“The outpouring from the community and businesses was unbelievable. This was really the most successful fundraiser ever for the [Seaford] PTSA,” said Seaford Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) event planning co-chairwoman Lisa Garcia.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, just four days after the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, the Seaford PTSA welcomed over 70 patrons to the Massapequa American Legion Post 1066 for it’s post-Grammy themed fundraiser. The fundraiser offered food catered by Harbor School secretary Tricia Cella, and music courtesy of both DJ Chris Surace of Diamond Dreams – 14KT. Productions and a drag queen Cher impersonator that really excited the adults in the room.
“The adults were waiting on line to take a picture with Cher like kids wait on a line at Disney World to take a picture with Mickey Mouse,” Garcia said with a chuckle.
The total amount raised at the event was unavailable at press time, but Garcia said that it was “definitely in the upper $8,000 range” — maybe more than $9,000. She explained that these funds are used to improve the district’s schools. She also mentioned that the Seaford PTSA recently paid for a “Seaford Middle School” sign to be erected after the school’s previous sign was damaged. The sign has not yet been delivered.
She said that the PTSA typically runs one big fundraiser every year. This year, they thought January would be the ideal time to host it.
“It’s kind of a down time after the insanity and preparation for the holidays,” Garcia said. “The most important reason, though, is that we never want to interfere with the Harbor and Manor School PTA fundraisers toward the end of the school year.”
At the beginning of the school year, the PTSA sits down to come up with its budget for that year. The group allocates its resources accordingly for one big fundraiser. Garcia said that with the success of this most recent effort, though, they might run a few smaller fundraisers scattered throughout the school year.
Just after the school year begins, though, Jodi Sheintul of the Seaford PTSA is already mapping out her plan of attack as the association’s primary canvasser.
“It’s very time consuming, and I start at the end of November,” Sheintul said. “It’s very stressful, but we have to prioritize what our goal is.”
Sheintul acknowledges the difficulty in reaching out to potential commercial donors in a town with a small business pool. “I tried to keep it limited to the radius of Seaford, but I did go outside a bit,” Sheintul said.
Donations could be made at various levels of sponsorship. Top-tier “Viking” sponsors Dame Cascone, Michael Koulettas, Karen Cass, Tim White, Michelle M. DiPaolo, Anthony C. DiPaolo, Christopher Kauffman, Laura Dupkin Memisha and Charles Ruotolo donated $500. Sponsorships continued from gold to silver and finally bronze.
Various other businesses made smaller donations, including gift cards, to the PTSA. In total, Sheintul estimated that over 100 businesses donated.
“It’s really a great opportunity to raise money and give back,” said PTSA member Donna Jebaily, who co-chaired this event with Garcia. “And it all goes back to the kids.”
Sheintul said that despite being a smaller district with “not too much funding,” businesses, parents and community members donate their money and time to help.
“I work with an amazing group of women with the same mindset,” Sheintul said. “These people embody what Seaford is about.”