The Clarkstown North National Honor Society participated in Cablevision’s Power To Learn: Charity Champions event this year, an inter-school competition of charitable efforts where the winning school receives $5,000 for the charity they worked for.
North didn’t win the Hudson Valley division, which went to Warwick Valley High School, but on Friday, North’s National Honor Society hosted another fundraising event for Adina’s Angels anyway. The nighttime event, Adina’s Night Out: Acts For Adina, featured 10 performances from current North students.
Adina’s Angels is a non-profit that helps children with siblings who are critically ill cope with the struggles and emotions, as well as everyday family challenges, that come with having an ill sibling. The foundation was formed by Paula Berkowitz and named for her daughter, Adina Berkowitz, who died in 2010 after a four-year battle with leukemia. Shortly before dying, Berkowitz graduated from North.
“It’s an amazing support to the family,” said Susan Berkowitz, Adina’s aunt, who was in attendance Friday night. “They really stand for something, and for them to reach out to the family and help is just amazing.”
Adina’s Night Out had been in the works since the beginning of the school year, according to Andrew Costa, co-president of the National Honor Society and an organizer of Friday’s event. He also MC’d the night and played two songs on the piano.
Costa said the idea kept getting pushed back further into the school year, and the real planning for Fridays’ event started in February or March. Throughout the year, the group has sold rubber bracelets at the school that read “Adina’s Angels” on the. For one week, they had a table in the hallway and sold bracelets and collected donations. So far, Costa estimates they raised about $1,500 for the charity before Fridays’ event.
About two weeks ago, the group held auditions for the show, which also featured a silent auction to help raise even more funds for the charity. The auction featured gift cards for local businesses, a tool set and more.
The performances were quite varied, with a few musical acts and more. Mitchell Abrams performed a magic act with the help from some assistants from the audience. Tayler Malcolm and Benu Sunny signed along with a song and Rathna Ramanathan told a story. The music acts featured some solo performances, as well as a few clubs from North that started just this year: the Glee Club and Mugen Daiko, a Japanese-style drumming performance group.
“Their commitment to putting on a good show was amazing,” said Steve Ozer, Adina’s uncle.
Costa said he would love to put on another show for the charity next year if the school will allow them to. Part of the reason why Adina’s story resonates with Costa, he said, is because around the same time she died, a good family friend that grew up with his father died of leukemia as well.
“I love this charity,” he said.
While Costa never knew Adina, he said that while working with the charity he’s heard that she was outgoing and always personable.
“I wish I knew Adina,” he said.
Susan Berkowitz said that even when her niece was in school, her illness forced her to be home schooled quite a bit.
“She couldn’t really be around all the germs and everything,” Susan Berkowitz said. “So for all these students that never met her, or didn’t really know her that well, to put on a show with their remarkable displays of talent, it just means a lot to the family.”
Adina’s Night Out Performances:
- Femi Popoola performed “Something From A Fairytale”
- The Glee Club performed “Rolling In The Deep”
- Mitchell Abrams performed a magic act
- Tayler Malcolm and Benu Sunny signed “Love The Way You Lie” and Malcolm signed “Hero”
- Rathna Ramanathan told a story
- Andrew Costa performed “The Medallion Calls” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
- Jessie Alcheh performed “Sunday Morning”
- Jeanine Siegel and Athena Favorito performed “Rumor Has It”
- Soul Squad performed a dance routine
- Mugen Daiko performed taiko drumming