The Community Synagogue L’Dor V’Dor Early Learning Center in Sands Point held its annual Family Fun Day event June 4 for children and their families to enjoy and pay tribute to a mother who was dedicated to the event before her untimely death.
Family Fun Day is an annual event held in the Community Synagogue’s Congregational Hall. This year’s theme of “Under the Sea” offered activities such as face painting, an underwater photo booth, sea animal arts & crafts, glitter tattoos, balloon animals and a dance party.
The event also serves as a fund-raiser for the center with raffles of themed baskets and teacher experiences. This is where teachers and administrators offer additional time with students, like sharing breakfast or having the student tag along with them during their day at work.
Jen Schiffer, ECC director, said funds raised will go toward the school’s expanding programs and services as well as potentially a new playground and splash pad.
Family Fun Day is run by a committee of ECC parents in collaboration with the preschool’s administrative team.
The event had been hosted outdoors due to COVID-19 safety precautions. This year was the first year that Family Fun Day was held inside the congregational hall again.
Schiffer said the event brought a record number of 300 attendees. While they are still tallying the total amount of money raised, she said it is calculated to be about $4,000.
The synagogue’s preschool, commonly known as “the ECC,” renamed the event The Suzanne Klein Family Fun Day last year and continues to honor her with the renaming.
Suzanne Klein, an ECC mom, died two years ago at the age of 40. She was described as a “beloved member of the ECC community” by Schiffer and had two children attend the preschool.
“So many people knew and loved her and she had touched so many lives,” Schiffer said. “We just felt like it was the right thing to do to rename the event and be able to think about her and celebrate her year after year.”
Schiffer said that although Klein worked at a full-time job, she always was involved in organizing the center’s Family Fun Day. She said Klein loved to be involved in the event.
She said Klein left behind a “legacy of deep love for her family and friends, and a commitment to her community through volunteerism.” Schiffer said the event felt even more significant in honoring Klein.
Klein and her sister, Allison Smolinsky, spearheaded the event before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know Suzanne would be so happy to see everyone smiling and being together and having a blast,” Smolinsky said in a press release from the ECC.
Present at the event was Klein’s husband, her mother and her two children.
The center is already planning its Family Fun Day event for next year, scheduled for May 19.
“We can’t wait to do this all over again next year in honor of Suzanne, a blessed memory,” Schiffer said. “She loved being a part of this event, and we will continue to have it year after year with thoughts of her in our hearts and minds.”