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HHS Medical Club hosts benefit dinner for two juniors battling cancer

Miss Huntley and Miss Lake in the Hills crowning Julia Peluso and Jessica Diaz. (Photo courtesy of B. Governale)

On Friday night, HOSA hosted a benefit dinner for two HHS juniors: Julia Peluso and Jessica Diaz.

The night had been planned for some time and took a lot of preparation. Members of HOSA had to sell tickets and advertise to get as many people to come and support as possible.

Peluso and Diaz were lucky enough to meet before the event, and their friendship is only just beginning to grow.

“It’s kind of reviving and soothing to know that you’ve got someone who knows what you’re going through emotionally every day because not everyone understands that,” said Peluso.

Leading up to the event, though, Peluso was really nervous.

“I just cried a lot because I didn’t know what to feel,” said Peluso.

Her tears would soon be moved to a feeling of gratefulness as she spent the night with friends, family, and members of the community supporting her and Diaz.

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The night began at 6:30 p.m. with appetizers and an introduction from the HOSA President, Brian Russo. Madison Kerley, junior at HHS, sang and played guitar. Dinner, which was sponsored by Buona Beef, was served afterwards. During dinner, there were performances by Kate Emmel and Sophie Dowell who performed a skit and Abby Rodriguez, Erin Saulog, Cheska Ramirez, Andrea Sy, Audrey Cruz, and Samantha Miranda who all sang together.

When dinner was finished, Miss Huntley Maddy Moffett and Miss Lake in the Hills Ashley O’Brien each gave speeches. Moffett praised Peluso and Diaz for being so courageous and strong. O’Brien shared her personal struggle with cancer and applauded the girls’ bravery. The queens then called Diaz and Peluso up to the stage to be crowned and for pictures.

Following that, Kevin Adams, Kyle Adams, and Kerwin Chong performed a hip hop dance while. Then Freddie Jjr and David James sang two original songs of their own. Junior Caroline Baran also sang two songs and was accompanied by Joel Bosman on guitar.

After all the performances were done and the guests were finished with cake, the raffles were drawn for the 80 baskets that were all donated for the cause.

The night proved to be successful as the turnout was large. Every table in the cafeteria was full with supporters. Senior Danielle Katz has been a dedicated member of HOSA for all four years of school and was surprised by the outcome.

“I’m so proud of everyone and I’m so happy with the turnout,” said Katz.

She was not the only one delighted, as Peluso was also overwhelmed with the amount of support.

“I felt so awkward and weird, but grateful and stunned at the same time, I barely knew what to feel,” said Peluso.

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