About The SleepOut

  • SleepOut sign

    Named in memory of one of its founders, the late Samuel “Jerry” Starr, the SleepOut has long since become an annual tradition of charity and giving in the Ken-Ton community.

    The SleepOut is held every year on the first Friday in February, typically in the Hoover Elementary/Middle School parking lot. Participants sleep outside in refrigerator boxes to raise money for local charitable organizations and raise awareness of the needs of families in our community.

    Over the past 35 years, has raised approximately $1 million and countless donations of food, clothing, everyday necessities, and small furniture for those in need in the Ken-Ton and WNY community.

    The first SleepOut was organized in 1988 by the late Jerry Starr, a longtime teacher at Kenmore West High School, and his colleagues, Steve Ash and Charles Kohler. They later decided to name the event in honor of Starr, who was well known for always putting the needs of others before himself.

    Through the tireless efforts of Ash and his organization, Educators Totally Committed (E.T.C.), the SleepOut has made a difference in the lives of countless people in the community.

    E.T.C. is a group of Ken-Ton students, faculty, staff and community members that emphasizes the importance of helping children to learn responsible social behaviors at an early age through involvement in age-appropriate activities dedicated to helping people in need in their community. E.T.C.’s mission is to inspire life-long service to others in our students.

    The organization coordinates the annual SleepOut and advocates for making the first Friday of February a worldwide day that emphasizes awareness, commitment, and action for those in need. Each year, E.T.C. brings together many different community organizations for the SleepOut including Ken-Ton Schools and St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church.