A campaign nearly five years in the making at Mattituck Presbyterian Church is approaching its goal of raising funds to build a school and church in Haiti.
“One Hundred For Haiti — We Stand As One” was founded by members of the church’s Haiti Youth Team, which collaborated on the effort with Rotary clubs across the East End and as far away as Commack and Brentwood.
Youth congregants from Mattituck, Southold, Greenport, Riverhead and Hampton Bays are participating in the project and many have even traveled to Haiti to lay bricks and mortar for the building.
So far, $60,000 has been raised, but an additional $40,000 is needed to complete the job. If $20,000 is raised, an anonymous local donor has agreed to match the sum.
To help meet their goal, the church will host a cocktail event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at Brecknock Hall in Greenport.
“If we succeed, the church will become the center of the community in the village,” said Danielle Durkin, a Haiti Youth Team adviser. “The school would give the children of Betoti the opportunity to rise above the devastating poverty that currently commands their little lives.”
Phase one of the project was completed in April 2014, when volunteers built a small utility building for a reverse osmosis water filtration system and solar panels that provides 1,000 gallons of clean water per day to the village. Phase two, finished in January 2016, entailed laying the foundation for the school and church and beginning to construct walls.
Phase three, the final component, will consist of completing the walls, dividing the structure into classrooms and adding a roof. Rotary clubs will then contribute by purchasing blackboards, desks and furniture.
The church’s Brecknock Hall fundraiser will feature live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets, available by contacting the church, are $50 in advance and $65 at the door. Pastor Agones Jean Jaques, who will run the school and church in Betoti once it’s completed, will be available to answer questions at the event.
Want to donate?
Visit the campaign’s website at http://www.mattpres.com/#/mission/one-hundred-for-haiti. For more information, contact Rory MacNish at 631-921-4555 or Laura McAllister at 631-593-8244.
Photo: Ken Robins of Cutchogue, left, helps youth group volunteer Alexandra Cardi, 15, of Southold High School lay a cornerstone for the new school and church building in Haiti. Alexandra was one of 11 youth volunteers to attend the mission trip helping to complete phase two of the three phase project. (Credit: Courtesy)