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Commack Students Roll Out Purple Tires for A Cause

Purple tires spraypainted with "Tired of Cancer" aim to raise funds for Commack's Relay for Life in May 2011.


If you wake up one morning and think you've spotted a purple tire on your front lawn, don't worry - there's no need to reach for a second cup of a coffee. 

A group of students are rolling out purple tires across town spraypainted with the slogan "Tired of Cancer" as a fundraiser for Commack's upcoming Relay for Life Event on May 11 and May 12. The purple tires have surprised some, and caught other homeowners off guard. 

"We’ve  taken tires to people's houses and they’ve come out asking us what we’re doing," said Dan Montera, a junior at Commack High School. "They don't know us. They just see a stranger leaving a tire on their lawn." 

Montera is captain of then Commack Relay for Life team Adhuc Vivus, whose 10 members include his sister, Kelly, and Commack freshman Nicolette Burke.They have spent the last month leaving purple tires on local front lawns, driveways, porches, leaning against fences and other locations to raise awareness about Relay for Life and donations for their team's cause. 

Burke said she is walking in Relay for Life for her mother, who she has watched battle cancer since she was in second grade. The Monteras are family friends, who plan to stand by Burke, raising money to help fund research against the disease. 

"Everyone is somehow affected by it. They know someone who’s had cancer or died of cancer," Dan said. 

The team's Latin name, Adhuc Vivus, represents their cause and motto translating loosely to "still alive" or "still fighting." 

Starting in March, team Adhuc Vivus spraypainted discarded tires purple - the symbolic color of Relay for Life - and began dropping them off on neighbors' doorsteps. 

Once the tire was delivered, Commack residents have a choice of what to do: 

  • Donate $10 to have the tire quickly picked up from their house. 
  • Let the tire stay in front of their home for three days, raising awareness of the team's "Tired of Cancer" campaign if they do not wish to make a donation.
  • Donate $15 or more to have the tire sent to someone else's house, where it will sit on their front lawn for three days. 

The game is underway on Tulipwood Drive, where team members gathered to move the tire from the Seligsons' home to a neighbor's home on April 6. A sheet of paper protected in a ziplock bag explains the fundraiser and tells homeowners who sent the tire to sit in front of their home. 

In fact, the purple tires have become so popular with local community members team Adhoc Vivus said they are getting more requests than they have tires for. The students have already increased from three to six tires, and are thinking of adding more if they can find extra. 

"It's become really popular part because people want to mess with their friends and part because they like the cause," Dan said. 

The team have raised more than $1,900 so far and plan to continue the fundraiser until the event, in addition to holding yard sales and garage sales.  

Nancy Montera April 11, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Please go to Facebook.com/purpletires for more information of how to get a purple tire at your house! You can also check out the following link to donate to our Relay For Life team. http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=42098&team_id=1096220 Thanks so much!
CommackMom April 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Can we expect the Girl Scouts to leave unsolicited cookies on our porch next? I think it's a bit much.
John Gruber April 11, 2012 at 04:38 AM
they're trying raising money for a good cause, they should be applauded for their effort, not mocked.
John Gruber April 11, 2012 at 04:38 AM
they're trying to raise money for a good cause. They should be applauded, not mocked.
Maria Zuccala Burke April 11, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Go Team Adhuc Vivus!!! You certainly are raising awareness for the cause.
Maria Zuccala Burke April 11, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Seriously?? Being a Cancer patient, I am very proud of that these young kids are so involved and are doing good for the cause. More than the $ is the fact that they are raising awareness. You are not obligated to give any $ and he tires are forwarded to each house by someone you know who asked it to be placed there
George W April 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Agreed - it crosses a line, even though it's a good cause. I've also had cancer. It's good to hear about kids getting involved for a good cause, and they should be encouraged. This is also a very creative approach, and I applaud them for that. But they should also be encouraged not to use blackmail to accomplish their goal, and to respect other peoples' property. The comment "It's become really popular part because people want to mess with their friends" is a bit scary. Maybe that old saying that "the end doesn't justify the means" is appropriate. The parents should understand this. Still, I wish the family the very best in their fundraising effort, and more than that, victory in their battle with this disease.
Rita April 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Wow Commack Mom, unsolicited is so off target if you read the article...I'm pretty proud of these young teens. They're doing something to benefit others, which makes me proud to live in Commack for 41 years. Its a perfect example of the Amazing youth in our schools. It shows what a really strong community we have, and how we come together to help each other. Everyday I pray for a cure for cancer. I'm pretty confident being in Long Island wIth a HUGE cancer rate, the awareness of our Youth will help with that! Thank you Dan, Kelly, and Nicolette!
Rita April 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM
@ George W. Where do you read "Blackmail" in that article? If you re- read the article, you will read it is people who see it, that want to take part. The tires are not dropped randomly. It's spreading like wildfire, because people see it on someone's lawn and ask for it to be placed on their lawn to help an Amazing cause and our Commack Youth. I just wanted to clarify the article we both read. People tend to write negative comments so quickly. I hope they retract them when realizing their ill words.
Nancy Montera April 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Here's a quote from the article to clarify: " ....and began dropping them off on neighbors' doorsteps. Once the tire was delivered, Commack residents have a choice of what to do: Donate $10 have the tire quickly picked up from their house. Let the tire stay in front of their home for three days, raising awareness of the team's "Tired of Cancer" campaign if they do not wish to make a donation. Donate $15 or more to have the tire sent to someone else's house, where it will sit on their front lawn for three days. " The people who received the first tires either asked for a tire or are good friends of ours. No one was "blackmailed" into participating. "Messing around" means "joking around or having fun" to a teenager. Adults are the ones who are passing the tire along to their family or friends. The second choice above, as quoted in the article, is to do nothing and pay nothing and the tire will be picked up. No harm, no foul. :-)
Loren Boiarsky April 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM
First of all....Thin Mints on my doorstep? Bring 'em on! I think CommackMom and George W. need to relax. Respecting people's property? What kind of damage is it doing to property? Maybe a little less "get off my lawn!" and a little more "what can I do to help?" is what's needed to bring communities together. Kudos to these young people for doing such worthwhile volunteer work and congratulations to their parents for raising such aware and selfless kids. <<Looking how to get a tire on MY lawn!!>>
George W April 11, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I expect that all of us agree with the good that these kids are doing. But how is "unsolicited" off target if the article states: "We’ve taken tires to people's houses and they’ve come out asking us what we’re doing," said Dan Montera, a junior at Commack High School. "They don't know us. They just see a stranger leaving a tire on their lawn.
George W April 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I expect that all of us agree with the good that these kids are doing. But how can you say the tires are not dropped randomly, when the article states: "We’ve taken tires to people's houses and they’ve come out asking us what we’re doing," said Dan Montera, a junior at Commack High School. "They don't know us. They just see a stranger leaving a tire on their lawn.
George W April 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I didn't say the word "blackmail" was in the article. That was my word, and perhaps "pressure" would have been more correct. If you read my whole original comment, you'll see that I'm supportive of the kids and the cause, but disapprove of having something dumped on a person's lawn, regardless of the cause. If you're interpreting my comments as negative, they're not intended that way.
George W April 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM
To Lauren - I am relaxed, and you might try the same. There's no talk of damage - that was your word. It's about respect. Kids are running across my lawn all the time, chasing their ball, or whatever, and I'm not out chasing them. They're not going to hurt the grass, nor would a tire. I've done my own share of volunteer work for elderly and disabled people, so I understand the idea, up close and personal. The way I was brought up, you wouldn't put anything on someone's property without their permission. That's my only point. The other 99% of this whole issue, we all agree on. And I have to say, for the most part, this discussion has been held at a higher level than so many of the comments on the Newsday website.
George W April 11, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Loren - sorry for the misspelling.
Nancy Montera April 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM
@George W- They are not dropped randomly. People can contact us to request a tire and then, as the article states, one of their options is to ask us pass it along to someone they know who would appreciate the sentiment and/or like to be involved. The next person may not have asked for the tire, but they are told who passed it along to them. An explanation is attached to the tire.
George W April 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Nancy - thanks for clarifying. The original article is misleading. I just donated $50 to team Adhuc Vivus. Good luck to all.
Nancy Montera April 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
@ George W. - Thanks so much for your donation! It was very generous. I can see where the article was not always clear, which is why I felt it was important to provide more details. The team certainly never intended for the purple tires to cause problems or make anyone feel pressured to donate. I know I can't donate to every fundraiser that comes along. We all pick and choose when and how much we can donate. So we hope that those who donate elsewhere will still enjoy telling the community they are "tired" of cancer if a tire shows up on their lawn even if they do not donate. Another note for anyone who might be wondering: All donations need to be in the form of a check made out the the American Cancer Society. 100% of what the team earns goes directly to the American Cancer Society. Again, thanks for your donation. Dan and Kelly were really happy to hear our team is that much closer to our goal :-)
Ron Hagedorn April 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Excellent!! What a great approach to fundraising!! We should all be proud of these kids taking a unique approach to raising money for this great cause. Bring on the tires...!!
George W April 11, 2012 at 06:36 PM
A very clever approach - "tired of cancer".
George W April 11, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Maybe this will help: At the time the story was written, the team had 6 tires, and might add more if they could find extra. I just called Bob at Smithtown General Tire, and he'd be happy to donate some used tires. Call Bob at 543-1505.
laura c April 12, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Laura C @CommackMom: You should think more than once before you put something negative in writing out there. That's why Facebook is so damaging for our kids. The tire would only be on your property if you had a friend who sent it to you. So it's a friend of a friend of a friend. Six degrees of separation. Do you have any friends who might send the tire to you, thinking you might donate? You don't have to donate, but maybe that friend of yours thought you would get a laugh out of the idea. Either way, the tire doesn't randomly end up on your property. With all the problems in the world, do you have that much time on your hands to post a negative comment about people trying to help others? I never had the time to be on this site before, but I MADE the time specifically to respond to your negativity.
Nancy Montera April 12, 2012 at 04:16 PM
@ George W- Thanks for making the effort to help even further than your donation to the team! We are getting a good response and we might give Bob a call and get some more tires rolling...
Grace April 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM
What kind of heartless person are you CommackMom? This is a way for these children to make a difference by banding together for a great cause. One of them has grown up with her mother who has been fighting this horrible disease for the past seven years and continues to do so. Not only is Maria Zuccala Burke fighting for her life, but she herself is the first one to reach out to help someone else in need. I think this is a wonderful thing that is that the children are doing! Grace Y.
Grace April 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Nancy If you find yourself with more tires or have one that needs a lawn to rest on for a couple of days, please drop one off to me. Maria has my address :) Grace Y
George W April 12, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Okay, there's been some disapproval of the potential for unwanted tires being dropped on lawns, whether that's happened or not. Some have taken that as an attack on the kids, but I don't think that's the case. Rather than putting any more energy into useless criticism, how about using that energy to write a check or click on the link near the top of the article, and do what really matters. I was able to charge a donation to my credit card, and it goes directly to the American Cancer Society - a tax deductible gift. If you choose the Adhuc Vivus team, they get credit for raising the money.

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