2005-07-08 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter Local Kids Partner With PHC

With Beverly Baxter
Local Kids Partner With PHC

BEVERLY BAXTERBEVERLY BAXTER Those of us who live in Rockaway certainly live in a very magnanimous community, where philanthropy is the norm for many individuals. Often the beneficiaries of these generous benefactors are children; but the involvement of children as benefactors is something refreshingly new. Students from P.S. 105 and P.S. 114 joined in the New York City Penny Harvest Common Cents Program to raise money for a particular community-based cause. The program shows children that when they put their pennies, as well as their good will, together, they can accomplish much to help their communities.

Under the guidance of Helene Schneider, Math Coach and Penny Harvest Coordinator, who guided the Leadership Council at P.S. 105 and Jeanne Manas, Librarian and Student Council Advisor, who advised the “Kids United” group at P.S 144, students collected numerous sacks of pennies. Both schools exceeded their goal and raised $2000 combined. They then met to engage in round-table discussions where they deliberated as to where to disperse the money and which entities best met their specific criteria. They quieried several organizations that serve the community. For Liz Sulik, Director of External Affairs at Peninsula Hospital Center, the successful respondent, the experience was delightful. “Basically the kids put out a kind of Request For Proposal! They were absolutely amazing. They interviewed me and wanted to know everything from specific aspects of my job to exactly where their funding would go and to whom their money would benefit. They wanted to know how many children we care for at the hospital. They were very serious and professional in their purpose. I was truly impressed with both groups of children.”

  According to Ms. Schneider of P.S.105, “For the students, the decision to give the money to the Angels-on-the Bay Pediatric Center at PHC was appropriate because it’s an endowment that could possibly effect them. They wanted to know all about the children’s unit and how their money would help other children at the hospital. The students felt empowered by their first experience with philanthropy. They learned about public relations and the responsibility that comes with an important decision making process. I’m very proud of the school and we look foward to building upon our success for next year.”

  For Jeanne Manas of P.S. 114, the experience was equally rewarding. “In addition to their first experience with philanthropy, the students learned about deliberation, community involvement, and even the democratic voting process.” Among the organizations considered were Meals on Wheels, the Claddagh Inn, Tribute Park, and various animal shelters. They decided to divide their money equally between the Pediatric Center at PHC and Charity’s Angels, a non-profit organization that helps orphaned children. “The vote came down to these two because the students felt these were areas that could perhaps impact on them and where their money would be used most wisely.”

  Gifts provided by both schools will allow for the purchase of DVD players for the enjoyment of pediatric patients in the Angels-on-the Bay unit. Their school and group names, as well as the year their donation was made, will be proudly displayed on a plaque that will be attached to the equipment. Liz Sulik states, “ In our ever-reaching effort to include the community, elementary school students will now have a connection to the hospital.” These students have affectuated a new standard in local philanthropy. They are (from the Leadership Council at P.S.105): Ingrid Requeno, Samantha Veras, Antanasia Ransom, Sophia Snell, Crusbenny Cruz, Theresa Speller, and Lawrence Drumgoole. From the United Kids Council at P.S.114, Thomas Bain, Jackie Cardurry, and Dylan Evans led a committee of 32 students. They were celebrated as they presented their check to the Board of Directors at Peninsula Hospital Center’s Annual Community Address on Monday June 20 at P.S 114. Their efforts on behalf of the hospital make us all very proud!    

***Happy Birthday wishes to John Murphy and John Joe!

***Congratulations to Mary and Ben Lenihan on their 50 years of wedded bliss!

  See you...On the Beach!

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