Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge precinct council shows love for children

Leaders collect books, pajamas for needy kids

April 5, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Capt. Joseph Hayward, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, congratulates former 68th Precinct Community Council president Ilene Saco (second from left) on the success of the book and pajama donation drive that she organized with council members Kate Cucco (third from left) and Linda Lupia. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas

The 68th Precinct Community Council, which works to serve as a bridge between police and the public in the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights area, has sought to expand its mission in recent years to include charitable endeavors.

On Saturday, the latest effort was on display at the precinct stationhouse at 333 65th St. as volunteers brought scores of books and pajamas for children as part of the council’s “Community As One” drive, a charity program in which civic leaders collected items for donation to various agencies that assist families in need.

The council partnered with the Bay Ridge Community Council and dozens of civic leaders on the project. (Full disclosure: This reporter took part in the drive).

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“We rock!” former council President Ilene Sacco told the Brooklyn Eagle when she was asked about her reaction to the fact that the donation drive resulted in thousands of dollars worth of books and kids’ pajamas. “This is the greatest community in the city. When you ask people to give, they respond like crazy,” Sacco said.

Precinct Council President David Ryan said he fully supported Sacco’s plans, as did Capt. Joseph Hayward, the precinct’s commanding officer.

A lot of work went into making Saturday a success. For the past month, the council has been posting fliers in store windows and sending out emails to local residents urging them to bring books and pajamas to the stationhouse on April 1 to be distributed to agencies.

Members of the Bay Ridge Lemonade Coalition, led by Preston Ferraiuolo, a seventh-grader at Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School, helped the adults out by traveling around Bay Ridge posting fliers to advertise the charity drive.

The Lemonade Coalition also showed up at the station house on Saturday to offer assistance.

The book and pajama drive was just the latest in a series of efforts by the precinct council to expand its mission into charity work.

Last year, the council sponsored the Mother of All Baby Showers, a donation drive aimed at providing much-needed items for newborns of domestic violence victims.

On the day of the drive, the station house resembled Babies R Us store with hundreds of donated blankets, diapers, bottles, booties, onesies, hand-crocheted blankets, toys and stuffed animals filling up the muster room.

Sacco, a lawyer, discussed her reasons for putting together a baby shower at a meeting of Community Board 10 prior to the drive, saying that she came up with the idea after she helped a domestic violence victim. The woman, who had survived being stabbed by her attacker, “got moved in the middle of the night for her safety,” Sacco said.

The incident got Sacco thinking. “A lot of these women get moved in the middle of the night. They have to leave everything behind,” she told Board 10.

Sacco said she thought hosting a gigantic baby shower and collecting gifts would be a good way of showing support for domestic violence victims.

Sacco is already thinking ahead to 2018. “Next year, we’re going to collect Teddy Bears!” she told the Eagle.


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