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Memorial at Bethpage park for teen killed last year
Bethpage High School teachers and students have donated a park bench in memory of a teenager fatally struck by a car as he skateboarded in Syosset in November.
The bench, to be placed at the skateboard park at Bethpage Community Park, is to be accompanied by a plaque honoring Oleksandr Safronov, 15, of Bethpage.
The donation is to be approved today by Oyster Bay Town board officials. It is to be installed and dedicated in September, school officials said.
Students organized bake sales and sold rubber bracelets featuring his name and an image of a skateboard to raise about $1,000 for the bench and plaque, Safronov’s French teacher, Ronny Ciarniello, said Monday. “It was a horrible thing that happened,” she said. “We felt it was the least we could do, and how appropriate is it that there’s a skate park right here?”
Yesterday, Safronov’s mother, Tetyana, said he would have enjoyed the new skateboard park, which opened last spring. “We feel great, of course,” about the bench donation, she said, her voice choking up.
Bethpage Union Free School District superintendent Terrence Clark called the bench “a way to channel the students’ sense of loss.”
Above: Oleksandr Safronov, 15, of Bethpage, was struck and killed by a car in Syosset. (Nov. 7, 2011)