The Elmont Islamic Center — a group of local Muslim residents from Elmont, Franklin Square and South Floral Park — held a fundraiser dinner party on Jan. 19 in order to raise money for the construction of an Islamic Center along Hempstead Turnpike. Rafiqul Ipatwaiy, a member of the Elmont Islamic Center, said the main goal of their fundraising was to provide a space for local Muslims in the area, since the nearest mosques were located more than two miles away from residents.
“We want a place where we can pray as well as a place where we can hold events and programs for the kids,” Ipatwaiy said.
He and his fellow members have spent the last six years renting out a room near the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Butler Boulevard, but Ipatwaiy said that they are unable to use that space on Fridays or for any big community celebrations. So after searching for a place to call their own, the center has found a potential home on Hempstead Turnpike, which would cost about $565,000 to acquire, and an additional $100,000 to renovate.
The group had committed to pay roughly half the price of the building by Jan. 21 to finalize the deal, and an online campaign on the LaunchGood crowd-sourcing website helped raise more than $100,000 from donors all over the world.