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R.C. Murphy Junior High School

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The organizers and volunteers of one annual summer treat in the Three Village school district were determined to make sure its eighth annual event would still go on as planned Aug. 3, despite the coronavirus.

For seven years the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand has raised funds for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program and this year was no different. Despite state guidelines mandating that events be kept to a reduced capacity, the event’s founders, Maddie and Joseph Mastriano, knew they could figure out how to still hold the fundraiser on the grounds of R.C. Murphy Junior High School.

While they knew it wouldn’t be the same, the Mastrianos planned two options for residents to contribute. Earlier in the day Aug. 3, they set up a drive-through lemonade stand at the junior school with a reduced number of volunteers wearing masks and gloves. Attendees were required to stay in their cars, and tents were staggered throughout the school’s bus circle. The drive-through event included prepackaged lemonade to go, do-it-yourself lemonade kits, raffles, sandwiches for sale by Chick-fil-A and a merchandise tent.

In the evening, the young people hosted a virtual fundraiser on the streaming platform Twitch. During the virtual event, they announced raffle winners as well as the District Lemonheads, Minnesauke Elementary, which is the Three Village school that raised the most money for the cause.

Maddie Mastriano said they had to come up with creative ideas this year and support from their sponsors was a big help as well as the students who competed in the District Lemonheads competition. The students grand total was $8,982.69. Minnesauke student raised $3,258 of the total.

There was also a chance to play along on a Minecraft server built by Joseph Mastriano and his friends. The Minecraft world included a virtual lemonade stand that featured the junior high school and game for participants to play.

Last year the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand exceeded their goal of $40,000. This yea, so far, the fundraiser brought in nearly $30,000, and donations are still being accepted at www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

Mastriano said they are thankful to everyone.

“We know that the pandemic has changed many things in our lives, but we are so glad that the lemonade stand was able to continue on this year with our annual tradition,” she said.

Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand organizer Joseph Mastriano, bottom left, created a virtual R. C. Murphy Junior High School for a live streaming event Aug. 3. Image from Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand

With state guidelines mandating that events be kept to a reduced capacity or postponed due to the pandemic, the organizers of the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand, Maddie and Joseph Mastriano, knew they would have to go about things differently this year.

For the eighth year in a row, the lemonade stand will raise money for the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. However, this year there will be two events in one day.

Maddie Mastriano said she and her brother were hoping not to break their streak in having their annual lemonade stand.

“While it won’t be the same, we know this year more than ever finding a way to give back to our community is important,” Mastriano said. “COVID may have changed many things that we were used to doing, but we felt it very important to keep this summer tradition going. We made sure to take extra precautions in planning this time too, which is why we have two events planned on the same day. We really wanted to offer everyone an option to participate in a way they felt most comfortable doing so.”

A drive-through lemonade stand will take place at R.C. Murphy Junior High School Aug. 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. Mastriano said there will be a reduced number of volunteers this year and all of them will be wearing masks and gloves. Attendees will be required to stay in their cars, and tents will be staggered through the school’s bus circle.

The drive-through event will include prepackaged lemonade to go, do-it-yourself lemonade kits, raffles, sandwiches for sale by Chick-fil-A and a merchandise tent.

From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. the same day, the young people will host a live virtual fundraiser on the streaming platform Twitch. During the virtual event, the raffle winners will be announced, and there will be an opportunity to donate directly to the GoFundMe page. District Lemonheads, which is the Three Village school that raises the most money for the cause, will also be announced.

Mastriano said they hope to have picture in picture during the stream, as they plan to be live on camera, air slideshows of past events and sponsor logos, as well as allow people to play along on a Minecraft server built by Joseph Mastriano and his friends. The Minecraft world will include a virtual lemonade stand that features the junior high school and game for participants to play.

Last year more than 500 attended the event at Murphy to buy 50-cent cups of lemonade, other treats and merchandise. Attendees played games, School of Rock students performed, and Stony Brook University athletes stopped by to visit. Sales from the 2019 lemonade stand exceeded the goal of $40,000 by the end of the day.

This year’s goal is $50,000 and nearly $6,000 has already been raised through the GoFundMe page.

The Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand username on Twitch is @3villagekidslemonadestand. R.C. Murphy Junior High School is located at 351 Oxhead Road, Stony Brook.

For more information, visit www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

R.C. Murphy Junior High School and Harbor Country Day School take home honors

Great Neck South Middle School’s Team 1 edged out R.C. Murphy Junior High School of Stony Brook to take first place in the Long Island Regional Middle School Science Bowl held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton on March 2.

Longwood Junior High School in Middle Island placed third and Harbor Country Day School in St. James placed fourth.

Twelve teams took part in the competition and were made up of four students, one alternate and a teacher who served as an adviser and coach. Presented in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, each team was tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math.

As the winning team, Great Neck South will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., scheduled to take place from April 25 to 29. The top 16 middle school teams in the National Finals will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.

“The National Science Bowl has grown into one of the most prestigious and competitive science academic competitions in the country, challenging students to excel in the STEM fields so vital to America’s future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “I am proud to oversee a department that provides such a unique and empowering opportunity for our nation’s students.”

Danielle Davey, a science teacher from Harbor Country Day School, said she was happy that her team placed in the competition. “This was our first year participating in the competition and we’re happy that we took fourth place,” said Davey. “I told my students this is about teamwork and just do your best. We are grateful to Brookhaven Lab for hosting the event and we plan to be back next year!”

Participating students received a Science Bowl T-shirt, and winning teams also received trophies, medals and banners, courtesy of event sponsor Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages and operates the lab for DOE.

For more information, visit www.bnl.gov.

Photos courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory