Malliotakis, Catsimatidis Discuss Philanthropy With New Dorp H.S. Honor Students

Students and faculty discuss their project with (seated left to right) former Rep. Vito Fossella, John Catsimatidis, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, and Kenneth Mitchell.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-East Shore) and former New York City Mayoral candidate John Castimatidis joined New Dorp High School honor students Friday to announce a fundraising project to benefit the Staten Island Zoo.

Last year, the students, who are members of the National Honor Society, raised $1,500 for the care and medical treatment of Zoe, an Arizona cougar that was rescued by the Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River, New Jersey. This year, the students wanted to focus their fundraising efforts closer to home, so they will be announcing a campaign to raise funds for the care of two ostriches at the Staten Island Zoo. The students presented their plan to Mr. Catsimatidis, who has been known for his philanthropic nature and his business prowess.

Mr. Catsimatidis surprised the students by announcing that he will match their fundraising efforts to bring the total contribution to $3,000.

“As a graduate of New Dorp High School, I couldn’t be more proud of what these students are doing to help animals and a local organization. Fundraising is a difficult, labor-intensive endeavor, especially during these tough economic times; but, for a good cause, anything is possible. As one of Staten Island’s premier cultural institutions, the Staten Island Zoo is definitely among the most worthy,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.

“I was so impressed by what these students were able to do for Popcorn Park Zoo. There’s no better feeling than being able to augment their efforts and double the results, especially for one of our local zoos here in New York. I’m proud to join them in supporting the Staten Island Zoo,” said John Catsimatidis.

“The students of New Dorp High School are very caring and generous. We were thrilled to adopt Zoe and look forward to adopting the ostriches here in Staten Island this year,” said Lisa Auriemma, moderator of the National Honor Society at New Dorp.

Kenneth C. Mitchell, executive director of the Staten Island Zoo, remarked, “I am obviously delighted that the Staten Island Zoo will be the beneficiary of the New Dorp High School’s Honor Society commitment. But, I am more elated that this charitable effort is being spearheaded spontaneously by young men and women enthusiastically determined to contribute to the society of which they will soon become leaders. As a Zoo, conservation and education are parts of our core mission, goals which can be achieved with the continued devotion of our young citizens.”