Luciana Debenedetti and James Edward stood beneath clouding skies, helping children of all ages master the lollipop throw. Do it right and win a prize.
For Debenedetti, a senior at Winston Churchill High School and Edward, a junior, the lollipop throw was more than just fun and games The funds that they raised at their stand at Churchill's second annual Community Carnival were donated to Invisible Children, a nonprofit that seeks to eliminate war in Uganda and to save child soldiers from being forced into short, violent life tracks.
"All of our proceeds are going to the organization," said Debenedetti as she passed out stickers and hawked T-shirts and DVDs for Invisible Children. "You can't even imagine what their lives are like."
Their day was going to get longer. As rain moved through the D.C. metro area Saturday afternoon and evening, the two planned to take part in a sleep-out on the mall in the nation's capital, an event also designed to raise money and awareness for their cause.
Their booth at the carnival was one of many, and each raised money for a wide variety of charitable organizations.
From throwing a pie in a friend’s face, to testing ones strength by swinging a mallet to dunking a teacher in a dunk tank while munching on a hot dog, Saturday's event was about fun and charity.
"It's a really good cause," said Edward.
Churchill sold more than 1,000 tickets for the carnival, said Churchill teacher Matthew Schilling, advisor to the school’s Student Government Association.
Roisin Magee, Churchill’s outgoing student government president, said that advertising to Churchill’s feeder elementary and middle schools was key. She completed the obstacle course, and said it was one of her favorite parts.
“I’m actually happy with how many Churchill students turned out,” Magee said. “It all ran pretty smoothly.”
—Aaron Stern and Alex Scofield