While attending Our Lady of Hope in Middle Village, Crowe and Urbano sold well over 900 fuzzy koala bear-themed pencils for the Kiwanis club’s fundraising program, helping raise more than $2,000 towards curing maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).
“You just feel really accomplished that you could help someone that much by doing something so simple,” Crowe said. “It’s just a great cause to donate to.”
MTN takes the lives of nearly 60,000 babies as well as their mothers each year. Kiwanis and UNICEF have teamed up to raise more than $52 million through Project Eliminate, close to the halfway mark of their total goal.
The two local student and their families accepted the checks from Kiwanis members at Astoria Federal on Metropolitan Avenue last week.
Urbano recalled he and Crowe starting off their schooldays selling the pencils to their friends and being surprised by the response.
“We raised a ton of money,” Urbano said. “A lot of the kids really enjoyed the koalas and the pencils, but they really just wanted to help out the kids who have tetanus.”
This was the first scholarship award given out by the Maspeth Kiwanis Club this year, and Kiwanis president Al Gentile said he looks forward to next year.
“We hope to expand this to more students with more money next year,” Gentile said. “It’s our first initiative and we’re very excited about it.”