The Farmingdale Community Summit Council, an organization founded by local groups and residents within the Farmingdale School District prior to the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11 in an effort to bring the community together, is continuing its quest to help local residents who have suffered as a result of the tragedy. The organization is currently seeking to help local families who are in need of financial assistance as a result of the events.
The Community Summit Council realizes that there are several local families who have suffered due to the loss of a family member as a result of Sept. 11, and that some of those families have not come forward and requested assistance for one reason or another. Out of respect to those families and others who are in need of assistance, the Summit Council has organized an application process where residents can discreetly send in a form to be evaluated by the Summit to determine what families are most in need of financial assistance.
To date, the Summit Council has raised over $10,000 through the efforts of fundraisers. Approximately half of the money raised came from residents' generosity at the recent Candlelight Vigil held at the high school football field where residents were asked to make donations, and through checks sent into the organization. In addition, the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, a member of the council, recently held a golf outing where they raised more money they are planning to donate to the organization for this cause.
The Summit Council is asking residents to submit their applications as soon as possible, as they would like to distribute the funds to families in time for the holidays. The applications will be evaluated by the organization on a first come, first served basis. They will be evaluated by members to determine which residents need the assistance most and the organization hopes to distribute the money as fairly as possible to those families most in need.
"Our commitment is to keep it in families of Farmingdale," said Tom Sabellico, who played a large role in getting the Community Summit Council together. "What we're finding is that the high visibility victims are those who lost loved ones that were uniformed people, but we're [also] finding out that there are other people who lost their jobs, or whose businesses were eradicated, so there's need out there beyond just the first obvious ones."
Sabellico added that some residents may be nervous to come out and ask for the help, and that the Council is not looking to bring these people out at a huge community gathering, they just want to help. "Some people are just a little shy or bashful about coming forward during this time so we're trying to do it in as quiet a way as possible but letting people know it's out there," he said. "We don't want a fanfare but we want them to know the application is there, the funds are there for Farmingdale families and we'll do it quietly. We'll respect their anonymity."