Felician College alumna Amy Strafford (’04) is giving her students an important lesson in helping others.
Every May for the past six years, Amy, a pre-K teacher at Corpus Christi Elementary School in Hasbrouck Heights, organizes a school-wide fundraising event for multiple sclerosis research.
The school’s student body – even the 3- and 4-year-old pre-K students -- don their walking shoes and participate in a symbolic “Walk” through the halls of the school and through the neighborhood to raise awareness for the devastating disease.
“The children are very excited to participate in this walk, even the little ones,” said Amy, who became involved in fundraising efforts after her brother-in-law Joe Revello was diagnosed.
“It’s amazing that this small school raises the money that it does,” Revello said.
To date, Corpus Christi students have raised more than $65,000 in for MS research.
“It’s not only about the money, but it’s teaching the children that they can make a difference,” Amy said. “It’s all about life lessons, and the values that are part of who we are as Catholics. The lessons I learned as a Felician graduate are what we can bring to the table every day of our lives.”
The annual Walk for MS is one of the school’s biggest fundraisers, said Amy, noting that the school does not keep any of the funds raised.
Lisa Futterman, Development Officer for the MS Center at Holy Name Hospital, Teaneck, was on hand for this year’s event.
“For these children and their teachers to care so much, well, I’m personally thrilled,” Futterman said. Holy Name is one of the only certified MS centers in the tri-state area.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and attacks the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed down or stopped.
Multiple sclerosis affects between 250,000 to 350,000 men and women in the U.S. every year.