GREAT NEWS!!!  On June 18 2014,Friends of Students for 60,000 was approved for a third “challenge” (matching) grant, this time for $12,000, from the California-based humanitarian SG Foundation to continue our house-building in Chacraseca!

This means that we really need to reach out to our donors so that we can have the funds to match this grant!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider making a donation NOW for safe housing for the poor in Chacraseca. (click the DONATE button to donate through paypal!)

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WELCOME BACK FROM ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL NICARAGUA TRIP and a job well done, Pete White and FSF60K!

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Have a look at Friends’ recent activities on our Facebook page!

Have a look at Friends’ recent activities on our Facebook page!

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Friends and Nicaraguans mourn the passing of Sister Rita

June 19, 2013 — Maryknoll Sister Rita Owczarek, a long-time nurse, health educator and missioner in Nicaragua, died last Sunday in the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care in New York. She was 95 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 65 years, much of which was spent in Nicaragua.  Known for her feistiness, Sister Rita rose to every challenge she ever received as a missioner. At one time, she even incurred a bullet wound, which ran through her bible and into her leg. Characteristically, Sister Rita didn’t even notice that she had been wounded until, after boarding a bus, one of the locals pointed to her leg and told her it was bleeding.  …“I never fail to admire and attempt to live the deep faith and hope of these wonderful people through countless catastrophes of nature, an attempt at democracy after a revolution, and political corruption,” Sister Rita wrote in a report submitted to her congregation in 2006.

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Friends Nicaragua Trip

***Led by veterans Pete White, Dick Wiltamuth, Kate Shreck and Bill Ofenloch, eight members of Friends made a successful trip to Nicaragua from Apr. 8-15. They brought $32000 with them, mostly from donations from Friends contributors. These funds were used to construct nine much needed houses in Chacraseca, to purchase animals, and to continue the almost-completed clean water project in Nuevo Amanecer. The eight member group worked on construction of two of the nine houses, had important meetings with Conchita Ojeda and other Nicaraguan community leaders about the progress of Friends' many projects, and Dr. Andrew Longley, the water expert from Great Britain who is heading up the clean water effort, which involved bringing potable, arsenic-free water from half way up the volcano Telica, down to four towns where several hundred families in Nuevo Amanecer and surrounding towns will benefit.  They also met with former Northporter John Coronna who gave them a tour of the Leon neighborhood of Subtiava where he built a beautiful park and ball field for the poor indigineous residents there. Friends hopes to use John's park as a model for one they're planning in Chacraseca. Thanks to all who contributed and remain interested in this important work. Also, since this trip was so successful, the group is considering a return visit in late summer.

Led by veterans Pete White, Dick Wiltamuth, Kate Shreck and Bill Ofenloch, eight members of Friends made a successful trip to Nicaragua from Apr. 8-15. They brought $32000 with them, mostly from donations from Friends contributors. These funds were used to construct nine much needed houses in Chacraseca, to purchase animals, and to continue the almost-completed clean water project in Nuevo Amanecer. The eight member group worked on construction of two of the nine houses, had important meetings with Conchita Ojeda and other Nicaraguan community leaders about the progress of Friends’ many projects, and Dr. Andrew Longley, the water expert from Great Britain who is heading up the clean water effort, which involved bringing potable, arsenic-free water from half way up the volcano Telica, down to four towns where several hundred families in Nuevo Amanecer and surrounding towns will benefit. they also met with former Northporter John Coronna who gave them a tour of the Leon neighborhood of Subtiava where he built a beautiful park and ball field for the poor indigineous residents there. Friends hopes to use John’s park as a model for one they’re planning in Chacraseca. Thanks to all who contributed and remain interested in this important work. Also, since this trip was so successful, the group is considering a return visit in late summer.
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From our members who run Project HOPE:

Dear Friends of HOPE-
Thanks to all of our dedicated friends and supporters, we were able to serve over 175 guests a wonderful St Patrick’s Day supper, sponsored by the Friends of Students for 60K. Our chef, Alan Zox, cooked up a fabulous dinner of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots, and our soup chefs, Nanci and Jen, served split pea soup. We rounded out our dinner with delicious Irish soda bread, donated by Copenhagen Bakery. While our guests ate, they were entertained by dancers from the Petri School of Irish Step Dancing. Special thanks to our Temple Beth El kitchen staff and to the Students for 60K, who were our ‘volunteers of the day’!

Together we are making a difference!
Carol and Sue

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March 2013 meeting minutes

  • The March meeting focused on discussion of the upcoming Friends’ trip to Nicaragua April 8 – 15 led by Pete White, including the suggested program of activities, visits, and trip logistics.
  • Also discussed was progress in establishing an enhanced web presence for Friends and in building Friends membership, particularly among alumni of Students for 60,000.
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January and February 2013 meeting minutes

February 7, 2013 meeting:

  • The Nuevo Amanecer water project is progressing well, with projected yields appearing to be better than anticipated.  Very good news for this community, at long last — we are approaching the end of the third and final phase of this project!…
  • Friends’ upcoming trip to Nicaragua in April – several slots remain for new, interested people to become involved. It was suggested to perhaps organize more than one trip a year going forward, including trips with special focus like music, sports, or others.  John Coronna offered to facilitate the Leon portion of such trips…
  • Friends’ Boston chapter “Friends NE” has been approved for a grant of $32000 for each of the next three years, or $96000 total, good news from Friends NE’s director Mike Cipoletti.  The funds will be used primarily for water and housing projects in a region of Chacraseca…
  • Discussion of the future direction of Friends parent organization, with member John Coronna visiting from Nicaragua.  We want to increase alumni participation in Friends, consistent with Friends’ original purpose, even if virtual due to geographic distance, and increase overall membership to have more hands for more projects reflecting the organization’s goals — helping the poor and increasing awareness of need locally and globally.

January 10, 2013 meeting:

  • Water engineer Andrew Longley requested $10000 to complete Phase III of Nuevo Amanecer water project. Students for 60000 agreed to contribute $4000, and chapter Friends NE $3000. Friends decided to contribute the remaining $3000 from proceeds from October’s Walk for the Poor…
  • Member Kathleen Cusumano happily reported that her students at East Northport MS and her son’s confraternity classmates contributed $412 toward the Comedor Escolar nutrition project in Nicaragua…
  • Member George Pardo described the work of Lucas from Global Student Embassy, a not-for-profit organization working in Chacraseca on gardens and other nutrition projects. George said the program will see a garden at each of Chacraseca’s 14 schools. Friends agreed to his request to provide $1000 as a good faith contibution  to “keep the ball rolling” and help expand the project…
  • Member Carol Werblin filled us in on the success of Project Hope’s Sunday Suppers which are held at the Moose Lodge on Pulaski Rd. in Huntington Station. She said more than 150-200 people, mostly seniors from Paumanock community are served a full hot meal every Sunday. Friends has agreed to host the March 17 supper and agreed to contribute $500 from walkathon proceeds. This sum should take care of the March 17 supper and one or two additional suppers. Some members of Friends agreed to be at the Moose Lodge on March 17 to help with preparation, serving and cleanup…
  • Discussion of upcoming Nicaragua trip, and on updating website information.
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Minutes – Fall 2012 meetings

  • Successful walkathon for the poor:   Friends held a Walk for the Poor, Hungry and Homeless on Oct. 28, 2012, the day before Hurricane Sandy.  Forty-seven walkers participated in the 21-mile walk.  Walk chairperson Bob Hodum congratulated the walkers. sponsors, and others who assisted (Town and local agencies, police departments, etc.)  The total monies raised by the various participating groups is estimated so far at $6150;  Pete estimates that the Friends total for the Walk will exceed $3500.   Discussion for future walks on the need to have more visibility for awareness, an important aspect of the walk.  The use of funds raised was discussed – Peter suggested some portion to go toward the Nuevo Amanecer water project which is $10000 away from completion, in addition to other  projects on LI and in NYC.  Groups participating included Friends, Students for 60000, OLQM Project Nicaragua, Rotary, HIHI, Project Hope, Peace and Plenty.
  • Discussion of some community members’ misperceptions of the work of Students for 60000 and Friends of Students for 60000 in Nicaragua and locally. Friends of Students for 60000 is a bona fide 501c3 not for profit corporation in good standing with the IRS. Everything done by Friends is within our bylaws, and within our charitable purposes which are approved by NYS Department of Charities and the IRS.   Friends’ goal is to provide aid, care, and support to the needy wherever they may be found.  Pete White clarified, regarding the high school club Students for 60000, that Students’ funds raised from Fall through Christmas, i.e. Shanty, Cow Harbor Day, Thanksgiving supermarket fundraiser, etc., all go to local needy and poverty causes.  The only Students’ money that goes to Nicaragua is that which is raised by those students participating in Nicaragua trip. All money for Nicaragua projects comes from donors who specifically donate to the Nicaragua Project.
  • Discussion of the need to get out word of Friendssuccessful accomplishments to more readers. As of late November, 2012, the chief means of communicating has been the Friends’ website, our two newsletters (Feb. 2012, and Sept. 2012), and occasional articles in local papers. Agreement that we need far more communication, including an updated presence on Facebook.
  • Friends’ member Carol Werbin was very pleased with progress and success of the monthly meals she has organized for the many hungry and needy in the Huntington area, and described the help she receives from local adults and young people. Several members of Friends stated interest in helping at her next dinner; the dinners are held at the Moose Lodge in Greenlawn.
  • Pete presented the newly-made photo postcards for this year’s Friends Holiday Postcard fund- raiser. The photos are very compelling, thanks to Bill Ofenloch, expert photographer. Postcards will be sent by Friends members to potential donors. Kathy Cusumano is organizing other methods of distributing additional postcards.
  • Discussion of our September newsletter. Congratulations especially to Bob Hodum for producing the very attractive and informative newsletter, our second in our ongoing attempt to raise awareness of the work we do.
  • Discussion of Cow Harbor Day – Approximately $200 was collected from donors and a $500 contribution made through Paypal from one alumnus who stopped at our table in the park. Flyers were distributed, items sold, and our organization and work publicized. Congratulations to Joanne and Millie for chairing the event, and to Kate, Pete, Kathy and others who staffed our table in the park all day.
  • Visit of Andrew Longley, the English water engineer whose NGO Nuevas Esperanzas, is completing the Nuevo Amanecer Water Project. Announcement that Andrew was to visit Friends members Mike Cipoletti, Bill Ofenloch, and Lisa Flanagan, and would be speaking at a meeting of Students for 60000 on Oct. 16, 2012. George Pardo and Pete White met with Andrew for an hour before the Oct. 16 meeting, and Pete attended Andrew’s presentation at the SF60000 meeting.. He said it was the finest presentation he’d ever seen of such a very technical nature. “Despite the very scientific material covered, including the many tests that had to be run, and the arsenic levels in the water, due to his knowledge and interesting style, the more than 160 students present learned a great deal from and were spellbound by Andrew about the NA water project.” ) It should be noted that Friends has provided $28500 toward this important, life saving project. According to Andrew, another $10000 is needed to complete it.
  • Four members of Friends, Pete White, Joanne Moran, Bill Ofenloch and Dick Wiltamuth showed great interest in going to Nicaragua in early – mid November. They were eager to bring with them the $20100 available for the Chacraseca Housing Initiative (CHIP) to build between 8 – 11 new houses. (Friends raised $4550; Students $5550; SG Foundation contributed $10000 for a total of $20100). However, all agreed to postpone the trip until early April in hopes that given more time, they can have a delegation of 8-10 people.
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Our Newsletters

We are pleased to introduce our newsletters!  We want you to see what you began and where it’s going, and to provide you with a means to share your work with others as well. Click here to read them!

We invite you to forward our newsletters to anyone who may be interested, and very importantly too, to send us back your own news of continuing humanitarian work you are doing on behalf of the poor and needy.

We also invite you to take the opportunity to become sustaining members of Friends of Students for 60,000. By making a nominal annual membership donation (see newsletter) you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping bring hope to the needy on an ongoing basis, and you’ll also receive regular copies of our newsletter to keep you up to date on work being done. Join us!

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