‘Helping Hands’ to aid Prospect family

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Regional High School DECA chapter will lend a helping hand this weekend to a Prospect family.

On Saturday, the chapter will hold the first “Helping Hands Event.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Moscariello family of Prospect. Jeanne Moscariello died April 21 after battling medical issues for over eight years. She was 51 years old. She is survived by her husband, Ronald, and four children.

Woodland DECA member Madison Lisowski, a freshman, explained the event is a competition in which people place one of their hands on a school bus and whoever keeps their hand on the bus the longest will win gift cards donated by local businesses.

Lisowski and fellow DECA member Haley Wolfanger, a sophomore, came up with the idea after seeing a similar contest on an episode of “Zoey 101.” They thought it would be a good idea to do it for the school and the Moscariello family, Lisowski said.

When the Woodland Student Government hosted a touch-a-truck event earlier this year, Wolfanger said she thought it might have been the same contest. So, she asked teacher and DECA co-adviser Chris Tomlin, who also advises the student government, about it.

“He said, ‘No, but that’s a good idea,’” Wolfanger said. “So, we decided to put it together.”

The contest begins at 9 a.m. in the courtyard of the school, 135 Back Rimmon Road. Participants pay $10 each to compete in the contest, and all the profits will go to the Moscariello family.

The deadline to register is Wednesday. The event is open to anyone who wants to come, even if they aren’t competing. There will be food and refreshments for sale and live music. Donations for the family will also be accepted.

One of Moscariello’s daughters, Veronica, is a student at Woodland. Woodland DECA Treasurer Kristen Persico, a junior, said the chapter wanted to put on the event to help Veronica and her family.

“We also figured if we were doing something to help benefit a Woodland student’s family that more people would want to come,” Persico said.

That feeling was right.

Woodland DECA Vice President Shannon Pruzinsky said Veronica is very active in the school and a lot of people are interested in lending a hand to help her family out.

“A lot of people were excited we were doing it for her because she has a lot of friends and a lot of people want to help,” said Pruzinsky, a junior.

Tomlin said the DECA chapter, which started about two years ago, is continuing to find its way at the school and looking to carve a niche for itself by getting more involved with the community.

Tomlin and DECA co-adviser Jenna Broadbent said they want the Helping Hands Event to be an annual one that will benefit an organization or someone in need.

“We’re really trying to design it and look it at as something that’s not a one-off,” Tomlin said. “It’s something that could grow and hopefully eventually become a part of the fabric of Woodland, that this is yet another thing that you do as a Hawk.”

For more information or to register, email ctomlin@region16ct.org or jbroadbent@region16ct.org.