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South Salem's Isler a Catalyst for Change

South Salem's Laura Isler grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, a suburban town. But when she married and moved to the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, she found herself in a place where neighbors lived in close proximity and the word "community action" was more than an abstract concept. "Working in the community was just so exciting," she says.

"I really believed in public education, and that became my passion," she recalls. "In the city, where there's no money for extras at the schools, you pull all the strings you can to fill in the gaps. It was easy to beg for money for public education there." As a result, her parents group was able to establish a full-time health clinic at PS 11 with a doctor and nurse on call and free immunizations for every student.

It was, therefore, a shock when her family moved to South Salem, especially for someone who'd been able to survive all her life without a driver's license. "I decided I was going to stay home and raise my children, but I couldn't keep myself from getting involved."

The cause that benefited most from this inveterate organizer and volunteer was the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Isler's two sons became first aiders, riding along on many calls. But her involvement centered on raising funds for the corps, primarily through an auction held at the Waccabuc Country Club each fall.

Not surprisingly, she's also continued her involvement in eduction, volunteering for hundreds of events as her boys progressed through the grade levels. Most recently, she helped with a breakfast and barbecue for the John Jay High School graduating class, of which her younger son in a member.

"My talent is being a catalyst," she says. "I love to get people involved and I love to get them to volunteer, and I'm good at it."

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