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C-NS SADD group aims to give students a safe place to go after the ball

Cicero-North Syracuse High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions group is putting on an After the Ball Party after the school's Senior Ball to discourage students from getting into trouble. As an incentive to encourage students to attend, Burdick Toyota has donated a car for one lucky student to win. Pictured with the car are, from left, SADD President Sarah Knickerbocker, club co-advisor Michele Barbagallo, Tori Florczyk, co-advisor Sara Villnave, Anna Doren and Kayla Ventura.

Cicero-North Syracuse High School's Students Against Destructive Decisions group is putting on an After the Ball Party after the school's Senior Ball to discourage students from getting into trouble. As an incentive to encourage students to attend, Burdick Toyota has donated a car for one lucky student to win. Pictured with the car are, from left, SADD President Sarah Knickerbocker, club co-advisor Michele Barbagallo, Tori Florczyk, co-advisor Sara Villnave, Anna Doren and Kayla Ventura. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— Villnave and SADD expressed deep gratitude to Burdick for the generous donation.

“We are so thankful to them to do that,” she said. “I cannot say enough about them over there donating this car. I’m sure that they’re feeling it in their wallets, and they continue to donate a car year after year after year. Really, with just a phone call from me. And for the past two years, they’ve also been donating to Baldwinsville, too, so they’re donating two cars to area districts.”

Other sponsors include the C-NS Optimist Club, Byrne Dairy, Starbucks and the CanTeen. Everything else is paid for by SADD, which raises money throughout the year. In addition, $5 from each ball ticket goes toward the event.

“It’s kind of like that saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” said co-advisor Michele Barbagallo. “We’re counting on the help of all of these people in the community, because we cannot do this alone.”

That said, the group would love to see more community support in the future.

“In the future, we’d love to make this bigger,” Villnave said. “As you can see, there’s just a scattering of us, and it’s a lot of work. I know that some other districts do huge events. They have a lot of community support. The parents are the people who do it. If we could get more community support and make this event even bigger, we would love that.”

Though the club is small, its members take pride in the fact that it is entirely student-driven.

“All of our clubs are student-driven,” Knickerbocker said. “We’ve been taught that if you want something, you have to work for it. I think that all of the loss has kind of taught us that we have to be there for each other. We care what happens to our classmates, and we don’t want to see something bad happen because we all have these bright futures ahead.”

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