SMITHFIELD – Megan Nicholson, a senior at Smithfield High School, says she remembers her mother, Doreen Nicholson, as a friend who was taken from the world too soon when she died suddenly in 2018 from heart complications .
The Smithfield National Honor Society, of which Nicholson is a member, will honor Doreen and the hundreds of thousands of people who are affected by heart disease each year with the Smithfield High School Sentinel Legacy Gala on May 14 from 4-6 p.m.
SNHS has partnered with the American Heart Association for the fundraising event, which, although free, is expected to raise around $10,000 this year. The event raised $15,000 last year, Nicholson said, but with rising costs, she expects it to raise less this year. Some funds are used for the Doreen Nicholson Scholarship Fund, available to Smithfield students.
Nicholson will pay tribute to his mother with the help of Kendra Scott Jewelry, who worked with Nicholson to design a custom piece to commemorate the occasion. The piece is available online and at the event.
Michael Moreau of Kendra Scott Jewelry, presented Nicholson with one of his memorial necklaces before the event and said he was grateful to work with the city and the students of Smithfield.
Doreen was a mother of four and a pillar of the Smithfield community. She was involved with the PTA, coached, volunteered and was seen as a selfless person, according to Nicholson.
SNHS President Tyler Rose said the high school, located at 90 Pleasant View Ave., will be decked out in red for the event and will host many food and drink vendors around Smithfield offering selections of favorite foods.
“It’s going to be amazing. Bigger and better than ever,” Rose said.
Rose said the event will be similar to years past, with vendors including the American Heart Association, fitness demonstrations at local gyms and live entertainment, including acts performed by student actors from the piece written and produced by the student, “Gatsby the Musical”. ”
Guests enter the school on a red carpet, and there are photo opportunities of red balloons, including large, bright letters. SNHS asks attendees to wear red, pink or white to the gala, although formal attire is not required.
“Think formal casual,” Nicholson said.
The gala also includes raffles with items donated to the event. Rose said he was impressed because SNHS students no longer have to hunt for vendors and Smithfield’s generous business owners are now turning to help with the gala.
“That’s how amazing this city is. We’re really grateful,” Rose said.
SNHS member Marissa McDonough said Smithfield Police and Fire Services and the Emergency Management Agency will be holding CPR demonstrations in the media center as well as self-defense classes. She added that child care will be available for families.
“Anyone, any age, can join in the fun,” McDonough said.