Farmingdale High School freshman Mia Smith welcomed former Islander hockey player Steve Webb to the high school last Wednesday to sign a team jersey and hockey puck and present them to the winners of her Make “Cents” out of Breast Cancer raffle fundraiser. Weldon E. Howitt Middle School art teacher Audra Donroe was the winner of the jersey, and Weldon E. Howitt Middle School guidance counselor Pablo Lizana won the puck. A handful of students—all big Islander fans—were invited to attend the presentation, which was followed by a short Q&A with Mr. Webb.
The raffle was part of a fundraising campaign that was launched in 2014 by then elementary student Mia Smith. Mia was inspired to create her campaign—Make “Cents” out of Breast Cancer— after her mother overcame a breast cancer diagnosis. With the encouragement and support of the Farmingdale School District, Mia began with coin collection boxes, asking students to bring in their loose change. Now, every October, the district observes Pink Out Day, when students, teachers, and administrative staff all wear pink in support of her cause.
"Mia demonstrates the power of empathy and self-efficacy for the cause of breast cancer research. She is a wonderful example of service in our community,” said Farmingdale High School Principal Dr. Samuel Thompson.
Today, with the help of her sisters—Ani, Kai, and Ella—Mia manages a school-wide campaign, with multiple fundraising events at various schools. This year was her best year of fundraising yet—netting an incredible $8613.73. To date, her charity efforts have raised nearly $35,000—all donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
“I really can’t believe how much Make “Cents” out of Breast Cancer Campaign has grown over the years! To be able to do this with my sisters, cousins, friends, and the entire Daler community is so special. We are already looking forward to making next year bigger and better, with the ultimate goal of ending breast cancer!”
“None of this would be possible without the incredible support from the staff and students of the Farmingdale School District and the entire Daler Community,” said Mia’s mother Lisa Smith. “The countless hours of research that will be generated because of these donations will surely affect the lives of women everywhere.”