Courtesy Richard Meagher
Stephanie Johanson congratulated new Coalition president MaryKate Lynch.
If Irene and Sandy had not given hurricanes a bad name on Long Island, one could say that Hurricane MaryKate had just blown into town — a force of pure energy herself. Except that Lynch is not new to East Rockaway or Bay Park. She is a 1991 graduate of East Rockaway High School and the mother of a ninth-grader. She is also active in Boy Scouts and in newly founded non-profit The 11518, Inc.
Earlier this year, Lynch created the “Welcome Home BBQ” for the East Rockaway junior and high school students returning to their own school after they were displaced to Baldwin after Hurricane Sandy. She also organized the “Stars of Hope” morale-boosting campaign at the end of the school year in June. As one community member put it at the time, “Wherever MaryKate is, there’s hope.”
And on the evening of Sept. 18, in the Village’s Senior Center, Lynch was elected as the third coordinator of the Coalition for Youth in East Rockaway. Theresa Barto had led the Coalition through its first two years: 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Then Stephanie Johanson took the helm for 2012-2013.
Also elected as Coalition officers were John Fusco, First Vice Coordinator; Richard Meagher, Second Vice Coordinator; Coleen Lonergan Fusco, Treasurer; and Theresa Daube, Secretary.
Randi Murphy, ERHS social worker, outlined her recommendation for two special assemblies (one for grades 7-9 and one for 10-12) as part of the 2013 Red Ribbon Week activities and requested potential fiscal support, if needed, to supplement a special grant she had received for the speaker. Plans for other Red Ribbon Week activities were advanced by Murphy, Lynch and outgoing coordinator Johanson as part of the National Substance Abuse Awareness week held annually in October.
Other topics discussed were the ongoing “Safe Homes Parent Network” and Proclamations of Support from Local organizations for SHPN; the rescheduled “Not My Child” program.