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Massapequa Observer - Schools

Lockhart Celebrates 25 Years of Wishes

Raymond J. Lockhart Elementary School reached a 25-year milestone of granting wishes to ailing children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Students and staff raised more than $4,100 to build Zachary, 6, a treehouse so that he can sit outside and experience the outdoors. Zachary suffers from aplastic anemia, an illness that prevents him from participating in outdoor activities.

“I don’t know of any other school in the country that has granted as many wishes as Lockhart has,” said Patricia Clemency, regional CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, who was also celebrating her 25th year working for the foundation.

Student Council members presented a large cardboard check to Clemency following the school’s holiday concert. She, in turn, presented Lockhart with a special plaque in recognition of “25 years of wishes,” which is displayed in a front lobby showcase.

The school started granting wishes in 1988 when “gas was 89 cents, “Good Morning Vietnam” was at the box office, “Murphy Brown” and “Roseanne” were popular TV shows and Nintendo Entertainment System was a popular video game console, according to Student Council Advisor Donald Breshnihan

“While times have changed, the wishes we grant haven’t,” Breshnihan said. “Every year there are children who want to go to Disney World, and every year they express how they don’t want to think of doctors or that they just want to do what their friends do. Well, we get to do this every year and we do it amazingly.”

Principal Stephen Scarallo told his students, “Outside the school is a plaque with the four C’s; courage, character, charity and community. I believe you emulated those four C’s by participating in this worthy cause today.”

In the fall, students from kindergarten through sixth grade raised money by collecting pledges from family and friends based on the number of laps they could walk or run around the school’s athletic field. The walk-a-thon, organized by Breshnihan, attracted parents, students and siblings who spent family time together in support of the school’s top fundraiser of the year.