Student-run charity raises money for Children’s Cancer Center

Audrey Taylor, Staffer

Singers, poets and drummers came together to raise money to help kids at the Slam for Service event Sept. 8 at Tequilas in Ybor. 

This is the second Slam for Service that the event’s CEOsenior Payton Covelli, has organized. The donations are going to help purchase music and art supplies for the kids at St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Children’s Cancer Center.   

“I have a really big passion for everything in the arts—music, singingI do it all and I love it so much,” Covelli said. “I also really love volunteering with kids. When I volunteered I realized that they didn’t have the same access as I did to the arts, so I wanted to be able to give back to them.” 

In July of 2018, Covelli hosted the first Slam for Service to raise money to refurbish the arts center at the YMCA. At this year’s event, students performed to inspire and thank attendees for their donations. One of the performers was junior soloist Toni Keene. 

“When I was little, I had a lot of health problems and benefited from non-profits like the Ronald McDonald house,” Keene said. “It means so much to me that complete strangers could help me and my family, so I believe it’s important to do the same for others like me.” 

There were also many singers that performed, including seniors Katie Vincent and Katherine Edgar performing a duet, junior soloists Tess Lowke, Isabella Rodriguez and Avery Franks and senior Peyton Finn and Pawcapella. Junior Blase Roque attended the event and performed with Pawcapella 

“It was a good cause,” Roque said. “It felt nice to be able to give to the community with the donations.” 

Not only did performers sing, seniors Natalie Ulm and Alexis Perno performed poetry that they wrote and senior at Cambridge Christian School, Annabella Vivero, who has been drumming since she was six, performed a medley of songs. 

“I really enjoyed performingand I’m grateful for who the proceeds went to,” Vivero said. “I had a great time watching everyone perform.”  

At the event, attendees watched the performances, ate dinner and participated in raffles. The event created an opportunity for students and others in the community to support the arts and donate to charity. Covelli says that she is planning to make the event annual and donate the new materials in December and February. 

“I think it’s import for the youth of Tampa Bay to give back for the future generation,” senior Kennedy Logan said. “It’s cool that Payton does this and that everyone from Plant can come and support.”