Yale for the Kids, a student group that works to support patients and families served by the Smilow Cancer Center and the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, collaborated with the Sophomore Class Council this past Friday to host a fundraising event to benefit mental health and wellness care for patients at the two hospitals.
Several dozen people attended “K2 for the Kids,” which was held at the Asian-fusion restaurant K2 New Haven on Temple street and raised a “modest amount of funds,” according to Bennett Byerley ’19, founder of Yale for the Kids and SoCo representative for Saybrook College. Attendees purchased tickets for the event, and the proceeds from the sales went toward the event’s cause.
“From talking with the doctors, every little bit helps in this area,” Byerley said. “We helped to fund a few more hours that a child psychologist can spend with each patient … We hopefully gave these kids a few more smiles as they battle against cancer and that makes it worth it.”
The SoCo decided to work with Yale for the Kids after seeing the group’s success in hosting a similar event last school year and running a toy drive in December, Berkeley College SoCo representative Jason Hu ’19 said.
While SoCo leadership will be changing next year, Hu said he hopes the new council members will continue to plan events with groups like Yale for the Kids that work to give back to New Haven. He added that those SoCo representatives who will serve in Junior Class Council next year will continue to look for similar opportunities.
Lexi Hopkins ’20, who attended the function, expressed her enthusiasm for its cause.
“I was really passionate about children’s hospitals in high school,” Hopkins said. “I used to run a dance marathon at my school for the Children’s National Medical Center, so I definitely thought it was a good cause to support.”
The number of attendees at the event tapered off as midnight approached. Laszlo Gendler ’20, an attendee, said he was surprised by the low participation.
“I went to the K2 event to wrap up my already exciting night as well as to help the kids. When I got there, to my surprise, there were not very many people still there,” Gendler said. “I felt bad at first because of the low turnout, but I still was happy that at least some money was going to these kids.”
Byerley said that although he would have wanted for the event to be better attended, he was happy that the group achieved its goal of raising money for a good cause.
“We plan to put together as many events as we can and try out many different ideas to raise as much funding as possible for this cause,” he said. “We’re still working to find ways to improve and make our events more effective.”
Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has campuses in New Haven and Bridgeport.