Although the annual (MHS) Walkathon was organized in response to an overwhelmingly sad event—the untimely death of a courageous MHS student, Talia Cohen, from a rare form of cancer—each year’s event honors Cohen’s memory by raising money for cancer research and giving hope to those living with the disease.
According to a story originally posted in the Larchmont Gazette, Cohen was diagnosed with a kidney tumor as an eighth grader at . Cohen battled the cancer for two years as she continued to attend school and live the normal life of a teenager. She passed away at 16, but her memory lives on each year that the Walkathon continues.
In the past, the Walkathon has donated funds raised from the event to Hopes and Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund, an organization that supports programs and pediatric cancer research at the Herbert Irving Child & Adolescent Oncology Center at Columbia University Medical Center. Cohen’s oncologist was affiliated with this hospital.
This year, however, the MHS Student Council—the organizers of the event—will be working with a different charity.
“All the proceeds that we raise from this event will go to Cancer Support Team, a Mamaroneck-based non-profit organization that provides a wide spectrum of support including transportation to doctors, counseling, and helping to pay for medication,” said Ella Volpano, a junior student council member.
And, although the name “Walkathon” implies that a lot of laps will be completed around the school’s baseball track, the event has evolved into more of a community get-together centered around fun activities, said Volpano, rather than simply logging miles on the pedometer.
“Since it is a new cause, we have ‘reinvented’ the event,” she said, adding that new activities will include a dunk tank, a caricaturist and a photo booth in addition to oldies but goodies which, in past years, have included a cake walk, raffle prizes donated from local stores, tie-dying, henna tattoos and live student bands. This year the ukulele club, “BUS”, “Second Hand Kevin”, “The Garbage Men” and “The Martins” will perform.
The Walkathon will take place on Tuesday, June 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the MHS baseball field and is open to the community.