As the spring approaches, Winsor and Belmont Hill students alike are wondering about the status of Party with a Purpose (PWAP), given the constraints on social events and activities imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Party with a Purpose is an annual fundraiser event at Belmont Hill that benefits Boston Children’s Hospital and is coordinated by the PWAP team. The year’s team, led by Belmont Hill Seniors Matt Travaglini ’21, Doug Conigliaro ’21, and Zach Travaglini ’21, includes representatives from each participating school, such as Caroline C. ’21 and Ellie P. ’21 from Winsor. Though “all [of PWAP’s typical events] could not happen this year,” according to Matt, the group has found new ways to continue their work. Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, the PWAP team still hopes to raise money this year through selling merchandise and holding various smaller fundraisers.
As in person options for the Party with a Purpose event are no longer viable, the PWAP leaders are looking towards online solutions. According to Caroline, the entire PWAP team “met with our representative from Boston Children’s Hospital, and she gave us inspiration about what colleges have done” this year. Building off that meeting, Matt, alongside Doug and Zach, is “brainstorming about a potential virtual event in collaboration with other Dance Marathon efforts across the state.” As the year progresses, PWAP initiatives will adapt to changing conditions, and students will be given more information in the coming weeks.
One of the most integral and popular aspects of Party with a Purpose is the distribution of PWAP merchandise, and the team is prepared to continue this tradition in new ways this year. Matt says, “We are currently in the designing and developing part of the process, but we will be opening an online storefront at some point this spring so that we can maximize options and your merchandise can be delivered straight to your house.” This online option would streamline the buying process, as well as comply with COVID restrictions since the items may be delivered to students’ homes, reducing contact and minimizing risk. It may also allow friends and families of students to purchase items easily and, thus, bring in more donations for Boston Children’s Hospital.
Though the core PWAP event can not run in person, the PWAP team is in the midst of planning some smaller programs. Other than a larger Dance Marathon event with Boston Children’s Hospital, Matt said the team is “brainstorming about having a Belmont-Hill-specific virtual event with a keynote speaker, potentially some patient visits, and more.” In order to assist fundraising efforts, the event will likely have an entrance fee, along with some fundraising efforts inside as well. About this year’s limited opportunities, Matt says, “the biggest thing we need this year is just to keep the energy up!” He also stated, “this is an incredibly important event for many reasons: to honor the patients of Boston Children’s Hospital, to carry on the legacy of Maggie Ryan and the entire Ryan Family, who have done so much for the Belmont Hill community, and to put on an amazing, collaborative event with our neighboring schools.”
To ensure that Party with a Purpose will return successfully next year, the PWAP team has also focused their efforts on passing down their work to the next class. Ellie says, “another main focus this year is really just to leave the juniors and sophomores on the PWAP committee prepared to be leaders in the years to come.” Caroline realizes the importance of the planning, saying, “We hope that it is as successful as it can be this year and, even more, that we set it up for continued success in the future because PWAP is such a great cause!” Matt also believes “it will come back stronger than ever next year, and we want its energy and importance to stay with it.”
Though there won’t be a Party with a Purpose event in April this year, the PWAP team is committed to serving Boston Children’s Hospital through online initiatives, merchandise sales, and potentially in person activities at Belmont Hill. This spring, students can keep up the energy, motivation, and engagement that has defined PWAP in previous years through participating in the new fundraising opportunities. Look out for more information from the PWAP team in the coming weeks!