Schools: Polar Plunge Fundraising; Otto Kahn Scholarships

Students and staff from the Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center  took a polar plunge Sunday and raised more than $11,000 to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

About 30 students from the Silas Superstars team, their principal Stephen Toto, and some of their teachers, jumped into the waters off Long Beach.

Among the superstars was their classmate, Michael Umstead, who is a Make-A-Wish kid waiting for his wish to be granted.

Michael, 11, was born with severe congenital heart defects.  February is American Heart Month and February 7th through the 14th was CHD Awareness Week.  This was the 5th Annual Silas Wood Polar Bear Plunge for the school team.

“I just want the kids to be able to look at the bigger scope of just Silas and be able to help outside of the world of school,” principal Stephen Toto said. “It’s teaching kids how to be part of a bigger community and show compassion and empathy for kids that are going through a tough time,

It makes it more special when one of our own Silas Superstars is a Make-A-Wish child.”

Otto Kahn Scholarship Applications

Friends of OHEKA announced Thursday that applications for seniors
who will be attending college in the fall and are majoring in the performing arts, visual arts or music are now available.

Students should check with their high school guidance office or principal’s office for the applications which are due by March 28th. Applications are available at the following high schools: Cold Spring Harbor, Half Hollow Hills East, Half Hollow Hills West, Harborfields, Huntington, John Glenn, Northport and Walt Whitman.

Winners will receive their awards at the annual Garden Party May 15.

Friends of OHEKA President Ellen Schaffer urges all eligible students to apply before the March 28 deadline and added “Awarding the Otto Kahn Scholarships is the highlight of our year.” Friends of OHEKA has raised over $200,000 since 2003 for deserving students.

The group works with Oheka owner Gary Melius.

To purchase tickets in advance use the following link:
or visit

Friends of OHEKA, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, preservation and public awareness of OHEKA Castle, a monument to a bygone era.

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