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Belmont Merchants Help Students Raise Funds

Belmontonian Community Service Club At the beginning of February, the American Cancer Society (ACS) announced the results of the teams participating in their 2015 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer High School Challenge. It is official! The Belmont High School team raised $15,890 dollars and ranks no. 2 of the more than 50 teams participating in this year’s challenge.

The Belmont High School Belmontian Community Service Club members, who coordinate all efforts of the team, are thrilled with their highest total to date, but gratefully acknowledge that this could not have happened without the support of so many in the community. As Co-Presidents Alexia Stefanovich and Samantha Kelts, both BHS seniors, commented, “We are ecstatic that we surpassed our goal and could not have done it without the support of BHS and the entire Belmont community. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our fundraising activities. Our success would not have been possible without each and every one of you."

The club sold student-designed t-shirts and breast-cancer items to students, staff, parents, and the Belmont community at many events and venues. Champions had the shirts printed at a discounted price. Faculty wear jeans one Friday each month in exchange for a donation to the ACS, and they even agreed to sport pink hair if their department received the highest amount of contributions in the Hot Pink Finale (Thank you, Math Department. You looked great!) .

Many Belmont and Cambridge residents gave generously to the team at both the Belmont and Mount Auburn Star Markets, which allowed us to solicit on their sites. At Pinkapalooza, the annual, Belmontian Club-sponsored day for students and staff to wear pink and contribute to the team, Belmont merchants contributed to the event through donations of merchandise and gift cards as door prizes. They included Aram’s Café, Body Trio, Gregory’s House of Pizza, Jenny Boston, Marmalade, Patou, Quebrada Baking Co., Rancatore Ice Cream, Revolve, Robert’s Salon and Spa, Stone Hearth Pizza, Subway, Terra Firma, The Toy Shop of Belmont, and Westcott Mercantile.

The club held its annual day where members dried cars at Belmont Car Wash (BCW), and received from BCW $1 a car and all of the tips as a contribution. Hammond Residential Real Estate and Hollingworth 5 & 10 offered generous checks to the team. Finally, nine merchants offered breast cancer promotions, earmarking a percentage of their sales on a particular day to the breast cancer cause through the BHS team. They include A Chocolate Dream, Bells & Whistles, Bertucci’s (at Alewife), Bessie Blue, Body Trio (this promotion lasted nearly a month), Champions Sporting Goods, Moozy’s, Nick’s Place II, and Thirty Petals.

In 1999, when a couple of Belmontian Club members joined Community Service Coordinator Alice Melnikoff in walking in Making Strides, they never considered future growth of the activity. Yet, each year the numbers, energy and commitment have increased. When Making Strides introduced the High School Challenge several years ago, the club decided to expand its activities beyond the walk, to include the community in the fight against breast cancer. In 2012, when the club first reached and went on to surpass the $10,000 mark, the group was stunned by the amount of money we were able to donate to the breast cancer efforts of the ACS. Fast forward three years, and the club is poised on the edge of $16,000 raised for breast cancer education, prevention, treatment, patient care, and research.

Stefanovich and Kelts look at what really matters to the club, “It's great knowing that our efforts are making an impact in the lives of families affected by breast cancer. Being able to make that difference is more rewarding than any ranking we achieved."