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Students Open Eyes and Hearts

Island Harvest coordinator Doreen Principe, Port Jefferson Middle School Student Council adviser Allison Giannusa, former NFL player John Schmitt and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Leo Club co-advisers Brian Chalmers and Kristine Vaccaro.
Island Harvest coordinator Doreen Principe, Port Jefferson Middle School Student Council adviser Allison Giannusa, former NFL player John Schmitt and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Leo Club co-advisers Brian Chalmers and Kristine Vaccaro.

The Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Leo Club, led by teachers Brian Chalmers and Kristine Vaccaro, and the Port Jefferson Middle School Student Council, led by Allison Giannusa, welcomed Island Harvest coordinator Doreen Principe and former New York Jets center John Schmitt for a presentation about hunger on Long Island. 

In the fall of 2013, the two student groups organized a food drive for participation in Island Harvest’s "Students Feeding Students" challenge. The initiative works to lessen the hunger of students, enabling them to concentrate better on their schoolwork. The Port Jefferson team, who competed against schools islandwide, placed first overall by raising close to 4,000 pounds of food.

“The feedback from the teachers of students who received our food was overwhelming and inspiring,” said Vaccaro. “It was great to have Doreen and John commend the students and convey to them just how much of a positive impact their efforts had on those in need. The students were also given a certificate and trophy to commemorate their success.”

Most recently, the Leo Club raised more than 60 pairs of eyeglasses and sunglasses to donate to the charitable organization One Sight. 


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