Good News For An Isolated Community
We are always reminded during “March Madness,” the annual dance that brings home the national championship to one college basketball team, that teamwork counts. Very seldom does a team win because of a solo achievement. The team that wins plays the team game. So it goes with communities as well. Broad Channel is an isolated community, cut off at both ends by bridges and hemmed in by Jamaica Bay. It is often disparaged for being insular and resistant to change. St. Virgilius Church and its school have always been the lynchpin of the community, the glue that binds it together. When the Diocese of Brooklyn announced in early February that the school would be shuttered at the end of the school year, many in Broad Channel believed that the church itself was not far from disappearing and that the community as they know it would follow closely behind. Rather than give in to despair, however, the community’s teamwork began to jell. A committee of residents conversant with developing business plans was quickly put together. The committee quickly came up with a plan for presentation to the Diocese – a plan that would, if achieved, keep the school solvent for three to five more years. Senior citizens pledged donations. Parents pledged their children’s attendance. Married teachers accepted the loss of their health plans. The parish pledged funds to top off the plan. Late last week, the diocese accepted the plan – one of only three that made the cut. Now, the community has to keep that teamwork going in order to meet the plan’s goals and keep the school open. We believe that Broad Channel can do it, and we wish the community well in its efforts.