Great Neck South Middle’s Yearly Support for Children With Special Needs Continues to Pour in

Students Organize Weekly Bake Sales to Help Raise Funds and Awareness for St. Mary’s Kids

The students of Great Neck South Middle School are like Santa’s little elves – working hard all year round to provide a happy holiday for children and their families.

Every Friday, the students of the Community Action Committee at the South Middle school, bake and sell homemade goods to help raise funds to support patients and their families at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, one of the region’s premiere providers of post-acute pediatric care for children with special needs.

“We are so impressed by the wonderful facility at St. Mary’s and the care they provide for so many children,” said Linda Musmeci, a teacher at South Middle and the faculty sponsor of the Community Action Committee, a group that plans and coordinates community service activities. “My students are always inspired to give back to the community and each year, come up with a new way to show their love and affection for the children of St. Mary’s, especially during the holidays.”

Great Neck South Middle students have a long history of supporting St. Mary’s kids, stemming from the remarkable story of a former St. Mary’s patient, Zachary Portnoy. Zachy was a Great Neck resident and student who left an ever-lasting impact on the community, uniting them to continue to keep his memory alive by helping other children at St. Mary’s who receive rehabilitative services and dynamic therapies, such as he did, to help them overcome their challenges. All year round, students visit with St. Mary’s kids for arts & crafts activities, holiday visits filled with toys and presents, organize and present shows to entertain patients, and host yearly fundraisers to help raise funds and awareness. St. Mary’s kids have formed an unbreakable bond with the students and always welcome a visit from their long-time friends.

St. Mary’s cares for over 4,000 children with serious illness, injury, or complications of premature birth, and children come to St. Mary’s to regain confidence and independence, and to heal and grow. “It seems every time I turn around, someone from my school has received outstanding care from St. Mary’s, and that’s remarkable,” said Ms. Musmeci. “We are proud to continue to support St. Mary’s kids in anyway we can.”

The bake sale has raised over $1,000 so far, and the students are continuing to rally their friends, family, and neighbors to support this worthy cause.