West Islip Lionheart “We will rise above the tide”
The students and faculty returned to school this week after a six day absence from the school closures related to Hurricane Sandy. The teachers and administrators worked hard to identify individual students and families that are suffering as a result of the storm. “The news is sobering”, reports John Mullins, Principal of Bayview Elementary School and administrator of the Lionheart fund. From the simplest needs of a child without a backpack that was ruined in the flood waters, to the very complex needs of a student without habitable living conditions, the school district is working to respond to these needs. Our greatest resource is the Lionheart fund.
Lionheart can now be found on Facebook! The page is designed to communicate in real time the plans the committee has for raising money, as well as soliciting ideas from other. “We were hoping to capture a wide audience of those who want to help, both here in West Islip, and people who live elsewhere”, said Terry Gebbia, West Islip Summit Coalition Treasurer. “We have had a response from as far away as California and Washington DC .” Former West Islip resident and Alumni Jen Corey has already organized a fundraiser in DC. Also responding on the facebook page was Bob Cestaro from the West Islip Touchdown Club, pledging his support at this Saturday’s playoff game at West Islip High School. Bob has put together volunteers who will be collecting cash donations at the gate and the Varsity Cheerleaders will be in the stands collecting donations at half time. Mike McElwee, owner of the Nutty Irishman in Bay Shore and a West Islip resident, posted an offer to host a fundraiser for the cause. The Lionheart committee is currently working with Mike to set the date. The Facebook page continues to accumulate “likes” and can be accessed here: www.facebook.com/WestIslipLionHeartFoundation. “Like our group and share it with your contacts, as the page grows, so will our support”, encourages the Lionheart Committee.
The West Islip Summit Coalition will be hosting a Community Forum on Wednesday November 14th in the High School Cafeteria at 7:45pm. Business leaders, community members, youth club leaders and any and all individuals interested in working toward the common goal of West Islip Hurricane Relief for the Lionheart fund are welcome to attend, become involved, and offer ideas. “West Islip has always demonstrated a strong community bond. It is time to find that spirit and work toward this common goal with every resource and creative idea we can find”, said West Islip Summit Coalition Director Annmarie LaRosa. “The Summit was established with this spirit in mind and we are dedicated to help the Lionheart Hurricane Relief effort.”
Donations can be made to Lionheart by sending a check payable to the West Islip Summit Coalition Inc with Lionheart written in the memo line to the attention of John Mullins, Bayview Elementary School. You can also donate online via PaySchools on the district website. Donations are tax deductible.