“We are asking that you help us help a sister school,” wrote Jericho High School Principal Joe Prisinzano in recent letter to parents. “East Rockaway needs our assistance. Its community was devastated. Its school buildings were destroyed. It even lost the music.”
Prisinzano explained that for now, all students from East Rockaway attend school in two elementary schools in the Baldwin district. “The band cannot even practice since their instruments were ruined in the hurricane,” he wrote. “Well, if there is one thing that our students have taught me through their random acts of kindness, it’s that they are always willing to do something to make it better.”
With that in mind, Jericho High School will host its first-ever “Bring Back the Music” Talent Show and Raffle on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school’s auditorium.
“We will showcase student acts from Jericho and East Rockaway in this dual community event,” said Prisinzano. “Our goal is to raise $10,000 in order to get East Rock’s program kick-started once again.”
Students were encouraged to sign up for auditions and to become a “Bring Back the Music” sponsor with a minimum donation of $50, and will be mentioned in the program. As of press time, East Rockaway students will perform in three of the acts.
I am most proud that the students understand that they are a part of a larger, global community,” said Prisinzano. “For us, the storm was unpleasant — but for [the East Rockaway district], it was devastating.” He explained the entire Jericho school district adopted other Long Island schools that needed their help. “Our kids are ready to participate. Some will sing, some will dance or do skits; some will be selling raffle tickets. We were just overwhelmed with the number of kids who came forward to help.”
People can also donate a unique item for the raffle, such as a new electronic item or music/sports memorabilia. Prisinzano encouraged donations of instruments that were needed, including baritone sax, baritone horns, tenor saxes, alto saxes.
“I am deeply touched by the support and generosity that the Jericho Public Schools have shown,” said Bill Fortgang, retired ERHS Principal and now part time supervisor of music and art. “They have adopted us as a sister school to help us recuperate some of the instruments and equipment that was lost due to the hurricane. I am looking forward to a wonderful and entertaining talent show on December 12, and would like to publically thank Mr. Ken Pollitt, Director of Fine Arts, and Ms. Denise Nash, Director of Public Information & Community Relations) from the Jericho Public Schools.”