Four and a half years ago, on February 6, 2007, Dimitri Vailakis, now 10, was adopted from Tyumen, Russia (Siberia). Since his arrival, his parents have tried to teach him about being charitable and helping others less fortunate.
With his two friends, Amelinda and Mia Rivera ages 10 and 9 respectfully, the children have run numerous flower fundraisers in the spring and fall for the past three years. They have raised money for Keep Rockland Beautiful, Community Action Partnership, Haverstraw Arts Alliance, Campus Fun & Learn Center at RCC and most recently for the Rockland County Sheriff’s K-9 and Mounted Unit. The three friends sell the plants to family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and other people in their communities.
The children take charge of setting up and organizing the plants once delivered to the West Haverstraw Community Center. Buyers then come to pick up their prepaid plants which the children eagerly load into their vehicles. On Thursday, November 3, Dimitri Vailakis met with Sheriff James Kralik, Sheriff-elect (at the time candidate) Lou Falco, County Legislator Jay Hood and officers from the K-9 and Mounted Units to hand over a check for $475 which were the proceeds of the latest fundraiser. Their next fundraiser will be in April 2012 with delivery being in time for Mother’s Day.