Source: The Good Neighborhood
By Seamus Gallivan
I got a note from Valerie Geraci, one of the champs of our Wordsmiths at Work ScrabbleFest competitions benefiting Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo & Erie County, about an effort undertaken by her daughter Sam and fellow students at Kenmore West High School. I spoke with Sam to get the scoop.
Tonight at Kenmore West High School (33 Highland Pkwy, 6:30p.m.), the Ken West Donate Life Club is hosting Trends for Transplants, a fashion show benefit forUpstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS). The $7 admission fee, along with proceeds from raffles, all goes to UNYTS and their mission to “enhance and save lives through organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation while maintaining respect for those who give the Gift of Life.”
Taking place in the school auditorium, the event will be emceed by Z101’s Jammin’ Todd Edwards and include a message about organ donation from the mother-daughter team of Danielle & Lexi Keller, the former inspired to go to work for UNYTS after the latter needed a heart transplant at the age of four.
Ken West Donate Life Club Treasurer Sam Geraci discussed the inspiration behind the event and how it’ll go down tonight.
What inspired you to organize a benefit for UNYTS?
We have a club at our school called Donate Life, there are 20 members. We wanted to find way to raise money to give back to UNYTS, and one of our friends had done a fashion show at Clarence High School for them – he gave us the idea, and we thought it would be really fun.
What motivates you to support UNYTS in particular?
One of the officers of our club – Anna, our president – her aunt passed away about ten years ago and donated her organs, and their family is really involved and loves the message. She’s one of my good friends and got me involved. It’s important to all of us, and it’s something a lot of kids don’t know about. We like to bring awareness to it.
Set the scene at the school tonight for us.
We’ll have two clothing sections – casual and formal – and there will be 26 models. TTNY is doing all of our dresses; Men’s Wearhouse provided all the clothes for male models; and Lotions and Potions did all the girls’ casual clothes. We’ll have a raffle, gift certificates, and gift baskets, with donations from places like Plum Pudding, Anna Grace, Urban Threads, and Hairworks Salon.We have a guest speaker from UNYTS, Danielle Keller and her daughter Lexi Keller – Lexi had a heart transplant when she was four, and Danielle works for UNYTS now. They’ll talk about the importance of organ donation and inform people in attendance about what UNYTS really does.
Our goal is to raise $1,000, but even if we don’t, we want to raise awareness to the cause and hopefully get more people involved.