2022 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Massapequa Kiwanas Club
Michael Mazzola, President
For nearly 75 years, the Massapequa Kiwanis Club has created opportunities for students to dream, grow and explore their curiosity in safe, nurturing environments that foster growth and encourage them to succeed. Kiwanis has proven an outstanding partner to Massapequa schools, having provided 200 distinct scholarships, as well as a significant amount of grant funds. They have made a major impact on local education through their contributions to student leadership programs, drug prevention and intervention, mental health awareness, wellness and aftercare, and programs that teach good citizenship, acceptance and kindness.
Kiwanis members are role models who demonstrate the importance of giving through community outreach and direct action: offering health programs that advocate for and support at-risk individuals; raising money for veterans, first responders and essential workers; and providing food deliveries and financial support to 2,000 local families in need. They reassembled a historical 1890 log cabin on-site in John Burns Park, making it useable by community organizations for meetings and special events. They also constructed nine tournament-level bocce courts to give students, families and youth groups a place to gather for fun and sportsmanship.
One place Massapequa Kiwanis has made a noteworthy difference is at Nassau BOCES Carman Road School for the physically and developmentally challenged. Over the course of the past 15 years, Kiwanis has greatly enhanced the lives of these students through myriad projects including: creating a mini-gold course; contributing materials to the construction of three memorial gardens; helping to create a cozy reading corner with refurbished benches, and seating specifically designed for individuals with physical and sensory challenges; clearing and cleaning overgrown land to build raised flowers beds and give students improved garden access. They also create a field of honor of American flags each Veterans Day at the school and make presentations about flag etiquette.