For Forest Hills Senior Sidney Kakabar, Alzheimer’s isn’t just another diagnosis or condition in the medical community. Her grandmother spent time in the Arbutus Park Manor ‘Crossroads’ unit and it made a significant impact on Sidney. When the student leadership of the Forest Hills Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) was looking for a service project, she had a meaningful idea. As Vice President of the club, she began planning over Thanksgiving break for the event which was held on February 1, 2018. A special Forest Hills boys basketball game would be the avenue to raise awareness and funds that would be split between the ‘Crossroads’ unit at Arbutus Park Manor and the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Association.
Preparations began with FBLA creating several posters to promote the event and holding advance sales for a special t-shirt. A school-wide ‘Dress Down Day’ was held to raise funds, and a ‘Purple Out’ promotion invited spectators to wear purple to the game. Proceeds from the concession stand and a basket raffle with over $90 of donated Mid’s candy also raised funds. Vo-Tech students were involved in putting in purple hair extensions for students and fans, and made cake pops for sale, along with creating the shirts. The opposing team Bishop Guilfoyle, whose school colors are purple and gold, supported the concession stand and basket raffle in a big way. Staff from the ‘Crossroads’ unit and members of the Alzheimer’s Association attended and assisted with the event, along with other teams from the Alzheimer’s walk to be held in Windber on September 22. The event was covered by WJAC, raised $1,000, and was the biggest attendance of the season.
When asked what she learned from organizing and executing the fundraiser, Sidney said “If you have the opportunity to do something, do it- you will accomplish it and make it a success.” Sidney will be attending Seton Hill in the fall as a Biology Pre-Med Major. She aspires to be a neurosurgeon, so she can treat the conditions that affected her grandmother.
Sidney thanks those who were instrumental in making the event such an incredible success: Mrs. Makin- Advisor, Bethany Fetsko – FBLA President, along with FBLA members Connor Freidhoff, Nathan Long, Jason Wissinger, Forest Hills Pharmacy, Brian Johns, Georgane Haluska, and Joanne Weaver.