When the South Salem Elementary School needed a new playground, Amy Dash said, she realized the project would only be completed with the proper funding.
Dash, then a member of Salem’s Home School Association, helped raise money for the playground and it was built within a year.
After realizing she had a knack for fundraising, Dash returned to school in 2012 and completed her certification in professional fundraising, “making it official,” she said.
“After working at Macy’s for 10 years, I felt like I was creating a professional life for myself and that I was ready to go back,” she said.
In July, Dash, a Port Washington resident for 20 years, was named the development director at the Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington, working closely with the senior management team by handling sponsorship and fundraisng duties.
“What’s really great about this job is being able to work in the same community that I’ve lived in for 20 years,” she said. “It’s such a fixture in our community, so having this opportunity is another chance to serve Port.”
Laura Mogul, the executive director of the Landmark, said Dash was the perfect hire because she combines a professional fundraising background and a connection to Port Washington.
“She’s worked in the community before, and she’s got a true connection with Port and that just adds more of a Port connection to our team here,” said Mogul, a Port Washington resident for 30 years.
Dash said she, like most Port Washington residents, got familiar with the Landmark from living in the community and going to shows and knowing board members and other employees.
“You can’t live in this town without knowing someone associated with the place,” she said.
Before landing at the Landmark, Dash offered fundraising consultation for small nonprofit organizations and local community groups.
Dash is also on the advisory board for Hofstra University’s Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center Room, a combination of on-campus programs and clinics that provide student support.
Dash said the fundraising work she did for smaller nonprofit organizations has helped her at the Landmark, especially with her first big project, the Spotlight Gala.
On Friday, this year’s Spotlight Gala will feature Laura Benanti, a Tony Award winner from the play “She Loves Me!” It will honor Port Washington residents Kay and Leo Ullman and the Spectrum Design Group.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year, so there’s a lot of preparation and work that goes into it,” Dash said. “It’s a wonderfully formatted event with a show and a cocktail party hour and we’re expecting about 300 people.”
While successfully completing the preparation and development for the Spotlight Gala is her first priority, Dash said, she wants to continue “the amazing work done at the Landmark.”
“I think to continue moving in this direction, I want to keep coordinating with other community-based nonprofits,” she said.
Managing her work life and her home life became easier when Dash began working at the Landmark, she said.
“It’s really important and special to me that I get to be involved in my kids’ lives,” she said. “I work close to them, and it’s great because, for example, my oldest son plays volleyball and basketball and I get to go over to the high school and watch the games.”
The Landmark’s diverse program schedule makes it appealing to different people and groups in Port Washington, Dash said.
“The Landmark is just very unique,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of small theaters that reach what we reach. It’s a wonderful place.”