“Going to a new high school can be a difficult thing, as a freshman… it is absolutely frightening! Last summer, I began thinking of ways to get more involved at my new school, Cathedral Catholic High School. I knew Cathedral had a great reputation for academics and sports. I would definitely try out for soccer and track. What if I didn’t make it? How would I get to know anyone then? Freshman orientation told us about several of the clubs on campus. It seemed to me that a club might be just the thing to get involved in. I just couldn’t decide which club and I knew I wanted to benefit children in some way.
“While talking to my mom, she reminded me of all the times I had volunteered for Rady Children’s. I’ve volunteered since I was about 3, when I got to just stand outside for about 10 minutes to sell Kid’s NewsDay papers. My mom is an Auxiliary member and like most Auxiliary member’s kids, I have worked many events. I had my own visit to Rady Children’s, for a concussion in 2006, but that’s another story. So we started talking about a Rady Children’s Hospital Club.
“My mom suggested I talk to David Gillig, Senior Vice President of Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. Mr. Gillig was so nice and he introduced me to Amanda Austin, Community Development Officer. Ms. Austin was super helpful, always returning my emails and calls.
“Now, how was I going to get Mr. Deely, our school principal, to let a freshman start a club at Cathedral? I needed some help, no….that’s HELP! I think I must have been the luckiest freshman ever, I had a terrific Biology teacher, Mrs. Palmiotto, and she is AMAZING. I asked her to be our Club Moderator, and she not only said yes, she even baked cookies for Club Week at our school! Now it should be simple right? The most important part was just coming up. My mom knew some Auxilians that had kids at Cathedral. I thought the first part of setting up a club was hard, now I was going to call all of these students I didn’t know and they didn’t know me!
“My first call was to Frank Fink. Frank’s mom has been President of the Auxiliary. Fortunately Frank was super nice and ready to help. Frank is Vice-President this year. When I was done with my calls we had what I call our Founder’s Circle: Me, Frank Fink, Kelsea Lickert, Sam Todd, John Todd, Amanda Oliver, Matt Boehmer and Tom Boehmer. All of these students volunteered for a job right away.
“The club currently has 50 members. We set our sights on becoming an Auxiliary Miracle Maker. One of our members, Lauren Weintraub, chaired Shamu & You. Matt Boehmer, who is a senior at Cathedral this year, chaired Kid’s NewsDay, and we sold newspapers at Cathedral this year! These two events allowed us to become a Miracle Maker. Since then, we have prepared brown bags, personal care bags and craft kits for the Hospital. We are getting ready to sponsor our first carnival booth at the La Playa Celebration of Champions Event in May. It’s called ‘Marshmallow Madness’, so look us up at Celebration of Champions. See you there!”
Lauren Sullivan, President, RCH CLUB, Cathedral Catholic H.S.