Local students to volunteer at UPMC Kid’s Day


Destiny Montgomery

Cheese Junior Kylie Focht and sophomore Aleah Layton prepare to face paint at the UPMC Kids Day event.The girls volunteered through National Arts Society.

On Saturday, May 21, UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Altoona will hold its annual UPMC Kid’s Day.

The event is a way to make sure sick kids can have fun while remaining in a safe environment. 

Last year, UPMC Altoona created a Kid’s Bike Safety event to promote awareness of wearing a bike helmet every time you ride. Free helmets were given to local children at the event. Because the event was such a success in 2021, we wanted to include more this year,” UPMC supervisor Raymalee Frank said.

Physics teacher Deidra Dumm is proud of her students for volunteering for the cause. 

“In my opinion, having our AAHS students be involved in such a large community event is amazing. The UPMC Kid’s Day is an excellent opportunity for our students to do some community service while interacting with other 500 kids in our area,” Dumm said. 

The children taking part in this event will have the opportunity to participate in various activities.

“UPMC is partnering with AMBUCS this year. AMBUCS is a non-profit organization that helps children with special needs. AMBUCS will have a few special needs tricycles called AMTRYKES for the event. We encourage children to bring their bikes to ride in the bike safety course. UPMC will be giving away free helmets. The Altoona Police Department will be providing car seat safety checks, nutrition information provided by UPMC, face painting by Altoona Area High School students, Jaffa Shriner clowns, Loco from the Altoona Curve, bike raffles, gift bags, and more. This is a free event with giveaways and prizes. The only thing you will need money for is if you would like to check out the food trucks which will include barbecue, hotdogs, kid friendly foods, Rita’s Italian ice, doughnuts available for purchase,” Frank said.

Dumm and art teacher Kathryn Curry were contacted by Michele Hallinan to recruit student volunteers for face painting during the event. 

Junior Kylie Focht and sophomore Aleah Layton are among the students who signed up for the face painting task. 

“My friend and I wanted to volunteer because it had seemed like such an amazing opportunity and event to hopefully help bring some joy to the kids and make some kid’s days,” Layton said.

“I’ve had a few family members pass away from things such as cancer, and it’s really hard to see how miserable they look all the time,” Focht said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for a child to be going through that so I am more than happy to volunteer for one day to make a few kids’ day just a little bit more special.”

During the day, there will be an estimate of about 500 children attending the event. 

“It is a UPMC kids safety day. We will arrive there in the morning, and some volunteers from Bishop Guilfoyle (BG) will be there helping face paint as well,” Layton said. 

Layton is excited for this opportunity for various reasons.

“I hope to meet some new sweet kids and get close to some. I hope to make them smile and to make my day be lifted by seeing them happy,” Layton said. “I’m so excited to meet some sweet kids make them happy and just overall have an amazing day. I feel it will be a great opportunity to experience.”

Though Focht believes that seeing sick kids might be difficult for her at first, she agrees with Layton and is excited about the opportunity. 

I am excited to see all the kids and their different personalities. I think face painting helps kids express their version of happiness by picking what they want on their face,” Focht said.