Mattituck-Laurel: CSEA members raise $260 for needy families

‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” — Norman Vincent Peale
One of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of generosity and with Christmas Eve only a day away it warms our hearts to see so many people helping those less fortunate during this holiday season.

Our school’s CSEA members gathered last week at a party to celebrate the season, and collected $260 for this year’s Teddy Bear Fund, sponsored by the CSEA and MCTA, to help purchase gifts and holiday dinners for needy families in our district. This annual event puts smiles on the faces of families who are struggling at this time of the year.

This drive follows on the heels of this year’s MCTA Turkey Trot, which collected $1,200. The money will be go to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and toward scholarships for some of our seniors graduating in June. This would not have been possible without the help of all the community members who came out and participated.

The junior high Early Act Club has been collecting small sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and other personal hygiene items to donate to Maureen’s Haven. Last week our school cheerleaders collected coats, blankets and cash for women in crisis at the Peconic Women’s Center. The junior high Student Council has been collecting change for foster children in need and junior high and high school faculty and staff participated in a Jeans Day to help a woman who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and cannot afford treatment. This event was ignited by local teens in the Leo’s Club, who sponsored a bake sale last weekend for this cause.

Special thanks to all our local organizations and businesses that work hard this time of year, often quietly and with little fanfare, to provide food and gifts for local families that are struggling.

Mattituck-My next column won’t be until Jan. 13, so there are lots of things to remember. Mark your calendar now for this year’s “Dancing with the Staff” on Jan. 28. It’s become the show to see during the winter doldrums. There will be some familiar dancers on stage but also a bevy of new folks putting their best feet forward. Watch this column for ticket information.
Belated birthday wishes go out this week to Alexandra DiDonna, who celebrated earlier this month.

Birthdays are coming up in the next few weeks for Stefanie Lasota, who cuts her cake today, Dec. 23; Sean McBride and Will Gildersleeve  on the 24th; Mary Kalish and Greg Simmons on Christmas Day; Janice Van Dyne on the 27th; Caitlynne Peterson on the 28th; Meghan Riley and Jim Mikelbank on the 29th; Joe Macari on the 30th; Aaron Pacholk on the 31st; Pat Fedun on Jan. 1; Christian Bennardo on the 6th; Dylan Greenberg on the 7th; Nicole Fedun on the 8th; and Claire Smith on the 10th.
The Harlem Wizards come to MHS on Feb. 10, sponsored by the Mattituck Athletic Booster Club and PTSA. Tickets can be purchased at Love Lane Sweet Shoppe. This is a great holiday gift idea so fill up some stockings and purchase other last-minute gifts while you’re there.

As I finish my final 2010 column, I want to wish all a very special Christmas filled with the wonder and awe and time spent with close friends and family. May 2011 be a year to remember! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!