Even in the face of life-altering tragedy, an outpouring of love from young people can help ease aching hearts.
To that end, student representatives from 12 school districts, including Hampton Bays, Riverhead, Southampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton and Westhampton Beach, are set to converge on the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park and cook the 100 plus residents a gourmet meal on Sunday.
The Ronald McDonald House offers parents and families of sick children a place to stay and much-needed support, when treatment is needed far from home.
The event is sponsored by Kids Stock the House of Southampton, which was founded three years ago by Donna Oliverio and aims to foster kids helping kids.
"The enthusiasm for this event is high. It is going to be awesome," said Oliverio, who enlisted the help of Steve Zacharski, a former executive chef.
Zacharski, who is now a physical therapist and co-owner of All Star Physical Therapy in Center Moriches, will assist the students in preparing the menu, which includes stuffed mushrooms, sausage and peppers, penne a la vodka, baby back ribs, roasted new red potatoes, chicken Marsala, stuffed shells, and eggplant rollatini.
Also participating in the event will be Elise Vertefeuille, National American Miss Teen 2011 and Mrs. Michele Herger, Mrs. Suffolk County 2012.
In preparation for the event, Kids Stock the House students at Hampton Bays High School are holding a food drive for the house's pantry. The students hope to bring to the event a truckload of supplies, including canned goods, soups, napkins, paper towels, peanut butter and jelly, paper plates, plastic spoons, cereal, and oatmeal.
During the event, which starts at 1 p.m. with dinner served at 6 p.m., Kids Stock the House representatives will name two students as “Leader Among Leaders.” Awarded will be Hampton Bays High School seniors Kimberly Castro and Daniela Gutierrez.
Oliverio said, “I am proud of all my volunteers, especially my youth leaders and members, and I admire and am honored to serve the resident families of the House.”
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For more information on Kids Stock the House, visit them on Facebook here.