By Nancy Vallarella
“In a time lacking truth and certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no women should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world through her work a portion of its lost heart.” Louise Bogan passed away February 4, 1970. She was the fourth poet Laureate honored by the Library of Congress in 1947.
Kristy Jaegar, Christine Fitzgerald and Chistina Alcure
Many decades have passed but Louise Bogan could have very well been writing about three remarkable Smithtown residents. All three are mothers. All three have a professional background. All three were united by their compassion for a fatally ill 5-year-old girl. That girl, Kaylee Rivers, was a neighbor to Christine Fitzgerald, a girl scout in Christina Alcure’s troop and a classmate to the son of Kristy Jaeger. When Kaylee was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in the spring of 2008, these women pooled their resources to aid Kaylee and the Rivers family both financially and emotionally and formed the Smithtown Children’s Foundation (SCF).
In the three years since the foundation was formed, other Smithtown families have encountered the battle of disease, endured the recovery from injury or the loss of loved ones and have had the Smithtown Children’s Foundation there to support them. In addition to the support they have given to Smithtown families, the SCF has established scholarship funds which are awarded to seniors from Smithtown High Schools East and West. They have also organized a number of memorial running events within the Smithtown community.
These three women, in three short years, have helped to heal, touch and comfort strangers in our own back yard. Unlike the angels we read about or those who are portrayed in movies as strangers who appear out of nowhere, give assistance and disappear as mysteriously as they arrive, Christine Fitzgerald, Christina Alcure and Kristy Jaeger are familiar faces, long term Smithtown residents, and mere mortals.
Three is the number representing supreme balance and support however; greatness can be achieved in numbers.
The Smithtown Children’s Foundation is reaching out and looking for help from businesses that can lend financial support, products, services or may be looking for community exposure at events. Civic organizations such as the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, Junior Honor Society candidates or Confirmation candidates who are looking to fulfill community service needs. Individuals who just want to help a neighbor, pay their good fortune forward or take ownership in their community can contact the SCF at: 631-624-2466 or e-mail: fitzyBBCF@optonline.net.
On Thursday, October 27th, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation is proud to be one of three honorees at the 6th Annual Taste of Smithtown sponsored by the Senior Resources of Long Island. The event is hosted and held at Mercedes Benz of Smithtown, 630 Middle Country Road, Saint James from 6pm -9pm. Gourmet goodies, east end wine and seasonal microbrew will be served from more than 28 local culinary businesses attending. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased at the door with check or cash.