The heart of Lynbrook lies in the Community Chest — and it just got bigger.
The Chamber of Commerce presented the nonprofit organization with a $30,000 check last Monday. The funds are thanks to so many people coming to the annual Mayor’s Golf Outing on Aug. 14, which specifically aims to raise money for the Community Chest.
“In the last few years we’ve had tremendous participation in the golf outing,” Rina Beach, chair of the Community Chest, said. The event, which saw 144 golfers this year, is hosted by her husband, Mayor Alan Beach. “It’s a community effort.”
The Mayor’s Golf Outing is a collaborative effort between the village government and the Chamber of Commerce, and is spearheaded by coordinator Jeff Greenfield. Their combined efforts provide a medium for Lynbrook neighbors’ generosity, which has produced tens of thousands for the Community Chest every year in recent memory, Beach said.
The money will let the Community Chest continue to do what they do best — help people. Any resident of Lynbrook can call the village hall if they need some support. More often, though, people call on behalf of their loved ones.
Right before the holidays this past year, a woman called on behalf of her neighbors. The family was going through a rough patch, and their dryer was broken — until the Community Chest stepped in.
“She was helping, and letting them use her dryer in the meantime,” Beach said. “She said, ‘you know what, this is what Lynbrook is about.’”
The Community Chest is here to fill in the gaps, Beach said. When someone can’t navigate the red tape of county, state or federal assistance — or, despite struggling, they don’t qualify for aid — they can find comfort knowing their neighbors are here to help. They’ll fix your broken dryer, or help buy groceries for your family. The Community Chest offers a level of warmth that one would be hard-pressed to find in a larger program.
This was the case when the organization, working with the Lynbrook Police Department, funded a Project Lifesaver for an autistic child in the community who had a fondness for unsupervised walks outside. It’s a device that the child can wear — if they wander and get lost, their parents can immediately alert the LPD, who can use the device to find them quickly and safely.
The project was personally coordinated by Sargeant Eric Bruen, who helped the family set it up. Now an officer stops by once a month to double check the batteries and say hello. Without the Lynbrook Community Chest, that child wouldn’t have their potentially lifesaving device.
On top of handling personalized issues, the Community Chest helps out with things everybody needs. The charity works with Sister Barbara, the head of Our Lady of Peace’s social ministry, to facilitate multiple food drives every year; they supply students with back-to-school supplies like clothes, sneakers and backpacks; they pay for families’ Thanksgiving dinners.
There’s a reason why the Mayor’s Golf Outing regularly sees so many donations, and why the Community Chest has been running for more than 70 years. When people give to the local organization, they know their money is going to their loved ones, Beach said — their friends, their colleagues, people their kids go to school with.
“Lynbrook is like that,” Beach said. “It’s a community where neighbors help each other.”