October 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Remembers Beloved Teacher by Donating to Komen Foundation

Demarest, NJ: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2018 has been particularly poignant at the Academy of the Holy Angels, where the school community is remembering teacher Karen Sullivan Camporeale, who lost her battle with cancer in May. This month, AHA raised $3,848 through a Jeans Pass and a soccer game. All proceeds are being forwarded to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Camporeale’s honor.

AHA Social Studies Department Chairperson Gail Fair has coordinated the Academy’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month fundraisers each fall for over 20 years. She reported that the school community was moved to work together in Camporeale’s memory this October because the beloved business and technology teacher was considered family by so many at AHA.

Camporeale was a member of the AHA Class of 1988, and was president of the alumnae association at the time of her passing. Her daughters followed in her footsteps by enrolling in AHA for their high school years.

Fair explained that Equality Now, a student organization moderated by social studies teacher Christopher Petrozzo, promoted the Jeans Pass and collected donations from each homeroom. Many students and faculty members participated in this event, which gave contributors the option to dress down by wearing jeans to school on a designated day.

AHA Varsity Soccer Head Coach Bill Potkulski and Assistant Coach Sean Liddy were behind the successful soccer fundraiser.
“After Karen’s passing this past spring, Coach Sean Liddy and I wanted to organize something in her honor. We wanted to recognize Karen’s battle with breast cancer, but we weren’t positive how we would do so,” Potkulski said. “Not only did Karen have a lasting impact on AHA, but her family is a major part of the AHA community.”

Potkulski and Liddy opted to fundraise at a soccer game held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Together, the coaches selected the October home game against Northern Valley Demarest.

“This was fitting since AHA Softball travels to Demarest on a yearly basis to play in a breast cancer awareness fundraiser for them,” Potkulski explained. “We figured it would be perfect to keep the relationship going on the soccer field. Demarest happily agreed to participate by wearing pink shoelaces and giving a donation on their team’s behalf.”

The coaches organized a T-shirt sale in advance of the game. Members of the AHA community were encouraged to purchase a pink shirt that featured AHA Athletic Director Patti Gorsuch’s slogan, “A Cure Worth Shooting For.” The design featured soccer balls in place of the O’s. Approximately 325 shirts were sold, and proceeds from the sales of the shirts, pink shoelaces, food sold at the concession stand on game day, and online donations were sent to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“Just as importantly, the Camporeale family was touched by a sea of pink that showed up to support the family and team during our largest AHA Soccer turnout on record,” Potkulski continued. He added that he and Sean Liddy also created the #Team_Camp to show support for the family.

Carlo Camporeale recently established a fund in his wife’s name.

“Moving forward, we would like to make this an annual event in which we donate to the Karen Camporeale Fund in place of, or in addition to, the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” Potkulski reported. “We will be open to other suggestions and different ways to make this an even bigger and better event in the years to come.”

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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