Area students serve ‘Cups of Care’ for breast cancer programs


Fairfield County students served as Cups of Care hostesses to raise money for the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. Shown, from left, are (top row) Sarah Mcllroy, Sarah Desel, Liza Kottler, Kelly Karazulas, Amelia Sullivan, Lucy Stone, (bottom row) Gabby Alecia, Clea O’Neil, Abby Righter, Abby Greenlee, Zoe O’Neil and Katie Hinkle.

Fairfield County students in second through ninth grades raised more than $10,000 for patient care programs at the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center through a series of mother-daughter teas held in March and April.

Eight parties were organized by students and their moms who created decorations, prepared treats and served teas donated by the Bigelow Tea family. The money will be used to provide breast care services to women in need.

A final celebration, held on June 1 at the breast care center, honored the young hostesses.

The tea parties, which got middle school students involved in community service, were inspired by the high school student-led Catwalk for a Cure fashion shows, which raise money for the breast care center.

Teen tea advisors included three volunteers from the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center, Lynne Taikowski, Amy Desel and Katherine Sullivan, who assembled a committee of middle school students to come up with a model for the teas. The students became excited about the project and making a difference in the lives of women in the community.

“The girls grew up through hosting the teas,” Taikowski said. “They became leaders. They grew before my eyes.”

The girls transformed their homes with themed decorations and activities and made snacks like cookies and crust less sandwiches.

Each young woman formulated her own ideas for her tea. A few created art projects, such as decorating tea cups for patients in treatment. Others made speeches about why the events were important.

Attendance was strong, with more than 50 guests attending one tea.

Abby Righter, a second grade hostess, came up with the series’ name, Cups of Care. She and her mother, breast care center events coordinator Robin Righter, welcomed Renee and Abby Greenlee of Westport to the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center, to tour the center and present decorated tea cups to patients in treatment.

The committee plans on organizing another series of teas next year,” Taikowski said. “People are knocking themselves over to help. It helps spread the word.”

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