A student created, planned and led community fundraiser, all proceeds benefit NSSRA.
Saturday, April 27 • 9:30 – 1:00 pm • Kenilworth Assembly Hall
The Sweat Set Project (TSSP) at lululemon Old Orchard Presents Sweat Fest! Organized by a group of teens from nine north shore area high schools, Sweat Fest is a fundraising event on Saturday, April 27 with all proceeds benefitting NSSRA. Featuring a rewarding workout, great music and fun giveaways, the event includes three back-to-back 30-minute fitness classes followed by a musical performance from Molehill.
“TSSP is a group of high school students with a passion for fitness and service,” said Kam Gottlieb, a senior at New Trier High School. “We have been meeting since the summer to plan a fundraiser in collaboration with lululemon Old Orchard for a local charity.”
NSSRA was recommended to the group by a fellow student, Will Zordani of Lake Forest High School. “My friend Quinn participates in the basketball league with NSSRA. He has autism and I’ve been friends with him since first grade, so I’ve known about NSSRA for basically my entire life.”
A handful of NSSRA staff and participant Tim Siebert presented at the group’s December meeting to share the agency’s mission, work and impact. Recalling the evening, Evanston Township High School senior Sofia Boczkowski commented, “I was totally rooting for NSSRA! There was something special about you guys that we really appreciated.”
That night wasn’t Sofia’s first introduction to NSSRA. “As a sophomore, I ran the Best Buddies club at my school, and I helped start up the Special Olympics club at the time. We actually had a few students talk about doing NSSRA, and at the time I was working closely with the head of the special education department to try to incorporate the mindset of NSSRA into Special Olympics.” She continued, “when Will suggested NSSRA to us, it totally took me back to when I was 15 and trying to create this club at my school.”
“NSSRA was selected as the recipient for Sweat Fest because of the alignment of their mission with that of lululemon’s,” commented Kam. “Respect, inclusivity, and wellness were three that really jumped out to us as values of NSSRA that we found very similar to what we value as a club.”
The heart of the event is to promote wellness and inclusion in the community, values each student in TSSP is passionate about, and especially Will. “At my school, inclusion is not always met, at least in my opinion,” he said. “I’m friends with Quinn, but a lot of kids at our school don’t understand that he’s actually one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in your entire life and he’s actually very, very smart. People can’t seem to see through his autism, so I think our goal is to promote inclusion, and obviously to support NSSRA. That’s my whole goal with the effort, to promote inclusion and spread awareness.”