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WHS Genesis Club Visits Fenway For Community Event

By Miara Sasdi

On Thursday, May 10 a handful of students from Westborough High School’s Genesis Club took a trip in the Ranger’s van to Fenway Park. The reason for this special excursion was to volunteer at the National Genesis Foundation’s On the Field at Fenway Park event.

The Genesis Foundation for Children’s mission is to support children with genetic disorders, rare diseases, and disabilities in order to help them reach their full potential and lead happy, productive lives. The day at Fenway is an annual event for the foundation where patients and their families are welcomed to participate in an exciting and unique day as they get to spend the day on the field, experiencing special activities.

Some of these activities include batting from home plate, catching baseballs off the Green Monster, taking photos with the World Series Trophies, pitching in right field, experiencing the batting cages down in the dugout, and meeting Red Sox player alumni. Volunteers consisting of both teens and adults help to make an enjoyable day for the patients and their families.

WHS  students along with the Genesis Foundation staff and other volunteers started off the day at Fenway Park with welcoming the patients and their families in addition to holding up signs to help direct them. The event opened with an inspiring ceremony where the foundation president, Matthew Hoffman spoke. The Latham Award was also officially received by fifteen-year-old Lacey-Mae. The Latham Award is given to one patient who shows exceptional positivity and spirit despite severe health concerns, and this year it was awarded to Lacey-Mae. She works hard to advocate for dwarfism awareness and anti-bullying. Lacey-Mae and her family joined on the field where she accepted her award.

In addition, Diya Mathew and Alexa Vassilakis, President and Vice-president of the WHS Genesis club were also invited by the main doctor for the Genesis Foundation and the WHS club’s personal contact, Dr. Nowak, to join the rest of the Genesis Foundation staff on the field. There they presented a check to commemorate the amount of money the club had raised so far in the year. Throughout the course of the 2017-2018 school year, the club has raised $1636.

A few days before arriving at Fenway a generous matching donor had anonymously matched the amount they had made donating another $1636, doubling their check to a grand total of $3272. This was a very exciting announcement to be made for the club, especially standing on the field of Fenway Park.

After the ceremony, the day went underway as all the fun started. The teen volunteers from the club along with other volunteers helped to keep the day running smoothly as they assisted in making sure the groups of patients and their families were organized as well as having fun and interacting with them.

Mathew shares her experience as “rewarding. We have worked this whole school year to raise money for many children and families, so it was so nice to put their names to faces and physically see the difference that we were making.”

The WHS volunteers were also allowed to enjoy the day for themselves as well. Along with the patients and their families, they also took on the opportunity to bat from home plate of Fenway and enjoy receiving signatures from some former Red Sox players including Carl Yastrzemski.

The Genesis Club at Westborough High School revolves around raising money for the Genesis Foundation. The club was originally started by former Westborough High School student AJ Nowak, and is now currently run by sophomores Diya Mathew and Alexa Vassilakis with English teacher, Mr. Brown as the advisor along with a great group of club members consisting of students in all grades.

Although the event is over, the WHS Genesis Club is continuing to work hard through the end of the school year to fundraise more money for the foundation.  They are already excited and looking forward to volunteer at the event again next year.

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