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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

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 

The Farmingdale Baseball League recently capped off its fourth annual 9/11 baseball tournament with a series of championship games, to ultimately determine which Long Island town reigns supreme. On Aug. 16, teams from 8U to 14U fought tooth and nail for the ultimate prize.

 

One of the most exciting games was the 12U championship between the Long Island Devils and hometown Farmingdale Greendogs. Farmingdale started off the tournament path by going 6-0 in group play as the Devils went 3-3. In the playoff portion of the tournament, the Greendogs shellacked the Ozone Howard Renegades 11-3, on Aug. 14, while the Devils staved off East Meadow from getting on the scoreboard, beating them 5-0.


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


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