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Slamtastic Scholarship Fund

Biennial hoops game a success

On Saturday, Feb. 1, Garden City elementary and primary school students were treated to an exciting basketball exhibition between some of their very own teachers and the slamtastic Harlem Wizards. The semi-annual matchup was held in the Garden City High School gymnasium and benefited the Garden City Scholarship Fund.

After a close game filled with everything from slam-dunks to a Harlem Shake video, the Wizards came away with a victory over the teachers with a final score of 95 to 91.  

The game was a big event for the community, and a lot of fun for everyone involved, not just the students. The Wizards themselves love getting to give back and play against the faculty.  

“We get to beat up on some teachers and some principals for sending us to detention all those years ago,” says LaMarvon “Mr. 540” Jackson, who spent some time before the game working the merchandise table and taking pictures with kids.  

Jackson says he’s seen it all while playing for the Wizards: people shooting in the wrong hoop, 60 and 70 year-olds suiting up to play, even some teachers who’ve never held a basketball before.  

“You just never know what you’re going to get at a Wizards game,” he says.    

That statement sums up the game perfectly. The Wizards kept things lively, with a close score all the way up until the game’s final moments. And there were plenty of madcap antics along the way to keep the kids entertained.  

Besides all the alley-oops and dunking, there was lots of audience involvement too. One game mom from the crowd had to dance her way back to a stolen purse. A teacher was made to take a foul shot with his shorts pulled up to his chest. And a few lucky kids were selected to participate in games for prizes in between quarters.   

All of the teachers were treated to some new nicknames courtesy of the commentator. These ranged from “Air Mommy” to “Mr. Clean” to “Joe Pesci” and were a hit with the kids as well. All the students in attendance were also invited to join in a massive game of Simon Says and participate in a “Harlem Shake” video before the last quarter.  

Eric “Broadway” Jones offered the teachers several chances to catch up by bumping their score to 55 at the start of the second half, giving them a ten-point lead, as well as occasionally changing the value of the teachers’ baskets to five or seven points. It was all to no avail however, and the Wizards came out on top.

High school principal Nanine McLaughlin says that in the past as much as $15,000 in scholarships has gone out to graduating seniors.  The Wizards basketball games, held every two years, are a great fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund. Parents and students alike volunteer at concession stands and selling raffle tickets.

“It’s a great organization, everyone is a volunteer and they work really hard,” McLaughlin says.

Boy Scout Troop 55 also assisted by collecting tickets and stamping hands at the gymnasium’s doors. They have a history of volunteering at the Wizards games for community service, and Scoutmaster John O’Hare says the kids love it.  

“I think it’s awesome the way the teachers get beat by the Wizards,” O’Hare joked.    

The event was sponsored by Garden City Pizza, Sports Loft, and D and J Refreshments.      

The money raised goes primarily to club scholarships. Advisors nominate an outstanding senior for their contributions to the club.  There is also an “Unsung Hero” scholarship that involves a student nominating one of their classmates and writing an essay about their accomplishments. If selected for the scholarship, both students receive aid.  

Art Ciccone, president of the Scholarship Fund, says that it all started with a donation made by the late Julia Maloney, who served the community as an elementary school teacher in Garden City for 47 years.       

The Wizards expect to play more than 300 games this season and anticipate raising in excess of $1 million for various causes by squaring off against teachers, coaches, and community leaders around the country.

News

Donald Barrick, Life’s WORC Board Chairman announced that Janet Koch has been hired as the new Executive Director of Life’s WORC, a Garden City-based 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. Koch assumes this leadership responsibility as Peter Smergut retires after 20 years in this position. After a thorough and extensive executive search process, the Life’s WORC Board is confident Koch has the vision and skills consistent with the needs of the organization. She will assume her position as executive director on Monday, Nov. 3.

Lots to buy at Resurrection’s Christmas Fair

Holiday shopping at Resurrection’s Christmas Fair combines fine quality, handmade gift items at reasonable prices. Members of Resurrection Lutheran Church have worked all year to create Christmas decorations, ornaments, and gift items. Beautiful table runners, scarves, hats, baby quilts, doll clothes for 18-inch dolls, and hand-painted wooden items are affordably priced to suit any budget. Find unique gifts for that special someone. Other displays feature jewelry, toys, books, games, baked goods, and treasures at the White Elephant Sale.

Net proceeds go to support mission work at Resurrection and The Life. Additional funding is awarded through Care Abounds in Communities, of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.


Sports

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.

Stretching tips for the high school athlete

Prior to the start of high school running season, Garden City’s Physical Therapy Options (PTO) had an opportunity to provide a presentation to members of Sacred Heart Academy’s cross country team. Team members gathered at Garden City’s New York Running Company to learn strategies and tips for a successful fall season.

PTO staff members Dr. Meghan Goetz, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and PTO Aide Mike Murphy discussed the importance of stretching to prevent injury and provided strategies and tips for success for the high school runner.


Calendar

 Murder, Madness & Poe

Thursday, October 30

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 3

Manhasset Comes To Garden City

Through November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com