9 Wilmington Teens In Church Youth Group Raise $26K To Provide Cleft Lip & Palate Surgery To 105 Kids

WILMINGTON, MA — On Monday, April 22, 2019, the Parish of the Transfiguration’s Youth Group presented Krysta Mochi, a representative from Smile Train, with a check for $5,250. With a five-time match program offered by Smile Train supporting companies, this donation totaled $26,250.

Smile Train, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is an organization that provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children in 85 countries. These impairments make it difficult for children to eat, speak, hear and causes isolation, depression, abandonment and sometimes death.

The money raised by the Youth Group will pay for surgeries that will transfigure 105 children’s lives.

The Parish of the Transfiguration of Wilmington and South Tewksbury’s (made up of St. Dorothy and St. Thomas Churches) Youth Group is a part of the Faith Formation program under the direction of Deborah Casey. It is comprised of five seniors and four juniors, who were confirmed in the church’s Faith Formation program. The Youth Group is run by Diane Garrity and its members include: Nathan Curdo, Stevie Daley, Mike Fiorenza, Emma Garrity, Julia McLaughlin, Ben and Ryan Packer, Anna Rideout and Chris Stokes all of Wilmington.

The Youth Group raised the money by using proceeds from three of their fundraising events combined with donations from the group’s family and friends over the last four months. Contributions were also received from many Faith Formation families and catechists. In addition, the Rotary Interact Group, Rotary Club of Wilmington and the Wilmington Sons of Italy and members of the Tewksbury Sport Club also made generous contributions.

“It was heartwarming to see our Faith Formation students get excited when they dropped their dollars and change into our collection jugs and then put a smiley face on our tote board. The team members and students were all thrilled when we announced we had reached our goal and that they were a part of this life-changing accomplishment” said Diane Garrity. “I am very grateful to my youth group for their efforts on behalf of Smile Train and I am blessed to be working with my wonderful colleagues Deb Casey and Jean Jordan, for their continued support with our endeavors.”

This effort was part of an Almsgiving project by the Youth Group and Faith Formation students during the Lenten season. This Lent, the teenagers dedicated their time, talents and personal donations for this fundraising campaign.

“Our original goal was $2,500 but with the generosity and support of our parish community, we were able to more than double our goal! I am very proud of my ‘Team Transfigure’ who have made a positive impact in over 100 children’s lives,” added Garrity.

Smile Train
Front Row (L to R): Ryan Packer, Julia McLaughlin, Ben Packer, Diane Garrity, Krysta Mochi (Smile Train), Nathan Curdo and Emma Garrity.  Back Row (L to R): Mike Fiorenza, Chris Stokes, Stevie Daley and Anna Rideout.

(NOTE: The above press release & photo is from The Parish of the Transfiguration’s Youth Group.)

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