Students and staff at East Hampton High School are planning to raise money for two local families that have suffered devastating losses in recent months.
A talent show on Friday will benefit Laini and Kiah Wright, both East Hampton High School graduates who lost their mother, Dee Wright, during Superstorm Sandy in October. Meanwhile, a bowl-a-thon on Sunday will raise money for the Mansir family of Springs, which includes four children — one of whom attends the high school and two young children that attend the Springs School — who lost their mother, Tara Loper Mansir, to cancer, just days before the storm.
“It is wonderful to see how our community comes to support anyone who is in need," said Adam Fine, the high school principal. "This has become part of the culture of our school and our kids continue to champion humanitarian causes."
Andrea Hernandez, a high school spanish teacher who is involved with organizing both events, said the students are working hard to make both events a success.
The talent show already had 11 or 12 acts as of Monday, ranging from dancing to acting, Hernandez said. All proceeds will go directly to Laini, a 2011 graduate who was a member of their team when she was a student, and her sister, a 2007 graduate.
"Laini was on the dance team throughout high school. We wanted her to know that she would always be apart of the dance team. We thought it would be appropriate," Hernandez said of the talent show. She said it was the dancers idea to put the benefit together, as many of them have danced with her throughout the years.
Along with dance team coaches Lea Bryant and Tracee Van Brunt, Hernandez helped organized the event.
Kiah Wright said she and her sister appreicate the support from their alma mater. "It means a lot, to know that just because we've graduated, we haven't been forgotten," she said.
Teachers — one whom she hadn't seen since kindergarten — have reached out to them since their mother passed. Their father passed away several years ago. "We've seen the community of Montauk and beyond come through for us in the past month."
The show begins at the high school on Friday at 7 p.m. For those who don'’t perform, tickets to the event are $5.
Later this weekend, on Sunday, the East Hampton High School Key Club will host the bowl-a-thon at East Hampton Bowl. The lanes will be open from 1 to 4 p.m., and will cost $10 an hour (including shoes). The community is invited to participate. For lane reservations, contact Andrea Hernandez at the school or at (516) 383-1674.
Hernandez said the Key Club, which works with the East Hampton Kiwanis Club, hosts a bowl-a-thon for a different family in need each year (Last year, the bowl-a-thon raised money for Lisa Craine and her children). Sharon Buckler, the president of the Kiwanis Club, had suggested the Mansir family as a recipient this year, and soon after, so did Andrew Silipo, the student leader of the group.
"We want to gear this toward a younger crowd, more of a family environment," Hernandez said.