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Students organize first ‘Walk in the ROC’ fundraiser

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 27, 2015


ROCHESTER — Three high school seniors are teaming up to unite the students of Rochester High School next month to raise money for breast cancer research.

RHS senior Garrett Perozich, who serves as president of the school’s Spanish National Honor Society, came up with the idea to host Walk in the ROC last summer and quickly enlisted the help of fellow seniors Trisha Gupte and Rashna Soonavala to organize the event.

Perozich, whose mother is a breast cancer surgeon, said he came up with the idea for the event to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

“We know that almost everybody in the Rochester community either knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who has been impacted by breast cancer,” he said.

Walk in the ROC is a two-part community event and fundraiser, to be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 7 on the RHS football field and track. All proceeds will go to the Karmanos Cancer Institute for breast cancer research.

Community members of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in a noncompetitive 1-mile walk around the track for a fee of $5 per person.

Following the walk, a number of high school clubs and organizations will host a fair on the RHS football field. Each booth will offer a food item or a family-friendly activity — such as a bracelet-making craft or a cannon launch game — and will charge a fee for participation, to be donated to the cause. Whichever club raises the most money overall will receive $150. There will also be a raffle with prizes donated by various businesses.

In addition to raising money for charity, Perozich said he hopes the event will help unite the RHS student body.

“We have several clubs, I think over 20, but the problem is that they kind of act as individual entities, and we saw that as a problem. We thought that maybe if we do an event where each of them has the option to participate, it would kind of create a greater sense of unity among them,” he explained.

Everyone is invited to walk or come just to participate in the fair, Perozich said.

“We’ve placed a big emphasis on getting high schoolers to come, but we also really want to make it clear that this is not just for RHS students. It’s for anyone in the Rochester community who wants to participate,” he said. “One of the biggest goals of this event is just to get everybody to come together.”

“I’m hoping that we will have a good turnout for it,” added Gupte, president of the Students Helping Others club.

Walk in the ROC organizers hope the event is a success and becomes a tradition that each RHS graduating class carries on.

“We thought that maybe it would become a tradition and other seniors could make it an annual event,” Perozich said.