Finley Girls Dedicated to Making a Difference


One hot day at camp last summer, a group of 11 Finley Middle School 12-year-old girls who have known each other since kindergarten decided they wanted to do something special during their time away from school. It had to be something to help others…something that would make an impact for the greater good.

In the spirit of democracy, the girls discussed, deliberated and took a vote on how they could make a difference. Since many of them were in some way affected by cancer– whether it was a relative or family friend– they decided to call themselves the “Stitches for Joy and Cupcakes for Cancer” group. Combining their love of sewing and baking, the girls set a goal to raise $1,000 for the American Breast Cancer Foundation. In order to do this, they stitched together bracelets of joy and baked more than 500 pink ribbon cupcakes, then sold their products at various locations throughout the city of Glen Cove, including the Downtown Jazz Festival and the Morgan Park Beach Festival. Before summer’s end, this group of philanthropic pre-teens exceeded their goal by raising more than $1,200. Their effort spawned community action, as local residents began baking goods for further support.

Although they surpassed their summer goal, the Stitches for Joy and Cupcakes for Cancer group did not disband. They sold more cupcakes at the Jones Beach Breast Cancer Walk for a Cure held this past October and have since developed their own SJCC Facebook and Twitter accounts to spread the word on additional charitable events and activities to come. Ironically, these girls are all members of Kellyann Durham’s seventh-grade team at Finley Middle School this year, which helps them stay in touch with each other as they continue to expand their cause.

The Stitches for Joy and Cupcakes for Cancer members are: Grace Blinkoff, Alexandra Casale, Lindsay Dwyer, Karina Farruya, Amanda Heavey, Anna Kassar, Maria Krish, Sabrina Magrini, Michelle Melfi, Kayla Monahan, and Sara Tenke. To learn more about their upcoming activities and how you can help, find them on Facebook or Twitter by entering SJCC.