Nearly 2,000 Middle School 137 students, teachers, administrators and parent volunteers on an overcast Tuesday morning ambled around a section of Ozone Park to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and awareness of a disease that currently affects as many as three million American families.
“This is incredible,” said Dean Brian Iken as he watched students file out of the schoolyard and athletic fields to begin the Walk to Cure Diabetes. “To donate to this wonderful cause is amazing; especially for our outgoing 8th Grade, because it gives them a lasting memory of being part of this school and community.”
Gary Feit, a dean who is retiring later this month after 34 years with the city Department of Education, characterized the trek as a mutually beneficial event in which the charity gains fundraising and awareness support as the participants are exposed to civic contribution.
“You learn about how to empathize with people, how to understand their situations,” Feit noted. “I believe in teaching citizenship and responsibility. [Students] should know about what other people are going through.”