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Salvation Army Gears Up For Holiday Season

Volunteers, bell ringers always needed

The holiday season is around the corner and that means that Salvation Army volunteers will be out in force to assist the neediest people in Nassau County.

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Nassau County Salvation Army will have four facilities open, located in Freeport, Hempstead and Westbury.

Major Phillip Wittenberg is the commanding officer for the Nassau County Salvation Army. He is located at the 65 Atlantic Ave. branch in Hempstead. The big events coming out of that branch this year is the Thanksgiving dinner and the popular Angel Tree charity. This year, the Salvation Army is partnering with the Destiny Foundation for the Thanksgiving Day meal.

Even before that, on Friday, Nov. 16, the Salvation Army will unveil its Angel Tree at the Macy’s store in the Roosevelt Field Mall. Shoppers can take an angel off the tree, complete with the name of a Long Island youth. Shoppers will then sponsor that child for Christmas toys. This popular program generally helps over 1,000 local children with Christmas toys they might not otherwise receive and Wittenberg is hoping for another big result this year. On Dec. 19, the toys will be distributed to needy youngsters.

During the first week of December, the Salvation Army will be opening its equally popular toy shop, located on 165 Atlantic Ave. Currently, the Salvation Army is taking applicants for those who would like to work at the store.

The Salvation Army is legendary for its bell ringers, something that is as much a part of the Christmas season as Santa Claus or tree lightings. “We always need volunteer bell ringers,” Wittenberg said. “We can never have too many.”

In fact, any kind of volunteering is more than welcome by Wittenberg. “For anyone who wants to volunteer for one hour a day or for a single day, call us at 485-4900.”

The Hempstead branch, as noted, is one of the three sites the Nassau County Salvation Army operates. The Freeport site is supervised by Majors Jose and Ana Guzman. According to Major Wittenberg, their coverage runs from Valley Stream to Massapequa, south of the Southern State. This year, the Guzmans, according to Salvation Army officials, are set to launch a community-responsive mobile feeding, one that can serve several hundred meals at a time, plus a social services program using a service vehicle to better service a community’s unique needs.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Guzmans will be serving 400 meals at their 66 Church St. site in Freeport.  The Cheesecake Factory will be providing the holiday meals.

The big news from the Westbury Corps, which is located on Prospect Street is the impending construction of a  $10 million youth facility. That facility, Major Wittenberg said, is still several years away from groundbreaking ceremony, but its completion promises to be a great boon to the Prospect Street location.

Finally, the Hempstead location, this one at 194 Front St., serves as the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), which runs the Salvation Army’s several thrift shops in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Proceeds from such shops go towards drug and rehabilitation programs. Damon Rader supervises the Hempstead location, whose volunteers also are responsible for putting out Salvation Army clothing collection boxes.

Every winter sees a great need for the less fortunate on Long Island. Salvation Army officials claim this year remains a special case. Community need, they said, has increased by 400 percent since the economic downturn, but every volunteer and every shopper who participates in the Angel Tree charity goes a long way to alleviating that situation.

News

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

 

Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event. 

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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