating for the participating families.
The families who attended this year loved every minute and Belous plans to continue Skate for GOLD as an annual event moving forward, she said.
Since she started the Whip Pediatric Cancer movement in August 2015, Belous has raised over $93,000 for pediatric research and has now set her eyes on exceeding the $100,000 mark. She has also gained over 54,000 Facebook followers through the initiative.
The Melville teen has also formed relationships with kids all over the world, traveling to seven different states to visit children in hospitals.
Belous has also started other fundraising campaigns to further increase raising funds for pediatric cancer research, including the Heart of GOLD program.