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‘Smash’ hits the Rock!
NBC, Lowe's, others to rebuild East Rockaway High School auditorium
Heidi Gutman
East Rockaway students paint the set.
East Rockaway High School
443 Ocean Ave.
Ocean Ave.
East Rockaway, NY 11518

After a nationwide search, East Rockaway High School’s hurricane-ravaged auditorium was chosen to be rebuilt as a kick-off for NBC’s “Smash: Make a Musical,” a national effort to restore school theaters that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Partnering with home improvement retailer Lowe’s and iTheatrics, an educational theater consulting firm, “Smash” cast member Jeremy Jordan, Irwin Contracting Inc. and volunteers from the nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together — which repairs and upgrades homes, theaters and community centers at no cost — came to the Ocean Avenue school on Feb. 16 to film three commercials for Lowe’s, the first of which was scheduled to air on Tuesday night’s episode of “Smash.”

With Rebuiling Together volunteers, Lowe’s “Heroes” have been working for weeks to replace the stage and the flooring in the auditorium. Lowe’s sponsors programs that focus on K through 12 public education and community improvement projects. The “Heroes,” Lowe’s employee volunteers who support local community projects and, along with Rebuild Together, are also partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. In 2012, Lowe’s and its charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization whose focus is repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades .

iTheatrics adapts existing Broadway and West End musicals for elementary, middle and high school students to perform. In addition, the firm also provide teachers with resource enhancements such as choreography DVDs, director’s guides and curriculum connections.

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1motgs

In the year 2000, the East Rockaway High School (ERHS) alumni accepted donations for replacing the seats in the ERHS auditorium. In thanks for the donation, a brass plaque was attached to the right armrest of a seat donated for with an inscription originating from the alumni donation. A charge for the plaque and inscription was the donated amount.

At my last reunion I found my inscription on the armrest of a seat I donated for. This was a truly "thank you for your donation" and served as a remembrance to previous alumni for all to see at events and school assemblies.

Will these plaques be removed from the old seats and placed on the new seats? They should be as they do have a historical value and record to be remembered.

A second plaque should be added to the seat stating the origin of the first plaque. Donations could be solicited for this additional plaque.

Please submit this comment as a suggestion when costing the new auditorium. The ERHS alumni association would be more than happy to supply the names of the doners and inscriptions to preserve the previous history.

Thank you and with best regards,

Charles J. Hermes

Class of '55 ERHS

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