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Pine-Richland students' Alzheimer's awareness video entered in state contest

| Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Pine-Richland students Aman Sohail, left, Seamus Regan and Jeffery Elms (missing from photo), have created a video about Alzheimer's awareness that is part of a statewide contest.
Pine-Richland students Aman Sohail, left, Seamus Regan and Jeffery Elms (missing from photo), have created a video about Alzheimer's awareness that is part of a statewide contest.

A few students from the Pine-Richland High School chapter of the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America are helping to increase awareness about the Alzheimer's Association through a video they created, and they're hoping others like it.

By going on the PAFBLA's Facebook page and clicking “like” on the video, the public can help the trio win the annual video production contest. The top three individuals and/or teams will qualify to go to the State Leadership Conference in Hershey in April 2018, where the winner will be announced.

Senior Aman Sohail said that he and fellow students Jeffrey Elms and Seamus Regan decided on a concept for the video where all different types of people would hold up a white board with different facts about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

“We wanted to show it's a problem that affects every race, gender, age, etc., everyone,” he said.

They went downtown and tried to recruit strangers passing by to help out by holding the white boards, but that turned out to be easier said than done.

“We didn't have that much luck,” he said. “We'd say, ‘Can you help us out with this video for the Alzheimer's Association?' and a lot said, ‘No thanks,' and just kept on walking.”

A few did stop, however, and they are now a part of the three-minute video that combines serene music and scenery with a voice-over giving information about the disease and strangers silently holding the white boards.

“We did talk to most of the people who stopped to help and they didn't really have a connection to the disease,” Sohail said. “They were just like, ‘It's a horrible disease and we want to help.'”

Bruce Boncal, executive director of the Pennsylvania FBLA, said the state officers review nominees each year then choose a charitable organization to support as its state project. One of the hopes of the video project is that students will learn more about the organization by doing the research necessary to create the video.

“The other benefit is that students are able to take their creativity and their technology skills and higher-level thinking skills to create these beautiful videos,” Boncal said. “We all know we're living in a world where multi-media is a tremendous way to communicate and students are very talented when it comes to creating these informational programs.”

The chapters throughout the state are also encouraged to raise funds and get involved with their local Alzheimer's Association chapters throughout the year by participating in fundraising walks, holding their own fundraising programs and volunteering.

The Pine-Richland students spent about 25-30 hours on the project, Sohail said, and had a harrowing few hours when the file crashed and they had to work with the software's technical support to recover it about two hours before the film was due.

The videos will be evaluated based on votes from executive committee members, FBLA advisors statewide and likes on the Facebook page.

To view the video and give it a like, go to: https://www.facebook.com/pafbla/posts/1749391605093187.

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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