Leesburg, Va. (August 16, 2014) – Last summer Geena May and Lexi Graham, two rising seniors at James Madison High School in Vienna, Va., took over as presidents of their school’s National Science Honor Society (NSHS). In pursuit of a project, the girls called all the local hospitals to see if they were in need of any help. Luckily for Loudoun County, the only hospital who returned the girls call was Inova Loudoun Hospital.
Inova had a desire to build a children’s play area in the emergency waiting room. What they needed was $30,000 to make it a reality, a challenge Madison’s NSHS took up and one Geena and Lexi were determined to achieve. Madison’s NSHS faculty sponsor, Thao Hollingsworth, expected it to take five years to raise the amount, a time estimate Inova administrators also agreed with, but the two Madison seniors disagreed.
What followed was a year of active fundraisers including “dining for a dollar” events at local restaurants, a 5K race, catered dinners run by students and a talent show. In addition to a number of anonymous donors, both the Vienna Rotary Club and children’s author Cindy Chambers pitched in, and to everyone’s amazement the Madison NSHS raised over $30,000 just in last school year.
This past Friday, Inova Loudoun Hospital had the official ribbon cutting to mark this impressive achievement. Inova Loudoun Pediatric receives 20,000 children a year and countless siblings who will now have a place to play while waiting for their brother or sister. The children’s area has an ambulance and a large version of Chamber’s “Beamer the dog” to play on, books, children’s television, a padded floor and a childproof area where children can play safely. Illustrations on the wall were provided by the “Beamer the dog” series illustrator.
Not only is Inova Loudoun appreciative of this generous gift, but impressed with the leadership of Geena and Lexi and the hard work and dedication of Madison High’s NSHS.
Madison NSHS is not done yet though. They will begin this fall raising money for a teen center at Inova Fairfax. As for the graduated presidents, Geena May is off to the University of Texas in Austin to study mechanical engineering and Lexi graham will be attending the University of Virginia for pre-med.
Good luck to these two young ladies and a heartfelt thank you from all of us in Loudoun County.
An interview with Geena and Lexi can be seen by clicking here.