PMHS sophomores plan fundraiser after cancellation of service trip due to Covid-19


As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak facing Westchester and the globe, two PMHS sophomores, Georgia Russello and Malia McLellan, have joined the members of our community who are forced reevaluate and respond to these scraped events. 

Russello and McLellan had planned on traveling on a service trip to La Guama in the Dominican Republic. Their goal was to build a school in the area. This trip was to be run by Pelham resident Dr. Michael Lahn, through the non-profit organization Bridges to Community.

However, as a result of the emergence of COVID-19 in our area, especially the high volume of cases in our region, the trip was called off. The risk of carrying a defenseless virus to an area without a similar level of healthcare outweighed the benefits of the trip. Russello and McLellan stress that the potential danger was bringing the virus to the rural community of La Gauma. 

Although the trip has been cancelled, Russello and McLellan continue the spirit of the trip by planning a fundraiser to push for with funds what they cannot accomplish in person. They aim to support the financial and labor burden that is now placed on Bridges to Community. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and construction fees. Regardless of the pandemic, the community is still in need of a new school, and the proceeds of this fundraiser will go to the construction of one. The two hope to raise at least $2,000 in donations.

They are motivated to mitigate the effects of the cancellation though this fundraiser. Russello says, “As much as I am disappointed that I cannot physically help in the community, I hope this fundraiser will be successful in raising some of the needed funds. There are so many scary things happening around the world right now, and I am hopeful that this fundraiser will have a positive impact on the village.” 

Currently, there is no specific date for this fundraiser, but it is expected to take place in the next couple of months.  McLellan expresses her goals for the fundraiser, saying, “I hope that with the funds, Bridges to Community will be able to complete this project of a new education building that is essential for the residents living in La Guama.”