Photo Frame Decorating Mania raves at St. Mary’s

Great Neck South Middle School students engage in fun-filled arts and crafts activities with St. Mary’s Kids

Arts and crafts coupled with lots of smiles and laughter was the order of the day as thirteen students from Great Neck South Middle School visited the patients of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children to carry out a fun-filled photo-frame decorating activity. The students sat with an enthusiastic group of patients and helped them create personalized photo frames to brighten their rooms or share with family and friends.

Over the years, the students of the Great Neck South Middle School Community Action Committee (CAC)—a group that plans and coordinates community service activities—have spearheaded numerous fundraising projects to support charities and community groups within New York. St. Mary’s Hospital for Children—one of the region’s premier providers of post-acute pediatric care for children with special needs—has been a favorite of the philanthropic group for many years.

“St. Mary’s Hospital has always been a favorite of ours over the years, we are so impressed by the compassionate care they provide for so many children,” said Linda Musmeci, a teacher at South Middle school and the faculty sponsor of the Community Action Committee. “My students are always inspired to give back to the community and each year we come up with a new way to show our love and affection for the children of St. Mary’s. The photo-frame decorating project is definitely a hit.”

The long history between St. Mary’s and the students from Great Neck South Middle School stems 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.

The students of Great Neck are prime examples of kids helping kids and St. Mary’s kids are already looking forward to their next visit.