Malverne students honor everyday heroes

Maurice W. Downing Primary School holds annual breakfast for community leaders


The Student Council at Maurice W. Downing Primary School in Malverne honored local heroes at its annual Community Heroes Breakfast on Feb. 14.

Community leaders, EMS volunteers and members of the Malverne and Lynbrook police and fire departments were thanked and greeted with high-fives from the Student Council. The group then sang “Everyday Hero,” by Rachel Coleman, as part of the celebration.

“The words to that song are absolutely right,” said Downing School Principal Ed Tallon. “You don’t need a cape or a mask, because our heroes are around us every single day. We truly appreciate what they do for us, and we can’t thank them enough for what they do.”

Malverne Mayor Patti Ann McDonald, who was among the honorees, said that while she felt honored to be recognized, the village wouldn’t be the same without its volunteers. “We’re very blessed to have them,” McDonald said. “They take the time away from their families to serve the community, and it’s wonderful that Downing recognizes that and that they teach the children the importance of serving your community.”

As part of the Downing Cares initiative — a program that offers students opportunities to participate in local charitable activities throughout the year — the Student Council started the Community Heroes Breakfast, originally known as the First Responders Breakfast. Student Council adviser Marguerite Robles said that while the school always spent time talking about role models in the community, students never got to meet those heroes.

“Not only were we looking to make a connection to our heroes and sheroes, but to the community at large,” Robles said. “When we started this five years ago, I never thought it would reach this magnitude today. Just the participation, having them show up and take time out of their day to spend some time with the kids, says it all.”

The day also marked the start of the Student Council’s Ronald McDonald House fundraiser. Last year, the school raised the most money among primary schools in Nassau County, more than $6,500, to benefit families with children battling cancer.

“It will be tough to be top that, but we want to give back anything that we can for people in need,” Robles said.