David Mitnick, chairman of the organization’s board, encourages folks to support the Suffolk Education Foundation and its vital work, by purchasing a commemorative, personalized brick at the new Pioneer Elementary School.
David Mitnick, chairman of the organization’s board, encourages folks to support the Suffolk Education Foundation and its vital work, by purchasing a commemorative, personalized brick at the new Pioneer Elementary School.

Not just another brick

Published 9:31pm Monday, December 2, 2013

The Suffolk Education Foundation is calling on individuals, businesses and community groups to support education by purchasing a commemorative engraved brick at the city’s future new elementary school on Holland Road.

For $99, supporters of the cause will get a personalized brick at Pioneer Elementary School, engraved with up to three lines of text with 20 characters per line, according to David Mitnick, chairman of the foundation’s board.

The first 175 bricks will be set in a circular arrangement around the flagpole, Mitnick said, with additional bricks, if orders exceed that number, to be placed elsewhere on the school’s patio.

“We have appealed to the entire community,” he said. “We are just hoping that folks will buy bricks to make it a lasting legacy, as its part of the new school.”

The foundation is appealing in particular to folks in western and southern Suffolk, he said, where there’s a lot of history associated with Southwestern Elementary School, which will close ahead of the new school’s scheduled September 2014 opening.

“There’s a lot of history and a lot of people that are tied into that school,” Mitnick said. “We are also marketing this with current teachers in the school system and people who graduated from Forest Glen High School before (it closed in) 1990.”

A whole block of bricks will honor E. Talmadge Darden, who was principal of King’s Fork Middle School before losing a battle with cancer in 2011, Mitnick said.

“Team Darden is keeping his support and memory alive,” he added.

Fittingly, 10 percent of profits will go directly to Pioneer Elementary, Mitnick said, “So they will have a little seed money in the PTA (parent-teacher association).”

The rest will support the foundation’s various other causes — 94 percent of funds it brings in support Suffolk Public Schools programs, according to Mitnick.

Donations are tax-deductible, and brick orders can be made at www.brickmarkers.com/donors/suffolk. Hardcopy orders are also available by contacting LeeAnn Azar, the foundation’s executive director, at lazar@suffolkeducationfoundation.org to request a form. For more information, call 775-9682.

Mitnick thanked school district Superintendent Deran Whitney for giving the fundraiser his blessing.

At full capacity, Pioneer Elementary School will serve 650 students from pre-K through grade 5. It sits on 47 acres at the corner of Pioneer and Holland roads.

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