West Islip Summit Coalition

 

 

The first step towards holding an annual community summit in West Islip was taken on December 1st, 2008, when the West Islip School District organized the first meeting of the West Islip Summit Coalition.  The coalition, introduced by Dr. Beth Blau, and facilitated by school board members Steve Gellar, George Smith, and Annmarie LaRosa, is a movement to improve the overall quality of life in West Islip.  The initial meeting drew more than twenty-five leaders from a wide variety of West Islip community organizations.  There was unanimous consensus among the group that a summit coalition would have a positive impact in identifying community needs and objectives, and bring about change. 
 
As a follow up, a survey was mailed to the various organizations to help identify the concerns of the community and the responses were discussed at the second meeting, which was held on January 12. Those present included representatives from youth athletic leagues, district administration, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, homeowners associations, Beautification, elected officials from the Town of Islip and Suffolk County, Youth Enrichment Services, Cultural Arts Association, PTA Council and the YMCA.  Based on the results of the survey, the group crafted the following mission statement:
 
“The West Islip Summit Coalition seeks to improve the quality of life, economic well-being and educational opportunities for all groups and residents by fostering greater community awareness and unity.”
 
To achieve that objective, the following sub-committees were formed, with each focusing on specific areas:
 
Summit Council
Economic and Business Development
Quality of Life
Youth Services
Beautification and Historical Preservation
Public Relations

Each sub-committee will meet to identify its own goals and objectives, choose a chairperson, and report back to the organization at our next meeting on February 23rd at the Beach Street Middle School Library.  Community members wishing to be involved in committee work are encouraged to contact Jeanne Koeper at j.koeper@wi.k12.ny.us .
 
The Summit Coalition has targeted the Fall of 2009 for the first annual Summit Event, which will be a celebration of West Islip and a showcase for the accomplishments of the coalition.  Organizations wishing to be a part of this event should contact Annmarie LaRosa or Steve Gellar at wi.summit@wi.k12.ny.us .