Mercy Benefit Concert Highlights Talent and Compassion

The 15th Annual Charity Mercy Benefit Concert was held recently at Walt Whitman High School. With over 300 in attendance, a variety of bands performed rock, jazz, funk, folk, punk, and more. There were raffles and cool booths with everything from cupcakes to henna tattoos. Rita's helped cool the crowd with Italian ices, and there were plenty of student made commemorative t-shirts and bracelets. There were even tarot card readings and a compliment booth.  This annual fundraiser collected over $3,000.00 for 2 local causes: Mad Dog Ride to Heal and Project HOPE. The event was coordinated by Walt Whitman English teachers, Joseph Pipolo and Melissa Papianou along with Xaxadu Literary Magazine, The National English Honor Society (NEHS), and the Sophomore Class Officers.

The Mad Dog Ride to Heal is a 4200-mile bike ride from Seattle, Washington to Huntington Station, New York.  The ride is a catalyst to raise funds for research to eradicate cancer, in loving memory of Mike Diviney. Twenty-five years ago, Mike died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma -- a disease that today would most likely be cured.  Researchers are making huge strides each day, week and year to better understand and fight cancers.  The Ride to Heal Foundation, (a 501c3 organization) is a perfect vehicle to raise money for two very worthy entities devoted to cancer research.  They are Dr. George Bosl at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (Mike’s oncologist) and the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation.  The Mad Dog Ride to Heal foundation has no employees, administrative or operational costs – everything is covered by volunteers.

Project HOPE is an organization formed by the youth of St. Hugh of Lincoln Parish in response to the hungry, homeless and unemployed in and around Huntington.  Through the operation of a mobile soup kitchen, food drives, clothing collections, and meals served on a bi-monthly basis; they strive to minister to those in need in our community.

Photo: Brian Krainer-a Walt Whitman graduating senior on acoustic guitar.