Hundreds of students joined members of Syosset High School’s Interact Club and school administrators on the football field at Syosset High School to welcome a 9-year-old girl from Kosovo that received a life-saving heart surgery, thanks to the club’s outreach efforts.
The Syosset School community introduced Rina and her mother, along with Kosovo’s UN representative at the 50-yard line during a ceremony kicking off the seven days of surgeries that took place the week of May 18 all over the world.
The operations are the culminating event of a year-long campaign conducted by the Interact Club called “7 in 7,” representing the goal to pay for seven surgeries on seven children in seven continents in seven days. The surgeries are intended to correct children born with congenital heart defects, a fatal condition that claims the lives of thousands of children in underserved parts of the world.
Playing off the club’s theme “Superman Saves Lives, So Do We,” the Interact students and their supporters donned blue Superman t-shirts and gathered around the perimeter of a massive Superman symbol painted midfield to represent their solidarity in the year’s efforts.
Rina was scheduled for surgery on May 20; other children receiving the operation hail from every inhabited continent on earth. An eighth child, a Syrian refugee, will also receive the corrective surgery as the club’s “World Peace” recipient.
The club has raised $60,000 in its campaign to pay for the surgeries and travel expenses for each child. Funds were raised through raffles, donations, an online campaign, a viral video campaign and a district-wide Cupcake Wars event that drew in more than $12,000.