On June 6th, the closing ceremony for “Can Tabs for Kids” was held at William Floyd Elementary School.
“Can Tabs for Kids” began with an idea in 2010 from 11 year old Maria Marks. Maria was born with hepatoblastoma which was a cancerous tumor on her liver. With 20% chance of survival, Maria began chemotherapy treatments at two weeks old until she was five months old. She beat all odds and is now 10 years in remission. Maria has suffered a hearing loss because of chemo treatments and is doing fine. When she was in the third grade, she noticed the school announcing fundraisers for diabetes awareness and for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, but there were no fundraisers for childhood cancer awareness. Maria wanted to give back and help children with cancer like her. She brought that to the attention of school officials and at that time, her parents, Peter and Nancy Marks got involved in the Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Can tab bins were placed in all municipal buildings throughout Islip and Brookhaven townships and in many schools as well. Each week, the bags were taken out of the bins and brought to Gershow, where the contents were weighed and recycled. Gershow received approximately 2.2 million tabs from the students, weighing a total of 1,234 pounds and worth $673. Each year, Gershow matches the dollar amount raised and this year, $1346 was donated to the Sunrise Fund.