Chasing Away Hunger - HOPEful Donations
Chasing Away Hunger
with HOPEful Donations
Shopping for groceries may be an ordinary task, but for Sayville sixth-grader Chase Hofmann, it took on special meaning during the HOPE Club’s food drive at the Middle School.
This past spring, during the Lincoln Avenue Moving-Up ceremonies, Chase was one of several students who received the Erin Halliday Duffy Memorial Scholarship, which honored the memory of beloved Lincoln Avenue teacher (and former student) Erin Duffy, who was taken by cystic fibrosis too early in her young life.
Known for her love of life and interest in nature, Mrs. Duffy touched the hearts and minds of her students, both when she taught kindergarten and later third grade. Colleagues and students fondly recalled how Mrs. Duffy conveyed her joy for living and love of life through her lessons as well as by example. Students remember being amazed by her yoga postures—including headstands—which she incorporated into the classroom as a healthy way to begin each morning,
To keep Mrs. Duffy’s philosophy and spirit alive in the hearts of students who did not know her, a foundation and scholarship has been established in her name, and the Sunflower has become her symbol.
Scholarship recipient Chase Hofmann knew she wanted to fulfill the promise to “do something good for the community” with her scholarship money. When her core teacher, Mrs. Lynn Alessi, spoke on behalf of the HOPE Club advisors Mrs. Cox and Mrs. Rooney, about the gift of giving, the class responded overwhelmingly. Moved by Mrs. Alessi’s heartened speech, Chase realized the schoolwide collection of nonperishable food donations for local families in need would fulfill her promise and went on her shopping spree with renewed purpose. Spending the entire scholarship money on the groceries for the HOPE Club, Chase’s contribution nearly doubled what her class had donated.
“All these kids are wonderful and generous,” Mrs. Alessi acknowledged, “and through them, we can change the world, a little bit at a time.” Regarding Chase’s contribution, Mrs. Alessi felt the heartwarming news of this good deed should serve as example of the fine character, conduct, and positive energy among so many of our Sayville students.