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Students to Raise Money for Rare Disease Research

By Pete Barell
Arts and Entertainment Editor

A fundraiser for Huntington’s disease research will be held on the Great Lawn in front of Hillwood Commons on Wednesday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event, organized by senior Film major Michael Mirabella, will involve student donations and culminate in visuals that include a release of balloons into the sky. These balloons will have info cards about the disease, meant to literally, as Mirabella puts it “raise awareness.”

Huntington’s disease is a rare genetic condition that affects and breaks down nerve cells in the brain over time. Mirabella will be operating a table for the event, as well as have a film team present to produce an online video. Funds will be donated to the Huntington Disease Society of America, an organization that Mirabella has been in contact with to help guide his process. “They are participating by supplying brochures about the disease to [hand out] to students, and will likely be sharing the video,” Mirabella said.

“I had been interested in doing something charity-driven for a while,” Mirabella added. “Given my background in film, I figured I’d make some kind of charity video, which led me to consider getting the whole school involved since it wouldn’t be much of a fundraiser if it was just me walking around with a balloon.”

After contacting Campus Life Coordinator, Arianna Livreri, Mirabella was able to branch out and involve several clubs in the project. These clubs, who will participate in the video, assist in running the donation table, and setting up the event include Circle K, Do Something, and the Kickline team.

“We’re leading the [interested] students out to the Great Lawn with a small routine. Then as the balloons [are] released we will be in front of everyone doing a small dance routine as well,” said Emily Lagonigro, a junior Criminal Justice major and president of Kickline.

Mirabella decided on fundraising for Huntington’s disease research after a conversation with his brother, who is a doctor. “I asked him what a good disease is to raise money for that is fairly unknown,” he explained.

LIU Post has been home to several fundraising events, including cancer research, arts fundraisers, and even an effort to save a slaughter- bound miniature horse by the equestrian team. The university will hold their Relay for Life event on Friday, April 17 at 5 p.m.

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