The East Rockaway Education Foundation’s 11th dinner dance, held at the Stewart Manor Country Club in Garden City on April 12, was definitely a celebration! Residents Bob and Maryann Amabile, Hugh Howard, Lorraine Donlon and Lorraine Liberti were honored by the foundation for their efforts on behalf of the community and its schools.
The Bay Park and East Rockaway communities are currently clawing their way back from the ravages of Superstorm Sandy, “a block at a time”, as the shirts say — and its school district is no exception, as East Rockaway Junior/Senior High School is scheduled, God willing, to reopen its doors to students on Monday, April 29.
The 160 guests (double the number expected to attend the original Pre-Sandy version scheduled for last November) were ready to celebrate. In welcoming remarks, EREF President Richard Meagher sought to “prime the pump” by noting he would not introduce the dignitaries present, because all 160 attendees bore that title. Meagher paid tributes to past milestones on the way to recovery, including rescue efforts by the East Rockaway Fire Department, first in the Main Street Firehouse and later at Bethany Church; debris removal by the village’s and Town’s Department of Public Works and the TOH DPW; opening up Hewlett Point Beach facility for showers and as a warming center; special events like the NYFD/Hanse Foundation BBQ on the RA grounds, “Rock the Recovery” and “Rebuild the ROCK”; the opening of “C.A.R.E.” (Centre and Rhame elementary schools); moving the Jr./Sr. HS to two empty Baldwin elementary schools; the reopening of Rhame; the Lowe’s/”Smash” rebuilding of the auditorium stage; the Dream Prom contest won by our students; and last weekend’s free yard sale put on for those in need by “Paying It Forward”.