DOWNERS GROVE – For the Downers Grove South High School Fine Arts Department, the school’s annual philanthropic endeavor is personal.
Each year, the school selects one philanthropic cause, and students work together to raise awareness and funds to support the organization.
This year, students are raising money for Lungevity, the nation's leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization.
The school chose the organization in part because a staff member has been impacted by the disease. Eileen Moroney, the Fine Arts Department secretary for the past four years, was diagnosed in January 2016 with stage IV lung cancer.
Moroney last year created a video to propose Lungevity as South's 2017-18 philanthropy project.
The school’s Fine Arts Department will contribute to the cause by hosting the Lungevity Coffee House from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in the school's cafetorium. A $10 donation will be requested at the door.
The coffee house was the result of brainstorming by members of the Fine Arts Department, said Glenn Williams, department chairman.
“We thought it would be appropriate to do a fine arts-related event,” Williams said.
Attendees will enjoy performances by student musicians, including the school's Jazz Lab Band, madrigal singers and jazz ensemble. They also can participate in a silent auction of staff and student artwork. Coffee and a variety of treats will be served.
The initiative is especially personal for members of the Fine Arts Department, as they strive to raise funds and awareness for a colleague.
“It's hard to quantify," Williams said. "We’ve never done something this focused and this intense."
He added the coffee house "plays a small role in the overall campaign."
"Organizations throughout the school participate," Williams said.
The school will hold an assembly April 13 to cap off the year-long fundraising effort.