Community joins to support family after sledding accident


Blue and purple ribbons donated by S.F. Falconer were hung along Main Street by friends, family, and community members in Sydney’s honor.

Daniella Philipson , Features Editor

On your way to school, you may have noticed the blue and purple ribbons that decorate the telephone poles and lampposts around town.  The ribbons that run along Main Street are there to remind the community to think of Sydney, the third grader who was injured in a sledding accident on Feb. 10.

“I think in really trying situations such as these, it is critical for communities to come together and show their support.  It is comforting to know that Port Washington is such a caring community and that we are all praying for Sydney and the family together,” said senior Leah Weingast.

This past school year has certainly seen its fair share of hardships.  Time and time again, both the Schreiber and Port Washington communities are eager to lend a helping hand and this has certainly held true after the sledding accident at the Plandome Country Club.

In the past couple of days, many Schreiber students roamed the halls in their blue and purple garb to show their support for Sydney’s speedy recovery.  On Valentine’s Day, community members were asked to say a prayer at noon for Sydney.  Weber Middle School had a moment of silence at noon in Sydney’s honor.  In addition, a number of prayer groups were held at Community Synagogue, Saint Peter’s, and Saint Stephen’s.

Ms. Beth Horn, a Schreiber parent, and friend of the family, was key in putting together a website to help them.  Through, Ms. Horn and some otherw Port Washington families organized meals and transportation for the family for the next month.  The website already has 225 registered volunteers waiting for further instructions on how to assist the Livingston family.

“The website is great in that it is allowing people to help in tangible ways,” said Jill Mindlin, a friend of the family.

“We set up the family website for friends who would like to receive messages with updates about Sydney’s progress, messages from friends who visited the hospital, and suggestions for ways to help the family through this time,” said Ms. Horn. is run by a company that aims to connect caregivers and volunteers to help those in need through online communities.  The website makes it easy for people to organize and help families in crisis.  Community members can log on to the website and see an interactive calendar, allowing them to register for a particular time to help.  In the case of the family, community members have been signing up for meal times, offering to cook and serve dinner, as well as driving times during school hours.

“The day after the accident happened, we set up the website at about 8:00 p.m., and, the following morning, less than twelve hours later, the entire schedule was filled with people from the community wanting to help out. The community responded so fast; everyone was ready to sign up and help,” said Ms. Horn.

“It is a combination of very close friends, some acquaintances, teachers, and even people who do not really know the family,” she said.

The website is also used to send updates to the entire email list and provide them with exact quotes from the family and provide suggestions and instructions for volunteers. It also has a message board where people can post messages and positive wishes for the family.



How To Help:

See for the link to Sydney’s LotsaHelpingHands page.

In addition, donations of gift certificates to restaurants, diners, delis, and pizzerias that can be used for breakfasts and lunches are needed. Monetary donations will be pooled to help cover various expenses such as groceries, housekeeping, and laundry.

Donations can also be dropped off at the Sands Point Preserve’s Gate House, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily at 127 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point.  Please place donations in a sealed envelope with Sydney’s name on it as well as your own.