March 15 2017

Teen LIGHT Gets OK from Selectmen to Use Town Common for Annual Fundraiser Walk

By: Rich Hosford

There were a lot of young faces at Town Hall on Monday during the Board of Selectmen meeting who were there for a good cause.

Representatives from Marshall Simonds Middle School’s Teen LIGHT club were at the meeting to get permission to use the Town Common for their 9th Annual Walk for Teen LIGHT.

Teen LIGHT is a community service program that develops young leaders and promotes community service while raising awareness about issues affecting teens, a description from teacher advisor Cheryle Mantia says. Each year the students choose a cause and raise money throughout the year to help teens in need.

Since being founded eight years ago the program has raised approximately for $100,000 for causes that affect teens, including depression, child abuse, bullying, autism, poverty, mental health issues and illnesses such as cancer, Mantia said.

On Monday 20 middle school students from the organization engaged in the annual practice of each reading a part of a written statement that outlines the charitable project for the year, what they have been doing to fundraise for it, and to ask the board for permission to hold the 5K walk on the Town Common.

This year’s mission is to raise awareness and money in support of teens and children with cancer, the students told the board. They plan to give to organizations that work with the families of cancer patients, those that do cancer research and directly help local families.

To get the fundraising started the group made 4,400 chocolate lollipops and raised over $4,000.

They said their ambitious goal this year was to raise $20,000, both by fundraisers like the upcoming walk and also be seeking sponsorships from local businesses.

The members of the Board of Selectmen were more than happy to grant permission to use the Town Common and praised the students for their involvement in Teen LIGHT.

“It’s a great joy each year to say this: This is what makes us feel good about our future,” Selectman Bob Hogan said.” They have things they want to do to help and they work to do it.”

“This group comes before us each year and it’s obvious they have the enthusiasm to be future leaders in the community,” Selectman Mike Runyan said. :Thank you for your efforts.”

“This is fantastic, I hope everything works out,” Selectman Joe Morandi said.

Selectman Chris Hartling also praised the students and also said he wanted to acknowledge the adults who help them in their endeavors.

“Thanks to teacher and the parents for being supportive,” he said.

The 9th Annual Walk for Teen Light is scheduled for Saturday, June 3 (rain date of June 10) and will start and end on the Town Common. Registration will start at 10:30 a.m. and the walk will start at 11 a.m. The walk will be followed by food, music and events on the Town Common.


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