2017-05-19 / Letters

Reconsider fee increases

To the Editor

I am a lifelong resident of GC; my kids are fourth generation. I’m writing about the enormous (800%!!) increase in the fee for use of St. Paul’s fields and field house.

This past Saturday I was once again happy to make impulsive buys at the Andy Foundation’s fabulous tag sale. The day before, I was among many residents who dropped off various things to be sold at the sale. The dozens of GC women and dozens more of our teenagers & young adults who give endless hours of their time to this charitable endeavor are an example of the best of our village. They spend their time sorting through furniture, sports stuff, kitchen items, clothes, antiques, everything imaginable into categories. They set up dozens of tables, have shopping bags ready, and price every item. They carry to and from cars. They man the sale and then clean up the field house for hours afterwards. The Andy Foundation came about through a GC family’s tragedy, nobly transformed into a charitable mission to help others. The Andy fund is entirely non-profit, encourages and teaches concern for others and volunteerism to our high school kids, and raises thousands of dollars a year to local charities. What a powerful lesson to our youth that this family and their friends redirects their suffering into helping others. As the mom of a young adult with autism, I’m happy that one of the charities is the Pal-O-Mine equestrian program for those with special needs. I’ve seen how Andy has assisted with the re-building of Sandy-damaged Breezy Point homes. Their other beneficiaries are equally worthwhile.

The Jay Gallagher crew and Molly Fund are also GC non-profits, and were both also created following a GC family’s tragedy. Both involve dozens of our teens & young adults in their programs. Lots of GC kids give their time helping out at the Jay Gallagher lacrosse tournament. The tournament now includes kids with special needs, of which of course there are plenty of right here in town who can now join in the fun. It’s great to see the jugs of sunscreen provided by the Molly Fund all around the GC Pool, lacrosse games, golf courses, tennis courts, etc. Molly’s educational efforts include school presentations; brochures at doctor’s offices, school health offices, and beach clubs; local bus ads, and more.

It would be a great loss to our village if the Andy Foundation is forced to stop their annual St. Paul’s tag sale. An 800% increase in St. Paul’s usage fee means drastically less money raised to support local charities because Andy’s primary fundraiser would be eliminated.

I was at a village meeting recently where a Recreation Dept. person stated that she had voted for the increase...but no explanation whatsoever was given by her or anyone else (at that meeting or anywhere else that I’m aware of) as to why there is a sudden 800% increase in St. Paul’s usage fees. Everyone expects a small increase now and then, but 800% all at once with no explanation is very strange.

I ask the trustees to consider a separate fee structure for Garden City based, non-profit organizations. This would mean that any higher fee would be for out of town groups that are for-profit, such as the antique book far held every year at St. Paul’s.

Patty McEntee Knap

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