‘It’s never too late to follow your dreams and pay it forward.’
“After retiring from teaching in Corona, I became a poppy for my grandchildren. My son and daughter each have two. I figured if I could teach a class of 30, I can manage first one, then two, followed by three and four. Then came COVID-19 and the months of quarantine. Now what? I decided to fulfill an early goal and write a children’s book. Finding an illustrator who was willing to partner with me fell into my lap through the Plainview Moms Facebook group.
“Bridget Bick, a mother of three young children, always wanted to be an illustrator, although she had been declared legally blind for the last decade. I am hearing impaired, so this was a natural fit. Months later we published our first book, ‘What Would I Be?’ I decided to donate my share to the Mid-Island Y. They do wonderful things for the community, such as food pantries, Alzheimer’s programs and day care.
Zooming my books into my grandchildren’s classes made them so proud in front of their classmates.
“They also run a great pickleball program, where I volunteer as a coordinator. I met some of the nicest people during these sessions. It isn’t easy meeting people with similar interests as you get older. My wife and I consider our new friends like family.
“I partnered with the Y to help sell our first book and then the second, ‘What Do You Get?’
“It gives me great pleasure on many levels. First, Bridget has been able to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a successful illustrator. Secondly, the money I have donated to the Y is my way of paying it forward. If it wasn’t for my involvement, I never would have met all these wonderful people, lifelong friends.
“Zooming my books into my grandchildren’s classes made them so proud in front of their classmates. It was a thrill for me as well. They are all looking forward to our next books. It’s my pleasure and honor to donate every penny to the Y’s worthy causes.
“So, what’s next? At 73, I started taking guitar lessons. Maybe one day I’ll perform and donate those proceeds as well. It’s never too late to follow your dreams and pay it forward.”
Interviewed by Faces of Long Island staff