Since 2014, neighbors on Sylvan Place in Valley Stream have banded together each holiday season to raise funds for charities to honor the memory of two of their own.
As part of their efforts, the group holds a block party, serving food and hot chocolate, and inviting Santa to share in the festivities for their late neighbors Chris Schroeder, who died of cancer in 2013 at age 18, and Michael Smith, who had down syndrome, and died the same year at age 44.
This February, the group donated the funds raised from the block party to the Sunrise Association, a non-profit aimed at supporting families with children suffering from cancer in honor of Schroeder, and the Anchor Program Fund, which supports people with special needs throughout the Town of Hempstead, in honor of Smith.
All told, the group raised $1,500 for each of the two agencies.
“We have been fortunate enough to see our donations grow each year,” said Alex Carr, a Sylvan Place resident and one of the fundraiser’s organizers, “and hope to see this trend continue, and hopefully be able to help out both worthwhile causes in the future.”
The group is already planning next year’s fundraiser and it is scheduled to take place on Dec. 14 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Carr added, “We hope to see everyone there!”