Bellmore-Merrick students walk the runway for a cause


The students of John F. Kennedy and Sanford H. Calhoun high schools performed a fashion show and raised over $10,000 for charity on May 3.

The fashion show was part of the Senior Experience program for the schools, which gives students the opportunity to have professional experience outside of classes.

"Senior experience is a program that combines English and Social Studies, and incorporates an unpaid internship, which allows seniors the opportunity to experience the real world and to prepare for the next chapter of our lives," said teacher and Senior Experience liaison Anthony Lotito.

For over a decade, the schools have held an annual Fashion show to fundraise for an organization, which is specifically chosen by the students. The cause this year is, a humanitarian organization with the goal to end the clean water crisis in developing countries. uses the money raised to build a well in a developing country to provide clean water for people who have difficulty reaching it. Water affects many aspects of living and without it people in developing countries are presented with fewer opportunities.

Since its inception, the Senior Experience program has led to students raising over $100,000 for several charitable causes, including donations to Invisible Children and Reason 2 Smile.

Janet Goller, currently a Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District Board of Education trustee, helps create the fashion shows. She has been involved with Senior Experience for many years and acts as the lead adult volunteer.

"The Fashion Show gives many of our seniors an opportunity to not just strut the stuff,” said Kennedy High School Principal David Seinfeld, “but to create memories that will last a lifetime.”

— Andrew Garcia