Phillips Avenue Elementary School received a donation of $4,000 worth of school supplies from Riverhead CAP this year, thanks to the generosity of CAP President Brian Stark and New Orleans Saints offensive lineman and former Riverhead Blue Waves football standout Ethan Greenidge.
Stark, a local businessman and ex-Riverhead High School coach, and Greenidge, a 2015 Riverhead grad who attended Phillips Avenue Elementary School school as a child, have teamed up in the past to help the school, which Greenidge says was an “amazing experience” as a student. This year, they doubled their donation, which Stark said was Greenidge’ idea.
“To me it’s always important to give back,” Greenidge said. “The town that helped raise you isn’t just a place to grow up and move on from. You go back whenever you can and invest time, love and effort in the people and in their children,” he said, explaining, “because I was once one of them.”
“A kid should just have to worry about being a kid instead of worrying about the school gear, food and other necessities. Kids are innocent and we have a chance to shape their future if we help them early and let them enjoy growing up in a loving town,” Greenidge said.
Greenidge and Stark have teamed up in the past to support Phillips’ students. Last year they provided school supplies and during the COVID-19 pandemic school closure, they donated gift cards to provide groceries to needy families.
Principal Stephen Hudson said that Phillips Avenue students, faculty and staff are very grateful for “this amazing and generous donation,” which he said helped every Phillips Avenue student. “Your continued support of Phillips Avenue, and the entire school district is more appreciated than we are able to express,” Hudson said.
“Ethan and I have always supported our kids since I coached him at Riverhead High School,” Stark said. “He gives back and then some. He’s grateful for the support he got and pays it forward. We have increased our donation this year because it directly impacts an acute need. It’s a good feeling.”
Ethan’s parents, Xann and Robin Greenidge, were on hand last month for the donation to the school.
“Our family is so honored to be a part of this community!” Greenidge’s mother Xann Greenidge said.
“Every year we try to see where we can help, especially in the beginning of the school year. Things have gotten so expensive,” she said. They wanted to help alleviate the worry some parents have about being able to provide necessities for their young students, she said.
Riverhead CAP has provided prevention and counseling services at Phillips Avenue Elementary School since 1990. CAP has a social worker placed at Phillips Avenue school three days a week.
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