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Alums Start ‘Ride For Ethan’ Campaign

Bright blue eyes, a full head of hair, beautiful smile, and full of energy. At 5 years old, Ethan Demmers is possibly at the healthiest he will be in his life. Ethan was recently diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD). Typically, people with this disease live only into their 20s. Over the next few years, the disease will slowly attack every muscle in Ethan’s body, eventually causing him to permanently be in a wheelchair. Ethan’s parents are not ready to give up their hope for a cure. They are fully committed to helping find a cure for this deadly illness, not just for their own son, but for all others suffering as well.

Ethan’s father, Dustin Demmers, is an English teacher at Floral Park Memorial High School. To the student body, Demmers can be described as funny, happy, wacky, wild, crazy, and unique among other adjectives. Demmers can be found smiling through the halls, making jokes over the loudspeakers, or making his class into the ideal environment for learning.

It is safe to say, Demmers is not your average English teacher, especially not to long-time friends and Floral Park Memorial High School alumni Jules Alonzo and Kyle Vidasolo. After hearing about Ethan’s recent diagnosis, Alonzo and Vidasolo were motivated to help. “We have the ability to help someone in need, so why not go above and beyond to try and do that,” said Alonzo.  

They are set to tackle a 200-mile bike trail, through the Grand Canyon, in support of Ethan Demmers, from Oct. 1 through Oct. 5. “He has done so many nice things for the entire student body, we figured it’s time that someone did something nice for him in return” said Vidasolo.

This campaign is meant to spread awareness for DMD, while raising money along the way. Visit www.gofundme.com/RideForEthan to make a donation in support of the ride. All of the donations will go towards medicine, medical equipment, future home renovations to meet Ethan’s needs, and perhaps even giving Ethan some journeys of his own. Since July 17, the crowdfunding site has collected $3,350 of the duo’s $10,000 goal.

Visit www.mda.org to learn more about muscular dystrophy. Help Ethan, and others like him, by spreading his story on social media. Awareness is the first step to help make a cure a reality.

Editor’s note: A separate upcoming event is also planned to benefit the Demmers family. The Ethan Demmers Coed 6s Beach Volleyball Charity Tournament will be held on Sunday, Aug. 17 on Riverside Drive in Long Beach at 10 a.m. See this week’s calendar listing feature for more information.

News

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, residents and community members joined with the Floral Park American Legion to honor veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at Memorial Park, following a march down Tulip Avenue to the park with the members of the veterans of the Legion post, American Legion Auxiliary members, Sons of the American Legion, Boy and Cub Scouts from Troops 482 and 678 and local officials.

During the ceremony, a plaque was dedicated in memory of General Kazimierz Pulaski and others of Polish heritage who have served in the U.S. military. The plaque dedication was led by members of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division, President Grzegorz Worma and Honorary President Richard Brzozowski. An invocation was delivered by Father Peter Rozek of St. Hedwig Church, followed by a POW-MIA ceremony by Post 334 Vice Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

While parking around Long Island Rail Road train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Calendar

Floral Park Memorial PTSA Fall Fest Fundraiser

Friday, November 21

Buy A Meal, Wag A Tail

Saturday, November 22

Hanging of the Greens and Potluck Luncheon

Sunday, November 23



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