East Haven Residents Being ‘Stung’ by Swarms of Yellow Jackets for a Fundraiser

Mat Divito and EHHS students are doing a fundraiser where residents can “sting” one another. For the rest of the school year. It will be done to raise money for the senior trip and graduation, prom already got the money it needed to get approved. When the yellow jackets appear on your lawn, you pay $25 to “sting” somebody else as well as telling the ones running it who you want to be “stung” next.

The stinging fundraiser is very similar to flocking with flamingos, which is putting a whole bunch of flamingos on someone’s lawn and has happened all over the country, including the Bronx Zoo in New York. The EHHS class officers wanted to find a fun and interesting way to get the whole town involved in fundraising to support the seniors, who have already had a very difficult year due to COVID-19. EHHS senior class officer, Mat Divito explains that with this fundraiser they are able to include a variety of people and make it fun and make it something that people want to be a part of. He said that anyone can be stung because each person who was previously stung chooses who they want to sting next. Anyone in the town of East Haven can be stung. Mat says, “We sting mostly seniors, as we are trying to make money for the senior class. The goal we want to accomplish is to make as much money as possible for end-of-the-year activities for the senior class, such as prom, senior trip, etc.” Anyone who is stung receives information about the fundraiser and how to sting the next person through a sheet of paper that is placed in a bag attached to one of the lawn signs.

Matt DiVito and his fellow class officers chose this fundraiser because it was different from anything else anyone has done for fundraising money. It was a way to involve the community and have fun while doing it. He continued, “People get stung by other people. The only way to be stung is by someone else. “However, we are planning on selling the Yellow Jacket signs at the end of the fundraiser. Anyone can be stung. No matter what age or grade. As long as the person is in East Haven, the person who was stung can send the signs to the person of their choosing. We have stung 28 people so far as of April 6th, 2021, and are planning on having stung around 60-75 when we are finished. We have raised $850 so far. This idea has turned out to be a huge success and we are hoping to raise $2000 when we are finished” said Matt Divito. If you are stung, we ask that you pay $25 to remove the signs from your lawn and send them to another.”

Jenn DiVito and Amy Milano, parents of seniors, donated the signs for our class to use for the fundraiser. Matt said, “My message to the rest of my senior classmates would be to keep working hard to finish the year strong and graduate with the rest of the class. We have come this far despite everything that this year has brought, so we need to keep working and finish the year up strong.”

Ms. Harkins enjoys the idea. “I initially laughed when I saw the swarm of Yellow Jackets on my lawn and not really sure what it was about until I read the note from the EHHS senior class. I felt a sense of pride and was glad that they thought of me and that I could help support our seniors. I really enjoyed thinking about who I would "sting" next. I passed those yellow jackets right on to Mrs. Pompano. It is a clever fundraiser and gets the community involved. I even saw the swarm of yellow jackets on the lawn of the EHPD!”

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