Neighbors in the News

Making a difference, in his memory

Family, friends of Mark Dejak uphold tradition of giving


The sun shone high over Masone Beach in Island Park last Sunday when the Making-A-Difference Foundation hosted the 4th Annual Mark Dejak Memorial Picnic.

  Mark Dejak, an East Rockaway native, died on March 17, 2010, at the age of 21, in an accident on Lawson Boulevard. In his memory, his family and friends created the Making-A-Difference Foundation to remember Mark and continue his spirit of giving.

“This year’s picnic was a huge success and we are very proud of honoring my brother, Mark, in this way,” said Ryan Dejak. “[It] was greeted with stunning weather and an abundance of love, generosity and support.” 

Approximately 175 adults and their families were welcomed at Masone Beach by Mark’s family and friends. 

  Exceeding last year’s numbers, the Making-A-Difference Foundation raised over $14,000 through donations and the sale of raffle tickets. The 2013 raffle included over 70 donated items including restaurant gift certificates, Major League Baseball tickets, a 46-inch flat screen TV, an iPod mini, various vacation and cruise vouchers, and many other items.

  All funds raised go to benefit the Making-A-Difference Foundation and their effort to support those in need. The Making-A-Difference Foundation has continued their efforts to help local families that are facing economic hardship, to help support the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect, and aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

  If you are interested in making a donation to the Making-A-Difference Foundation, send checks payable to “Making-A-Difference Foundation” to 46 Garfield Place, East Rockaway, NY 11518 c/o the Dejak Family. 

For more information, visit the Making-A-Difference Foundation website at