In the beginning of February, many volunteers gathered in the library of the Hendrick Hudson High School for the kickoff of the annual Leos Club Stay Awake a Thon, a night dedicated to raising money for cancer research and for assisting cancer patients. The kickoff began with the Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem sung by student Amanda Quinones. The Leos set up a bake sale and a mock campsite to demonstrate what the Stay Awake a Thon is like and gave a tutorial on how to join a team. A slide show was shown with pictures from the previous years and information on what this exciting night entails. Tina Sturver, a guest speaker, spoke about Happiness is Camping, a free summer camp for kids with cancer, and is a beneficiary of this year's Stay Awake a Thon. After, Isis Kline spoke for the Kathleen Marks foundation with a touching personal story to remind everyone why events such as this are so crucial to our community. There was a demonstration of the luminiere ceremony; a candle- lit walk in honor of those who have battled cancer and those currently facing it, along with a touching poem. The cancer survivors who attend received carnations (compliments of Forever Yours Flowers) and an inspirational song was sung to close the kickoff. The Stay Awake a Thon will be on May 4th from 6pm to May 5th 6am. The Stay Awake a Thon goal is $70,000 and proceeds will go to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, Hudson Valley Hospital Cancer Center, Happiness is Camping, and the Kathleen Marks Foundation. Funds will be raised by individuals and teams before the event, by their team the night of the event, and by sponsorships from local businesses. The Leos Club is expecting another successful night of fun activities within this caring community.