Number of Participants: 33
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $279
Event Type: Veterans & Military Families
School: Westlake High School
Date: September 11, 2023
Westlake High School
Westlake Drive, Thornwood
On September 11th, Westlake Athletics planned to Salute our first responders in a community-wide event at the first football game under the lights on our new turf field. The stage was set outside with volunteers from our youth athletics clubs and three fire trucks, two holding a flag between them was staged, but the weather refused to cooperate.
Thunder and lightning postponed a football game, but it could not put a damper on the Salute to First Responders or the community spirit behind the event. The custodial and facilities staff seamlessly shifted the events inside into Westlake High School auditorium.
Along with members of the Board of Education, elected officials from the Town of Mt. Pleasant including Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, Councilwoman Danielle Zaino, Councilman Jerome Schulman, Councilwoman Laurie Smalley, Councilman Tom Sialiano, Highway Superintendent Richard Benkwitt, Receiver of Taxes Grace Papa, and Town Clerk Emily Costanza were in attendance. The standing room only crowd which included Dr. Peter Giarrizzo – Superintendent, Keith Schenker – Westlake High School Principal and Daniel Brady – Westlake High School Assistant Principal gathered to salute local first responders which included Mt. Pleasant Police, Thornwood Fire Department, Valhalla Fire Department, Hawthorne Fire Department, and Valhalla Ambulance Volunteers.
The event kicked off with the varsity football team processing into the auditorium carrying the American, school, New York, and other various flags. Then, WHS student and granddaughter of a first responder, Susanna Palumbo sang the National Anthem. Next members of our community, the Lyons and Byrnes families who each lost someone related to the day, joined us on this somber occasion and creating a community event which enabled us to *remember*. Both families help take part in our honorary coin toss, although it was only ceremonial, the Wildcats took it. Our game took place the next night.