While most residents of Long Island were touched by the destructive passing of Hurricane Sandy in some manner, some areas were hit harder than others and many are still feeling the lingering effects of power outages, cold and isolation.
The Girl Scouts of East Meadow decided to do something to help those affected by the storm.
“Our troop got a request from Long Beach from their girls in response to the storm,” Jen Laico, leader of Troop 1169 said. “We asked them what they needed, since many of those girls aren’t living back at home yet, and the girls just said they needed to do something normal because they have nowhere to meet and they haven’t seen their friends in weeks. They just wanted to get together and do something like see a movie.”
On Saturday, the East Meadow Girl Scouts gave their sister troops their wish.
The girls bought 160 movie tickets for scouts and leaders who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The Roosevelt Raceway Movie Theater in Westbury was host to a gaggle of Girl Scouts, many of whom wore the Halloween costumes they never got a chance to wear last month due to the storm.
“We came here, rented an entire theater and we have 160 girls coming to see Wreck-It Ralph,” Laico said. “We got a group rate for the theater, and the East Meadow girls stepped up and paid for the movie out of their troop funds.”
Laico’s daughter, Kate, is a member of Troop 1169 and helped set up the event for her sister scouts.
“We usually do something fun with all the money we raise from selling cookies,” she said. “But this year, we decided to do something for the Long Beach girls instead of doing something for us because they don’t really have anything left.”
In addition to Long Beach, the East Meadow scouts also welcomed troops from East Rockaway, Wantagh and Seaford.
“Any girl that was displaced by the storm has a free ticket,” Laico said.
Dawn Cozine, a troop leader of Girl Scout Troop 2127 of Long Beach said that she and her girls were deeply touched by the generosity of their sisters in East Meadow.
“What the kids really needed to do is to get together and have some fun,” she said. “They needed to get away from the garbage piled two stories high, away from stores being closed. Long Beach almost looks like it’s condemned. The girls are so excited about coming to the movies and it’s so nice that the East Meadow girls are doing this for us.”
Carrie Quinn of Troop 2127 said that taking in an afternoon flick helped to make things feel like they were finally getting back to normal after more than two weeks of chaos.
“It’s really nice,” she said. “When you go see a movie, you think about the movie and not what happened before.”