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Lynbrook PTA council leaves its mark one brick at a time

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The Lynbrook Council of PTAs is “paving a path” toward a brighter future for all kindergarten through 12th grade students in the community.

In its latest fundraiser, the council sold more than 600 engraved bricks, purchased and personalized by students, families, teachers, administrators, local businesses and alumni of Lynbrook schools. Treasurer Mary Beth Stalter introduced the idea to the PTA last fall, when the council struggled to form fundraising ideas amid the pandemic.

The council’s largest annual event has been the homecoming football game for many years, typically raising $10,000 to $15,000 annually through food vending, ticket sales and merchandising of Lynbrook apparel. The profits from the game, along with those from other, smaller-scale scholarship events, are then placed in the PTA Scholarship Fund, which is later awarded to graduating seniors elected by the LHS Guidance Department for outstanding merit. Over the past decade, the PTA council has bestowed more than $150,000 in scholarship money, aiding dozens of students entering college.

“It was important to the PTA council to ensure that our tradition of awarding seniors continued despite the inability to raise funds at a scholarship game,” council Co-president Lauren Pignataro said. The Council recognized a need to adapt to the circumstances; then, inspiration for the Pave a Path fundraiser struck Stalter when she saw a similar event take place at Grant Park. “The council and I approached [Superintendent of Schools] Dr. [Melissa] Burak and the Board of Education with our idea for this event, and they loved it,” Stalter said. “We very quickly began brainstorming locations for the path and organizing the construction.”

Burak was the fundraiser’s first, and enthusiastic, customer. “I was thrilled that the PTA Council wanted to sponsor this fundraiser,” Burak said. “I knew it would be a grand success. The brick path will be a wonderful component of the new high school addition. It is always nice to see the district and support groups combine efforts to create something special.”

Customers gained access to the store via Bricks R Us in early January, where they had the choice of two different sized bricks, 4x8 or 8x8, ranging from $100 to $300. Clip art and custom logos were also available to engrave on a brick, the Lynbrook Owl mascot being the most common choice. Several local philanthropy groups also branded their bricks with a logo, including the Morty Frank Foundation.

The council originally planned to conclude the fundraiser on Feb. 28, but there was so much demand from the community that they decided to extend the deadline to March 31 after aising more than $80,000 in sales, which was widely unexpected for the council.

The path will be paved on the left-hand side of the building, in a newly-renovated courtyard with a flagpole, upon completion of the building’s renovation in September. James Saitta, the district’s director of facilities, continues to work with the construction company to create a design for the path.