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Making Music and Granting Wishes at Lockhart

“We are one little school, but our impact has been big,” said Dr. Michael Yannucci, principal of Lockhart Elementary School in the Massapequa School District, at the 33rd Make-A-Wish concert on Dec. 23. The holiday music performance also featured the announcement of this year’s donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation – $9,800.

Since the school began raising money for the wish-granting organization more than decades ago, this year’s donation is the fourth highest, Dr. Yannucci noted. Collectively, the school had raised more than $180,000 for Make-A-Wish.

“This Lockhart tradition has continued through the support of tens of thousands of students and their families, hundreds of educators and their families, and the larger Lockhart community,” he said. “It’s an effort inspired by the wishes we grant and the lives we hope to make just a little bit better.”

Lockhart will grant three wishes this year. Nicky, a 6-year-old boy who is now cancer free after being diagnosed at 3, will get his dream vacation to the beach. Danna, a 6-year-old girl with a heart condition, will get a maltipoo puppy and 7-year-old Cris, who is battling cancer, wishes for a large television, PlayStation 5 and many games as a way to stay connected with his friends.

“I hope you all feel a sense of pride knowing that we’ve worked together to help make a difference in children’s lives,” Assistant Principal Louisa Vecchione told the students and staff, thanking them for their generous donations to the cause.

The student council, led by adviser Emily Bresnihan, also took part in the event, with remarks about joy and kindness.

“Lockhart takes part in Make-A-Wish every year because we are a kind and caring school,” student council President Matthew Park said. “We not only care about people in need, but do something to help. We show how kind we are by raising money to grant wishes for very ill kids as a way to make them feel better.”

The centerpiece of the concert was, of course, the fifth grade musicians. The orchestra, conducted by Michael Molloy, the chorus, led by Kathleen Dyckman, and band, under the direction of Amanda Collins, performed a wide array of Christmas, Hanukkah and winter-themed songs. At the end, all musicians and the audience joined together for a holiday sing-along.