Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge #535 and Cerebral Palsy of Westchester dedicate a Memorial Garden at the Bridge School at Cerebral Palsy of Westchester
July 16, 2021, Rye Brook, NY–The BRIDGE School at Cerebral Palsy of Westchester (CPW) and The Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge # 535 celebrated the grand opening of the Memorial Garden at The BRIDGE School today with a dedication ceremony followed by a BBQ for students, administrators, Lodge members, families and friends. CPW’s adaptive Scouts opened the ceremony by leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Speakers included President Jay Singer and past-president Bob Sollazzo of the Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge #535 along with CPW Executive Director Linda Kuck and BRIDGE School Principal Barry Wasser.
The Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge #535 created the Memorial Garden to remember those BRIDGE School students who passed away before they could graduate from the program. Past president Bob Sollazzo, who initiated the garden project said, “After seeing similar memorial gardens in Florida, I wanted to create a “Living Memorial” to those students attending The BRIDGE School. Our Boy and Girl Scout Troops at CPW will plant, water and maintain the Garden as a living tribute to all the students here who passed away much too soon. In this way, their friends and loved ones will know that they are not forgotten but live on as part of our community.”
Elks Lodge Members built four planter boxes, filled them with top-soil, and installed the Memorial Garden sign. Together with the students and staff, Elks members helped with the selection of plants, and the preparation and planting of the boxes. They planted one garden box of perennials, two boxes of annuals, and one large vegetable garden. Since late spring, the students have been watering and weeding the gardens and looking forward to harvesting the vegetables and enjoying gardening for years to come.
The Mid-Westchester Elks Lodge #535 was organized in 2009 and meets at the American Legion Post No. 1097 in Armonk, NY. For over a decade, Lodge #535 has adopted CPW as their major community project. This includes playing a formative and leadership role in CPW’s Adaptive Scouts: Cub Scout Pack 535 and Girl Scout Troop 1902. Since 1966, the NYS Elks have embraced the Cerebral Palsy Associations of NYS as their Major Project. Throughout the world, Elks’ lodges promote neighbors coming together, families sharing meals, and helping children grow. Their motto is: Elks Care, Elks Share.
The BRIDGE SCHOOL at Rye Brook, a division of Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, is a special education center serving students with multiple disabilities. It offers a comprehensive program that connects families, students, and educational professionals to help each student reach their academic potential and discover what the possibilities are for them beyond the school setting.
About Cerebral Palsy of Westchester: With a main campus located in Rye Brook and now in its 72nd year, CPW’s mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with all developmental disabilities including autism, neurological impairments, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. Through a comprehensive network of educational programs, day services, residential sites, therapeutic services, employment training, recreation programs and advocacy, the agency helps thousands of children and adults in Westchester and Fairfield Counties live more productive and satisfying lives. The organization’s motto is: Realizing Tomorrow’s Potential . . . Today!
For information about the Mid-Westchester Elks, contact Jay Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News courtesy of Mid-Westchester Elks and Cerebral Palsy of Westchester.