Written by John H. Meyer Friday, 27 August 2010 00:00
When the St. David’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Massapequa Park hold their annual back to Sunday School Rally Day on Sunday, Sept. 12, Lois Gaiti will be honored for her 40-plus years of faithful service to St. David’s. Mrs. Gaiti has been a dedicated church member and Sunday School teacher including a member of the church’s Clown Ministry team, chaired the Young at Heart Club, a member of the Church Council, the Little Lambs, Youth Group, education, and the church’s special events that have included Irish Night, October Fest, Mardi Gras, and so many more. Presently she is a personal trainer and has a class of more than 20 men and women for stretch and tone and an aerobics class in the church’s Fellowship Hall.
According to Flora M. Hartford, associate pastor of St. David’s, Mrs. Gaiti deserves to be honored for her tireless years of service to St. David’s. She added that for many years she was in charge of the Haunted House during the Halloween season. Children would come from around the neighborhood to walk through the decorated scary rooms. She also organized the Good Friday children’s service. Pastor Hartford said that this year’s Rally Day is going to be special in many ways.
In text, Pastor Hartford issued the following statement:
“You may very well be among the more than 1,200 students of Lois Gaiti who did, in fact, enter the cardboard church, red on the outside, purple on the inside, and large enough and tall enough to accommodate 30 4- and 5-year-olds in “pew” chairs. Pastor Hartford said, “On each side, the outside world was blocked by three waxed paper stained glass windows. A large silvery bell hung above the front entrance door of this ‘Little Red Church.’ Were you there? Maybe you know of someone who was. Let them know, that it’s time once again, to come back to that little red church; to come home to St. David’s Lutheran Church, where on Sept. 12, as Sunday School opens and Rally Day begins, Lois Gaiti will be honored for her 40 years of service teaching in its church school.
“Who is this ‘architect in cardboard?’” Certainly, construction and teaching are a far cry from her stated career as a dancer. After years of lessons, she Joined the ‘Hal Sands Manhattan Rockets’ while in high school and danced with the circus and various fairs.
“Married to Joe Gaiti in 1964, she began to dance her way into the hearts of her children: Terri, Bobby and Joey. Lois was able to balance being a mom with dancing by performing in schools and parks in the tri-state area with the Nassau County Workshop and its ‘Little Dance Company.’
“She came to St. David’s from Ascension in Franklin Square, and immediately got involved in the Sunday school program. Forty years later, she is as energetic and bubbly as ever. When I asked Lois what kept her coming back year after year, she simply replied, ‘I love the kids, and enjoy seeing those little faces. They have so many stories to tell, and things to say.’ Her students have so many fond memories that older ones can’t wait to be her class helpers.
“So, if you are one of those special 4- and 5-year-olds who attended ‘our little church’ way back when, picture yourself there once again, she concluded. Come to St. David’s on Sept. 12 at the 9:30 service and join the church in celebrating the ministry of Lois Gaiti. Then stay for the festivities of Rally Day with a Carnival atmosphere and flavor Lois loves: games and activities, food and fun. There will be cotton candy and clowns making balloon animals and blowing bubbles. Perhaps you can spot your teacher and friend, Lois Gaiti, hidden under the big red nose and makeup. Come celebrate with her.”