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SAFE Encourages A Drug-Free Junior Prom

Glen Cove High School juniors learn repercussions of poor choices

Sgt. Christopher Ortiz, Ph.D. of the Glen Cove Police Dept., brought a powerful pre-prom presentation to juniors at Glen Cove High School on Feb. 27. He impressed upon them the ramifications of the Social Host Law and the dangers of underage drinking and driving. 

Ortiz is a Glen Cove native. He spent the first half of the assembly showing students his old photos when he went to Glen Cove High School where he played sports and even a photo where he is all dressed up before the junior prom. “All these experiences you are going through I went through,” he said. “You are becoming adults and it is important that you make the right choices because there will be consequences if you don’t.”

There was a lot of chatter when Ortiz spoke about risk-taking and some students laughed too. Showing slides of pills, cigarette butts, alcohol, weed and cocaine, Ortiz moved forward warning that these narcotics were a dead end road. “It will just move you closer to death,” he said. “Everyday people make the wrong decisions and I see it in my line of work. I’ve taken people out of smashed cars and had them take their last breath in my arms.” 

Then he showed a series of car accident slides and no one was talking or laughing anymore. The students were fascinated and sobered. Ortiz had their attention now. “The number one killer of kids your age is motor vehicle accidents,” he said. “One quarter of all fatal accidents involve alcohol for people between 15 and 20 years of age.”

SAFE lead presentations like the pre-prom in an effort to reach teenagers who may be considering making choices that will hurt them or others. Another goal is to change the path of students already engaged in destructive behavior.

SAFE, Inc. has held Parent Universities and will continue to do so in an effort to address the findings in the Bach-Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment Survey given by the Glen Cove School District to students in grades 6, 8, 10, and12 in January 2012.  The survey, which assessed the use of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs by Glen Cove youth indicated that alcohol continues to be the substance of choice for Glen Cove’s youth and that they are drinking as early as 10. It also indicated that marijuana use among Glen Cove 10th-graders is higher than the national average. The 11th-graders going to the junior prom this year were in 10th-grade when the survey was taken. 

The next Parent University is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Connolly Elementary School.  

“There is no such thing as a safe drug,” Ortiz said. “All drugs, when misused, can lead to death. Beyond death, drug and alcohol use lead to other negative results like addiction, social isolation, arrest, and even homelessness. There are some things out there that when you experiment with you will be done.”

For further information on any SAFE, Inc. PRIDE Project Coalition and their initiatives contact Coalition Coordinator Aimee Abraham at 516-676-2008. SAFE Inc. is a not for profit tax exempt substance abuse education and prevention agency located in Glen Cove. Visit www.safeglencove.org and www.facebook.com/GlenCovePrideCoalition.


News

Gregory Caso of Locust Valley was dealt a hard blow early on in his senior year at Locust Valley High School with his mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer. He and his twin sister, Amanda, however, are using their energy in a positive way and focusing on creative ways to raise money and awareness.

Last fall they formed a Relay for Life team to honor their mother, and in December came up with the idea of putting on an outdoor concert to raise money for sponsoring the team.

 

“We knew it would be big and had to be outdoors, with a stage, so holding the concert at school was not an option,” says Caso.

City Stadium in Glen Cove was a mob scene of tiny egg hunters on Thursday, April 17, as at least 100 kids scoured the fields and claimed more than 8,000 eggs in less than three minutes. The annual egg hunt attracted kids from ages 3 to 10, most of whom were prepared with baskets, bags and buckets for storing the candy-filled plastic eggs. 


Sports

 It finally felt like lacrosse weather last Sunday for North Shore’s  PAL lacrosse teams.  Mike Gilliam’s fourth-grade Lady Vikings traveled to Manhasset.  Playing a strong lacrosse community like Manhasset is always a daunting task, but one which the Lady Vikings were clearly ready for.  North Shore won the game 6-2 with goals coming from 5 different players: Kate Gilliam (2), Ava Vaccaro, Christina Dade, Evelyn McCreery, and Nora Schatz.  

The Glen Cove “Two Knights” began their season last Sunday by traveling down to Wantagh for a tough test to start the season. After spending the winter indoors and the last several weeks outside practicing, the Knights were hungry for real-game action. This

Knights’ team has a great mix of experience and new talent that is sure to lead to continued excitement throughout the year. Starting the game in goal, first-year man Pandelis Tursi made several sparkling saves behind a tough defense led by Colby Burns. With the

Knights down 2-0 in the first, Jack Spoto, another first-year player, provided the offensive spark by tallying the Knights’ first goal of the year. Spoto was also among the team leaders in ground balls and provided hustle that kept the Knights competitive in this game.

Tursi continued to keep his team in the game in the second half while Travis Shea and Matteo Cameron contributed defensively in front of the goal. Rocco Rainone was the offensive leader and kept the Knights close throughout by recording five goals. In the end, it wasn’t enough and the Knights’ endured a tough loss, 9-6. Congratulations to Tursi, Spoto, Burns, Dylan Jenkins, Charlie Muth, Page Bennett, Daniel Salerno, Grayson Kopetic and Vincent Pascucci for great play in the first game of their careers. 


Calendar

 E-Waste Recycing - April 26

YMCA Healthy Kids - April 26

Glen Cove Library Luncheon - April 27


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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