Bringing the community together for three days of fundraising recreation, the 16th annual FTK carnival was held from Sept. 21-23 on the grounds of Timber Point Elementary School in East Islip.
FTK President Nancy Goldfader welcomed East Islip students, staff, parents and friends to the Friday night opening ceremonies, which featured strong vocal and musical performances by combined ensembles of students from all four of the East Islip School District’s elementary schools (Timber Point as well as Connetquot, John F. Kennedy and Ruth C. Kinney).
With patriotic colors flying, courtesy of three local Scouts, student Emma Sasso led the assembled crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The chorus students then sang a stirring “Star-Spangled Banner,” conducted by RCK music teacher Margaret Strzelecka and assisted by fellow music teachers Kathleen Carter of Timber Point, Eileen Egbert of Connetquot and James Santoro of JFK.
Up next were the elementary string students, who performed marvelously under the direction of teachers Jaime DeMaria and Angela Fetcho, assisted by Alyssa Sciarrino, the high school’s string orchestra director.
“The string musicians from all four buildings really ‘twinkled’ and shined at the opening ceremonies,” said DeMaria. “We were very proud of all of our students!”
When the last musical notes had faded, Goldfader spoke, expressing her gratitude for the support FTK (formally known as the For the Kids Foundation) had received. Superintendent of Schools John J. Finello took the mic to reiterate how meaningful FTK’s recent $70,000 donation would be for the students in the district. With those words, the party started and a weekend of fun games, rides and food began for the children of East Islip.
“We were thrilled with the community support through sponsorships and ecstatic with the turnout for this year's carnival,” said Goldfader. “I give sincere thanks to everyone – especially co-chairpersons Pat Blair and Mary Finn – who gave of their time and energy to this event. Beautiful weather, exciting rides, great food and a safe environment made for a weekend that was enjoyed by all, especially the kids.”