We live in a community surrounded with incredible individuals, families, and students constantly finding new ways to give back and drive change. This past week we had the pleasure of meeting with Kathy Quinn, who is the grace and driving force behind the Mary Quinn’s Mark Foundation. We are so grateful that she took the time to sit with us, and tell us more about the initiatives and plans for the Foundation.
Mary Quinn was the youngest of five children of a Floral Park family. While she was born with Down Syndrome and other medical conditions, she showed true strength and positive spirit throughout her life. She touched peoples’ lives everywhere she went and is still remembered for her smile. To many, Mary was a friend, role model, and hero who showed us all the true meaning and importance of inclusion and friendship. The Mary Quinn’s Mark Foundation was created after Mary tragically passed away in April of 2015. The Foundation aims to promote the inclusion of individuals with special needs, keeping Mary and her memorable spirit alive.
Mrs. Quinn explained that she was blown-away by the turnout at the Foundation’s 2nd Annual “Afternoon at Trinity” fundraiser held on September 16th. The outpouring of support from the local community and businesses has been indescribable. This event helped the Foundation raise funds to support and partner with Backyard Players to build a garden in the back of St. Mark’s Church in Rockville Center. The garden will be named “Mary’s Backyard” and will officially open on October 21st.
The Foundation is very excited for the start of their community-based classes in Floral Park. The classes will offer various activities for individuals with special needs. Mrs. Quinn reached out to businesses around Floral Park and has been overwhelmed by the incredible amount of support. They will start an 8-week art class at the Floral Park Recreation Center with the help of the town’s generous donation of the space and volunteers. They will begin with a session focused on building bird houses and learning about birds. They plan to change the craft themes every 3-4 weeks to meet diverse interests. The Foundation has also received help from a local gym. They plan on starting health and fitness events as well. The main goal of these structured opportunities is to promote community-based classes for adults with disabilities, and then expand to programs for children with special needs in the future.
Mrs. Quinn was beaming with appreciation speaking about the success, plans, and support that the Foundation has been receiving. She said, “Floral Park was so inclusive of Mary- at school, in church, and in town- and other individuals with disabilities deserve the inclusivity that she had in her life.”
We want to thank Mrs. Quinn for taking the time to meet us, and all of the individuals helping the Foundation carry out its initiatives of promoting inclusivity and remembering the bright spirit that Mary was.
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