Nonnewaug Continues Reputation as LLS’ Most Spirited Fundraiser


NHS Events Planning Committee/Instagram

The Event and Planning Committee sold red-out applies during the winter spirit week to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Rachel Dionne, Reporter

WOODBURY — Every year, Nonnewaug High School and many other Connecticut schools host a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Not only does Nonnewaug fundraise, but the school holds fun and creative days throughout spirit week, including student-planned events. It’s proof that nobody does it as well as Nonnewaug does. 

“Nonnewaug in the LLS community is known to have the greatest spirit with this endeavor. No other school shows as much spirit and enthusiasm for the event,“ says Tricia Brown, a math teacher who organizes the event each year. “I am personally very proud of all involved and thankful for everyone who wears red.”

At Nonnewaug, the red-out spirit week started in 2020, when Brown’s daughter, Katie Brown, was a student visionary for the LLS. The inspiration came from Katie’s first-hand experience with leukemia.

Katie was only 3 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia,” Tricia Brown said. “She went through 2.5 years of treatment. Today, she is cured because of the research that LLS has done. She started the red-out idea as a way to raise funds and awareness.”

Many schools since then throughout the state have joined in the efforts to raise money. 

This year to raise money, the fundraising group at Nonnewaug sold bandannas, bracelets, T-shirts, and pom poms, and students could buy chain links for their class competition.  

Wellness teacher Dave Green and nurse Sandy Snabaitis support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society buy buying their red-out apparel for the week, including bandannas, T-shirts, and bracelets. (Genieva Pawlowski)

The spirit week lasted from Feb. 6-10. At the end of the week, students and staff gathered in the auditorium for a pep rally in honor to show our support and appreciation. 

During that week, Nonnewaug raised $5,663. However, LLS fundraising is not done with more ongoing fundraisers at the high school and middle school, so the number is expected to go up. 

“Team CALL – Chiefs Against Leukemia and Lymphoma – has until March 24 to raise money,” says Brown. “They are competing against 14 other teams in the state in hopes to be the team that raised the most funds in a seven-week period.” 

Junior Maggie Keane, Skylar Chung, and Sam Duncan are hosting many events to still raise money. 

We have a LaBonne’s bake sale coming up on March 19 from 11-3, as well as a possible volleyball clinic hosted by the middle schoolers,” says Chung. “We are also looking into doing a 3-on-3 basketball tournament [March 10].”

“We have gone to senior centers and food chains like Panera and Chipotle as well as local Woodbury businesses to ask for gift card donations,” says Keane. 

In the upcoming years the vision is to have all of Woodbury declare a red-out day, Brown said. 

People can donate to the campaign at any time. They can go to the Instagram account, @nonnewaug_lls, and click the link in the bio to donate. All proceeds go to blood cancer research and helping those affected by it.