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Seventh Anniversary of 9-11-2001 Ceremony

An intimate gathering of faculty, parents, friends and administrators convened at Amy’s Greenhouse after dismissal on Thursday, September 11th, 2008.  The Amy's greenhouse committee has sold 16 additional engraved bricks since last May’s patio dedication ceremony.  These new bricks were on display, carefully placed on top of the installed paths.  Special invitees are the people who purchased these 16 bricks. 


Amy's Greenhouse

Principal Patricia Lambert started with a moment of silence and the pledge of allegiance.  Brother Kevin Devlin, gave a stirring invocation and Assistant Principal Dr. Lori Pisani recalled where she was on the fateful morning. 

Anna Summa, Barnard school nurse who lost her brother-in-law fireman on 9-11, read a poem she wrote about this anniversary. Trish Calo committee member and Kindergarten teacher at Barnard, announced the launch of amysgreenhouse.com website today, created by Karen & John Hessel, Barnard parents and PTA members.  Miss. Calo also explained that the engraved brick project was ongoing and is intended to fund greenhouse projects for many years. 

Millie Radonjic organized the gathering and led the event.  She recognized Superintendent Richard Organishek and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff seated with the group.  They have been supportive of Amy’s Greenhouse throughout the years.

Mr. Organishek spoke to the group informally.  He remembered that on 9-11 he was on a train headed into New York City.  His phone rang and the train passed his station.  It was a surreal sequence of events, and the world was never the same.  Mr. Organishek spoke emotionally about how even now, when he goes on a train, sees a train station, or looks onto the skyline of New York City, he somberly remembers the day of attack. 

Amy's Greenhouse

Two sisters, Elizabeth Gallello and Maria Costa, childhood friends of Amy O’Doherty were in attendance at the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 Memorial held at Barnard School.  Elizabeth gave just a snapshot of her long standing relationship with Amy, in whose name the Greenhouse, Gazebo & Patio at the school were built.  “Playing field hockey, shopping together, going to parties, sleeping over one another's houses and doing all of the things girls do together as teenagers” were some of the fond memories Elizabeth shared. She said Amy was special, outgoing, friendly, and loved children. Ms. Gallello said that it was wonderfully appropriate to have the greenhouse as a remembrance of Amy. 

Maria went on to describe the relationship with Amy as extending beyond the confines of High School.  She said, “we passed milestones together.  We matured from adolescence to adulthood together.”  Describing Amy as “happy and great with children” she expressed regret that her own children, Jason and Grace, who played on the patio during the memorial, did not have the opportunity to get to know and love Amy.  Both Maria and Elizabeth voiced how gratifying it was to visit this beautiful and tranquil place where their beloved friend's name and spirit will always live on.

Amy's Greenhouse

According to an email from Geraldine Davie, mother of Amy, Ms. Gallello and Ms. Costa (and another friend Melissa) were instrumental in raising $12,000 of funds via parties for the original construction of the greenhouse.  Geraldine Davie also related how Ms. Gallello in particular went looking for Amy in New York City when everyone was frightened and stayed home.  By watching this young woman speak, those in attendance may have provided a point of reference as they think about Amy, who most have never met. 

These girls are the age that Amy would be if she had not perished on 9-11.

Amy's Greenhouse

At the end of the ceremony all sang God Bless America and had small refreshments.  The greenhouse committee plans to host future 9-11 anniversary ceremonies and reveal more bricks in the years to come.

You are invited to view photos from the event:

View Album    Play slideshow


Prayer for Amy Doherty  9.11. 08

Let us greet each other in peace as we begin today’s ceremony
in honor of our brothers and sisters of 9.11

Let us be conscious that forever we walk in the presence of Our God
and especially our own Amy Doherty.

God as we remember the day of pain and horror when they left us,
may we bring to mind the great amount of healing we have felt through Your love for us.

In this day and month and year O God, help us to live more fully in your presence; 
Enfold us in your love!

Let our hearts be one with Yours and our brothers and sisters
with us here right now and throughout the world,

Let us remember our brothers and sisters who fight for our freedom
throughout the world everyday,

As we experience this wonderful space of Amy’s Greenhouse, Gazebo and Patio,
let us always be mindful of the great gift Amy was to all who encountered her generosity of spirit

Her spirit and her love of all things growing, live here in the lovely refuge
of learning and growing and nurturing and surprise.

We shed our tears in a common bond of grief for those we loved and lost but
You have turned our darkness into light and led up to a place of hope

We are resolved to do what is good and right and just.

Lord grant us the great gift of freedom

In these times Lord grant that we might be free from any racism or intolerance

from any hurt and resentment from past injuries.

Heal our hearts and souls that we may forgive and be forgiven.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to us!

Deep peace of the flowing air to us!

Deep peace of the shining stars to us!

Deep peace of the running wave to us!  Deep peace of the son of peace to us!


Brother Kevin Devlin




We’ve got the seven year itch;

Wondering which

Explanation could possibly

Ease our pain?

This day, embedded in fire and ash,

Will never pass-

It’s 9/11

Over and over again.

Tears run down our cheek.

Still, we can hardly speak:

We miss you and love you

Is all we can say.

But we’ll always remember

That day in September-

Standing together,

Stronger on Patriot’s Day!


By Anna Summa on 9/11/08


Here is a related email from Geraldine Davie to Millie Radonjic: 

Dear Millie,

Hope you are feeling your best and ready for a new school year. 

Thanks for the photos of the magnificent sign for Amy's Greenhouse.

I am  overwhelmed with gratitude for all you have done.

We have been invited to attend the memorial dedication at the Pentagon here in Virginia on September 11th. Through a friend of Maura's we will be meeting with a Secretary of the Army and plan to tell him Amy's story. He has requested a photo of Amy and it will please me to tell him about her magnificent spirit. I will bring him photos of our greenhouse/gazebo/patio and show him where Amy's spirit lives today. 

Regards to Danny and hope to see you soon.

Love from

Geraldine Davie




Amy's Greenhouse 

Amy's Greenhouse

You are invited to view photos from the event:

View Album   Play slideshow

Patio Dedication Ceremony - 5/9/08

On Friday, May 9th at 4:00pm the Barnard PTA and Greenhouse Committee held a Patio Dedication Ceremony at Amy’s Greenhouse.  Invitees included all who purchased bricks, local dignitaries, honored contractors who donated services, children, parents, faculty and Amy’s mother and sister.

Amy's Greenhouse

Amy's Greenhouse

Despite a steady downpour that fell throughout the entire day, the Amy’s Greenhouse Committee worked diligently to pull together a heartfelt and well planned event that showcased several surprise presentations and furthered the permanence of the facility as a part of Barnard school. A large canvas tent was raised the night before in case of rain. Even with the tent and because of the weather, the outdoor event was moved into the greenhouse approximately one hour before it was to begin. In the greenhouse folding chairs were labeled with guests names. The close quarters added to the romance and intimacy of the event.

The event featured the unveiling of the customized bricks that the committee has been selling for a year. Bricks were sold by word of mouth and offered to classes so that even a minimum donation would allow a permanent record of participation. The bricks are installed in paths that lead from the entrance of the patio to a sunflower center stone and to the gazebo and greenhouse. Karen Hessel, PTA representative of Amy’s Greenhouse, said that the “Buy A Brick” program is now a permanent fundraising mechanism to pay for future greenhouse projects. People can still purchase bricks that will be installed on 9-11 annually. Brochures were available.

Millie Radonjic, Amy’s Greenhouse Chairman, led the sequence of events for the ceremony introducing speakers and telling the story of the patio. Guest musicians included a New Rochelle opera soprano and two high school violinists. Millie thanked Frank Miceli for the donation of the patio and unveiled a large customized thank you laminated poster of a sunflower that contained a photo mosaic of all the Barnard children. 

Amy's Greenhouse

Amy's Greenhouse

Millie also told the group that at the entrance to the patio an engraved stone marker thanked him permanently at the site next to a 2nd stone marker with the greenhouse mission statement.

Amy's Greenhouse

Amy's Greenhouse

Millie told the group about the custom made, concrete carved and painted sunflower medallion which had been hidden by a wooden disk.  It was then unveiled. 

Children read poems and personal reflections about the greenhouse. 

Amy's Greenhouse   Amy's GreenhouseAmy's Greenhouse

Trish Calo, committee member and Kindergarten teacher told of all the activities that had taken place in the greenhouse during the year.  Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Korostoff eloquently spoke.  He remembered what a great teacher Geraldine Davie was at Barnard.  He said “While it may be a rainy day outside, it will always be a glorious day in this greenhouse”. He thanked Millie for her dedication to the project. 

 Amy's Greenhouse 

Amy's Greenhouse

Mayor Noam Bramson remembered 9-11 and how the greenhouse came to be and marveled how such a dark experience has created light and learning for children. 

Amy’s mother, Geraldine Davie, spoke movingly, her surviving daughter Maura, at her side.  She thanked Millie and the committee for their work on Amy’s Greenhouse.  Millie surprised her with the large wooden sign. 

 Amy's Greenhouse Amy's Greenhouse

Millie then was surprised herself with a handsome brass engraved plaque from the Barnard staff and PTA to recognize her contributions.

  Amy's Greenhouse Amy's Greenhouse

Cheese, crackers and fruit were served.  The annual Barnard Mother’s Day Plant Sale followed the ceremony. 

Amy's Greenhouse

The event was written up in the Sound Report. 

You are invited to view photos from the event:

Play slideshow

Gazebo Dedication Ceremony - 6/20/07

In the green cup of the hill at Barnard now stands a new and shimmering, white gazebo.  If it seems to have appeared almost overnight, it almost literally did.  The gazebo was planned when the greenhouse was built almost two years ago.  Funding became lacking and even the greenhouse was missing vital components including a sink and shelving.  Then with a burst of fundraising activity, many phone calls, promises, planning, a little luck and helpful hands, the gazebo became a reality.

The gazebo was delivered mid May from “Absolutely Amish” on an 18 wheeler, shrink wrapped like a giant hard boiled egg.  With invites to the dedication ceremony mailed out, poor weather hampered installation.  Things rarely go as planned.  By happenstance a Barnard parent (and landscaper) installed the foundation for free and perfectly octagonal.  The timing was right so that the contractors assembled the gazebo on the weekend before the ceremony.  They were a happy and pleasant crew, able bodied and skilled.  The gazebo is perfect and was ready for the ceremony.

On Wednesday, June 20th , 2007 at 12:00 noon the Barnard PTA and Greenhouse Committee held a Gazebo Dedication Ceremony at Amy’s Greenhouse.  The well organized and well attended event included local dignitaries, honored contractors who donated services, children, parents, faculty and Amy’s mother and father.

Guests were seated on folding chairs set up on the grass near the gazebo that was dressed with an enormous green ribbon and bow.  Millie Radonjic, Greenhouse chair, hosted the ceremony.  Kirsten Semider, a White Plains high school senior, sang the national anthem.  A trio of 2nd graders read poems about the greenhouse and Amy that they had written.  Millie told the story of Amy’s Greenhouse and the Gazebo.  She thanked the contractors personally for their efforts; she thanked the Assistant Superintended of Elementary Education, Jeffrey Korostoff, for his advocacy.  She thanked the Barnard administration, including Ms. Lambert, Principal and Dr. Pisani, Asst. Principal; faculty, PTA, and greenhouse committee.  As she thanked each person children shook their hands and gave them custom made tiles decorated with sunflowers.  Mr. Daniel Ilich of the Parkchester Kiwanis Club presented a check for $2,000 to Amy’s Greenhouse.

Mayor Noam Bramson spoke and commented on the bitter sweetness of the event.  The principal spoke about how children enjoyed the greenhouse.  The greenhouse committee spoke about the projects that had taken place in the greenhouse throughout the year.  Karen Hessel, greenhouse co-chair, introduced a new fundraising program called “Buy a Brick”.  The “Buy a Brick” program allows for people to order a custom inscribed brick that will become a part of the path that connects the greenhouse to the gazebo.  Funds collected will be used for greenhouse projects.

Amy’s mother, Geraldine Davie, spoke emotionally.  She was joyful that the greenhouse was becoming a vital part of Barnard school.  She said that Amy loved children, sunflowers, and gardening.  She said that the greenhouse and gazebo is a tangible reminder of her daughter.  The happy and productive activity that takes place there represents the life of her daughter and her still living spirit.

Sandwiches and fruit were served.  The event was featured on News 12.



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