DI Team Benefitting Cancer Patients
(Photo: The Holidaze of the Future Destination Imagination team based at Indian Creek Middle School is raising money and items for cancer care packages to support local patients as a service learning project. Items are being accepted at any Indian Creek school through Dec. 6 and will help others while also enabling the team to compete in the activity, which includes the Region 17 competition at Union Local this spring. Members include, front from left, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Lnog and Isabella Wilson. Back: Arabella Brown-Hess and Sophia Tongate.)
The Holidaze of the Future team based at Indian Creek Middle School is competing in the service learning challenge as part of the program formerly known as Odyssey of the Mind. The challenge engages students in public service while addressing real-life community issues and members decided to collect money and items to create cancer care packages for local patients. They are conducting their drive from Nov. 5 to Dec. 6 and want to show their support to those currently fighting the disease.
Team members include sixth-graders Arabella Brown-Hess, Khloe Buchanan, Harper Long, Sophia Tongate and Isabella Wilson and are coached by Lisa Longo-Mayle. Longo-Mayle said the packages will include hats, scarves, a “Stronger than Cancer” T-shirt, queasy drops, Chapstick, throw blankets, cozy socks, snacks, water or ginger ale, puzzle books, tissues and lotion. Donations are being accepted at all Indian Creek school offices or may be sent to Longo-Mayle, who teaches first grade at Hills Elementary.
The challenge is a win-win because the team learns about service while also helping others.
“Everyone knows at least one person that has been affected by cancer,” said Tongate. “We want to use this as an opportunity to give back to people just like those we know.”
Buchanan added that the team has worked together for some time and were ready to participate in the upcoming event, which has been impacted by COVID in recent years. Longo-Mayle noted that they meet each Tuesday at Hills to prepare and this was the team’s second service learning project. She said it gives them a chance to give back as well as compete.
“Coaching these girls for the last five years, we have become like a family,” Longo-Mayle continued. “We want to show the love and compassion we have built for one another to others affected by cancer. We hope to make a small difference in someone’s life.”
The team is expected to compete March 5 at the Region 17 Destination Imagination contest at Union Local in Morristown. Hundreds of students from 14 school districts compete in various challenges with seven to 15 teams generally taking part in the service challenge category.