Iceland “freezes out” all competition in annual festival to benefit St. Judes


Emma Wilenta

On Friday, April 8, the Cultural Communications Club hosted their annual cultural festival to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Students formed groups to represent countries from around the globe, creating displays around the halls of the school. Some countries included Spain, Poland, Norway, India and Thailand.

A judging panel, which consisted of CCC council members and faculty, surveyed each display of the night and chose winners. Greece took third place, Portugal came in second and Iceland in first place.

Iceland was chosen by a group of seven sophomore girls. They chose to recreate the Northern Lights using black sheets and a special light that was ordered online.

Sophomore Veronica Yaron of Little Silver, a member of Iceland, said she felt that this put their display over the top.

“Seeing some of the little kids faces when they came out of the Northern Lights was priceless; they just looked so happy and amazed,” Yaron said.

But Yaron said that the process did come with many challenges, including assembling their display inside a locker pod.

“The most challenging part was probably during the setup, when you have seven girls with the tallest maybe being  5’5”, trying to decorate a locker,” Yaron said. “We were standing on tables, using lockers as step stools, chairs, each other…”

CHS students, parents, friends and faculty members bought tickets at $5 in lunch or $7 at the door  to gain access to the event.

Freshman Liam Marshall of Sea Girt said he enjoyed his first festival and appreciated learning about different countries.

“My favorite part of the festival was definitely learning about all of the different cultures and trying all of the different foods,” Marshall said. “It was cool to see all the hard work come together and everyone really wanted to teach people about their country and its culture.”

But the purpose of the festival is not only to educate others on different cultures, but to also create a profit for a worthy cause.

CCC council member Mark Dispigna of Lincroft emphasized the importance of this event for the club. Ticket sales raised just over $2,900 according to Dispigna.

“The festival is always the most important event of the year for the CCC, because it generates the most money that we are then able to send directly to St. Jude’s,” he said.

Dispigna said he was extremely pleased with the event this year.

“I am personally so proud of how well the festival played out this year,” Dispigna said. “Everything seemed to run perfectly, and the CCC council could not have done it without the cooperation of everyone involved.”

Photo credits to Meagan McDowell