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SMFD to Host Pancake Breakfast to Support Operation Wounded Warrior

Local merchants rally to donate raffle items for this Sunday’s event at SMCC

What started out as the brainchild of former Stewart Manor Fire Department Chief Danny O’Keefe back in 2004 to deliver donated gifts to returning war heroes has evolved into a year-round philanthropic effort.

Indeed, the Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior (NCFF-OWW) has grown to include 38 fire departments. The nonprofit 501(c)3 organization works to provide necessary items, as well as gifts, to wounded men and women from all branches of the U.S. Military.

“It’s a tremendous organization … every proceed goes to the soldiers,” said SMFD Assistant Chief Thomas Skinner. Each of the 38 departments hosts its own events throughout the year, and all proceeds go into a central fund. The SMFD is working this week to put the finishing touches on its inaugural OWW pancake breakfast, to be held on Sunday, April 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Stewart Manor Country Club (SMCC), located at 51 Salisbury Ave. in Stewart Manor.

Skinner and others in the department have reached out to many local businesses to help make the event a success. Merchants along Covert and Tulip avenues have donated everything from haircut and manicure gift cards to higher priced raffle items such as a $150 jewelry gift card. Park Place Restaurant on Covert Avenue in Floral Park donated $2,000 worth of gift cards, Skinner said.

The SMCC has donated the venue as well as use of its kitchen. SMCC staff members will be on hand to set up for the event. Local scout troops have volunteered their time to clean up throughout the morning and will earn service hour credits for their volunteerism. The International House of Pancakes on Willis Avenue in Williston Park has agreed to provide 1,500 pancakes, sausage, eggs, butter and syrup and McDonald’s on Franklin Avenue in Franklin Square will donate 500 pancakes.

Tickets can be purchased at the door throughout the morning. The cost is $10 per adult and $5 per child. Guests can also purchase raffle tickets, which will cost either $1 or $2, as well as 50/50 raffle tickets. The SMFD plans to sell T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with the NCFF-OWW logo on them, as well.

All proceeds will go toward what has become known as “The Big Red Line.” Back in 2004, O’Keefe, who was soon joined by former SMFD captain and Marine veteran Bill Grogan, distributed flyers asking residents to drop off donated items for wounded warriors at Stewart Manor Village Hall. The duo was soon joined by other volunteers, and the small group loaded up one vehicle with donations and headed down to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in December of that year. As NCFF-OWW picked up steam, that single vehicle grew into a caravan of fire apparatus and chiefs’ cars from departments across Nassau County.  The volunteers set out on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, each year on a five-day pilgrimage. They spend two days in Fort Bragg, two days at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, also in North Carolina, then one day at Bethesda Medical Center in Maryland.

“It’s very emotional,” said Skinner, adding that the veterans and their families are overwhelmed with gratitude but it’s really “us who are down there to thank them.”

The real message behind the material goods the organization delivers to veterans is how much their service to our country is appreciated. “The biggest part is that these guys know that someone is there … that they can reach out and get help if they need it,” Skinner said.

In addition to supporting events like this Sunday’s pancake breakfast, people can donate to NCFF-OWW at any time. Tax-deductible donations can be made payable to Nassau County Fire Fighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior, and can be mailed to NCFF-OWW, 120 Covert Avenue, Stewart Manor, NY 11530. Proceeds go directly toward the purchase of items for wounded warriors. Additional information can be found at http://www. ncff-oww.com.

News

The Floral Park Recreation Summer 2014 programs have now reached their half way point. While youngsters still have four more weeks of camps and activities, the night time volleyball and basketball programs are now gearing up for their final push to the playoff and championship rounds. Of the 55 adult teams competing, only Madness and Chaos (B league basketball) and Poppy’s (Women’s competitive volleyball) have managed to move through the season without a blemish on their records. Playoffs for volleyball are on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, while basketball quarterfinals begin Thursday, July 31. Family, friends and spectators are always welcome. Good luck to all teams and players during their quest to become Floral Park’s Champions of the Summer of 2014.

As in past years, the Floral Park Recreation Department sprinkled in some expert instruction along with the recreational format of the various camps. Many thanks go out to Lisa O’Grady (OLV volleyball coach) for presenting an excellent volleyball clinic for our beginning junior players. Once again, Nassau Community College football Coach Ed Mack and his players have volunteered their time to give a few pointers for all youngsters grades 4 and above on Wednesday, June 30. The junior football clinic kicks off at 8:30 a.m., while senior campers (grades 7 and above) will receive instruction beginning at 10 a.m. Some features will include pass and catch techniques and NFL style agility drills. All Floral Park youth entering grades 4 and above are invited to attend. At that same time, Chris Schneider, outstanding and championship basketball coach at both St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart, will be on hand to present a comprehensive basketball clinic for both our junior and senior future female basketball stars.

The 36th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow will be held at the Queens County Farm Museum from Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27. It is the longest-running American Indian Pow-Wow and will feature three days of inter-tribal Native American Dance Competitions.

More than 40 Indian nations will be represented. Chanting, drumming and brilliantly-colored, finely-detailed regalia will provide stimulating entertainment for people of all ages. All dance competitions and performances will be narrated for your appreciation of the rich tradition and culture that is being shared. American Indian art and craft vendors will offer a unique array of times for shoppers.


Calendar

Theatre Box

Friday, August 1

E-Cycling Collection

Saturday, August 2

Floral Park Board of Trustees

Tuesday, August 5



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