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Generosity of Lockhart Students Helps Grant Wishes

Lockhart Elementary School students and staff set a goal of raising $7,500 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. When the total was announced on Dec. 20 at the annual holiday concert, they learned they had far exceeded that.

The 31st annual Make-A-Wish concert celebrated the season of giving, with the Lockhart community coming together to raise $9,468 for the foundation which grants wishes to critically ill children and teenagers. The school has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization since the partnership began more than three decades ago.

Students from the orchestra took the stage first, conducted by Michael Molloy, playing “Jingle Bells,” “The Chipmunk Song” and “The Dreidel Song.” The chorus was up next, led by Kathleen Dyckman and accompanied by Alice Marques on the piano. Their selection of four Christmas and Hanukkah songs concluded with “Holiday Nights” in which performers flash lights of green, red, white and gold as they sang. The band, under the direction of Amanda Collins, closed the show with “First Holiday Concert,” “Fiesta on the Housetops” and “Winter Wonderland.”

In the audience to enjoy the holiday music and celebrate the great fundraising accomplishment were students, staff, district administrators, former Principal Steve Scarallo and Make-A-Wish community fundraising manager Matthew Goldweber.

Student council adviser Claire Merz announced the total that the school raised as she joined student leaders in presenting a check to Mr. Goldweber. He explained the purpose and mission of the organization and also told Lockhart students about the two children whose wishes would be granted because of their generosity.

Mr. Goldweber explained that both children are from Nassau County. An 8-year-old boy will go to Disney World, with Make-A-Wish flying in family members from both New York and Jamaica. An 11-year-old girl will get a Disney cruise in the Bahamas with her family.

Assistant Principal Louisa Vecchione, who attended Lockhart Elementary as a child, said she fondly recalls the annual Make-A-Wish fundraiser and concert and it fills her with the same pride as it did then.

Principal Dr. Michael Yannucci explained that over the 31 years, thousands of students have been a part of the fundraising effort and helped grant numerous wishes.

“We are one little school, but our impact has been big,” he said. “We have a caring and compassionate community.”