ISLIP HAMLET

Easter eve event to benefit high school seniors

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Islip School District’s Post Prom Committee wants to egg your house – well, not like that!

The committee responsible for organizing the annual after-prom celebration for Islip High School seniors has announced an “egg-citing” Easter fundraiser this year. On Saturday, April 3 – or Easter eve – committee volunteers will distribute colored eggs across the front lawns of Islip homes. The eggs, stuffed with candy and small toys, will be hidden between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., so that when children wake up on Easter morning, they’re in for a surprise.

Committee member Denise Nash said the concept was formulated in February by fellow member Laura Rogacki when the group was brainstorming fundraising ideas.

“Typically, businesses and individuals are very generous and cash donations are made to the group. We really felt that it wasn’t appropriate for us to reach out to do that under the current financial situation that many people are facing [this year],” Nash said. “So, we had to be creative.”

Families residing in the Islip School District are encouraged to register for the fundraiser. One set of 40 eggs is $25, while one set of 80 eggs is $45. All money raised will go to Islip’s Class of 2021, to help the committee create a memorable end-of-theyear event.

“I think the main draw, because Islip is such a small and supportive community, everybody wants to support post prom [committee]. So, I think any fundraiser that post prom has is traditionally supported, throughout K-12,” she said. “But I think it brings joy to families and kids in a time when it’s been difficult to find events that bring joy. I think it’s something to look forward to, and it’s a really safe and fun community event, which is something that’s been lacking last year because of COVID regulations.”

As of Feb. 26, over 100 families had already signed up for the fundraiser, Nash, who has two children in the district, said. The committee is currently recruiting volunteers.

The Post Prom Committee was formed nearly 20 years ago in an effort to bring joy to seniors and avoid unwise post-prom decisions, committee coordinator Paul Austin said. Complete with live music and cash prizes, post prom typically runs from 11:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. at the high school.

“It’s a big community event and the senior parents always come out to help out, and it’s a beautiful thing,” Austin, who has been on the committee for nearly a decade, said.

However, Islip’s prom remains up in the air. Committee members are waiting to see if New York State and Suffolk County regulations change.

“The problem right now is that the venues are only open to 150 people, and our senior class this year is around 240,” Austin said.

The committee is considering hosting the senior prom in the high school cafeteria, lobby and building exterior – but nothing is set in stone, he said.

In 2020, Islip’s junior and senior proms were canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Donations made to the Post Prom Committee were used to create graduation signs and conduct a parade for the seniors in lieu of prom.

District residents who want to donate to the fundraiser must submit an online application before March 7. In the event of inclement weather, eggs will be placed outside each home in a bag.

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