‘We have to be hopeful’

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“Wendy’s hosts these types of fundraisers for not-for-profits all the time,” said Board of Education Trustee Gina Genti, a member of the Save Frost Valley Committee. “There was a very positive energy … the tables were full for the entire fundraiser.”

“It was pretty much standing room only,” Gorman added. “By eight o’clock there were no mores Frosties. We literally crashed Wendy’s.”

Asked how much money the committee will try to raise, Gorman said somewhere between $30,000 and $44,000. “It’s hard to say exactly how much,” she said. “But we’ll find some way to have this trip. We have to be hopeful.”

Genti, who has two children in the district, said she believes the trip is a rewarding experience for students. She decided to join the committee because “in order to enrich the school experience for our children,” she said, “parents and community have to play a greater role not only financially, but through volunteerism and advocacy.”

She added, “I have seen heartbreak on the faces of alumni when they hear the trip is in jeopardy. It’s that sentiment that drives me to help create the same experience for my son and his friends.”

Wycinna Spence, a Lakeview resident and an alumnae of the school district, said she was shocked to learn that the trip had been canceled. “I was even more shocked that the trip is now three days — I went for one week,” she recalled. “Frost Valley is a Malverne tradition. It’s almost like a rite of passage. It brings the classroom into the natural environment.”

Spence, who has three children, ages 7, 5 and 3, said that while none of them is in sixth grade, she joined the committee to ensure that they, and other students, will have the same opportunity she did. “Children tend to group to those similar to them and form cliques,” she said. “This trip teaches them to work with others. It prepares them for the real world.”

Genti said that the committee would need to donate roughly $5,000 per month between October and February to the Board of Education, with an additional payment of $10,000 before its February meeting. “If we can’t meet those parameters,” she said, “the trip will be canceled.” To help defray costs, families of sixth-graders are being asked to contribute $40 to the middle school PTA.

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