SPARTA, NJ – Providing a little bit of color for children in the hospital, Sparta students stitched some bright pillowcases for the Ryan’s Cases for Smiles.  Sparta High School students Erica Di Santi, Sara Kujalowicz and Christine Tran “decided to team up with Ryan’s Case for Smile” as their community service project for this year’s DECA competition. 

Di Santi said, "We were all initially drawn to Ryan’s Case for Smiles because it is unique: the goal is not to cure cancer, it is to put smiles on the faces of those children that are struggling with cancer."

On Nov 23 the girls went to Deborah Ziegelman’s Modern Living class in the Sparta Middle School during their marketing class period to make a presentation to the sixth grade students, eliciting their support.  Ziegelman and her students went to work making 30 cases for the project.

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Tran said, "We are so excited to be able to have the local community involved in this worthy cause." 

On Jan 11 more than a dozen high school students made use of the sewing machines at Sparta Middle School to cut and sew the brightly colored fabric donated by the organization. They had a templet to use as a pattern.  The organization’s regional coordinator Kathy Parker provided the material. 

"We are so grateful for the support of Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Ziegelman, Mrs. Chiappini, and all the others who were so willing to help us to expand this project, said Kujalowicz." 

The high school sewers were

  • Melissa Terhune,
  • Terry Carson,
  • Leya Siddqui,
  • Michael Witten,
  • Stephanie Chalef,
  • Kada Cernek,
  • Meghan Kilby,
  • Kat Buchanan,
  • Melissa Hansen and
  • Emma Biss.

Distributive Education Clubs of America or DECA is a club for Marketing and Business students at the high school.