By Grace Bennett
The shelves of Chappaqua’s beloved five and dime may have begun to appear bare, but thanks to hearts full of love, boxes of gifts to not for profits were filling up fast.
In short, a grand and generous gesture on the part of Auntie Penny created a truly heartwarming event Sunday morning.
“I’m just trying not to cry; this is just like Eve and Linda to do; they’ve both given so much to the community,” noted Dawn Evans Greenberg, who worked together with Auntie Penny to swing open its closing doors and invite multiple not for profits to stop by for a grand giveaway spree.
Inside Chappaqua caught up first with Dawn Meyerski who was eyeing a package of colorful, dangly bracelets. “It’s not only children the shop is helping, you know. These will make perfect gifts for our Senior Citizens at My Second Home,” noted Meyerski, executive director of the Mount Kisco Child Care Center which houses My Second Home, a safe and caring environment for seniors during the day. “I’m always overwhelmed by the generosity of this community; it’s beyond what anyone could expect.”
Luisa Grandsa-Rodriguez was busy filling a box with presents for several key programs of Neighbor’s Link in Mount Kisco; the first batch she collected was “for our Family Center. We work with immigrant families and helping to prepare their children for kindergarten.”
Laura Schwartz, executive director of the Child Abuse Prevention Center, noted that she was picking up presents for impoverished families the Center serves throughout the county. “They might come in useful for fundraising at auctions too,” she noted.
Similarly, Penny Romano, executive director of the Miracle League of Westchester, was considering potential raffle items to help families of children with special needs.
Chappaqua’s Liz Wolf, whose kids Caroline and Sammy have been actively volunteering for the Oyebog Tennis Academy in Cameroon, Africa, was busy assembling a care package for the Academy.
And finally, Greenberg herself appeared to be breaking a sweat packing away on behalf of at least several organizations…including Chappaqua’s Making Headway Foundation (which supports research toward a cure for pediatric brain cancer), for a pediatric wing at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and for a Special Needs Girl Scout’s troop, too. Chappaqua’s Helen Jonsen, a long time Girl Scout Leader, stopped in to help with packing efforts as well.
Greenberg said she anticipates the giveaway to be in progress through Tuesday.