On July 9, Gabriel Cordell marked the end of his heroic cross-country journey in a wheelchair at the YMCA at Glen Cove. Cordell, a native Long Islander, was the victim of a car accident 20 years ago that left him a paraplegic. Over the last 99 days, Cordell travelled 3,100 miles —from California to his childhood home of Long Island – and celebrated his feat at the YMCA in Glen Cove. All along his endeavor, Cordell visited various YMCAs, which he has said “has been a safe haven for him,” and has given him the inspiration to push past his perceived limits to achieve his potential.
YMCA of Long Island President and CEO Anne N. Brigis welcomed Cordell and thanked him for being a role model and motivational force to people of all ages and abilities.
Brigis said, “We are extremely proud that Gabriel found support and encouragement at the YMCA. We are so moved by his courage, determination and spirit.”
Cordell spent close to an hour speaking with campers at the YMCA and entertaining their questions. He told a group of about forty 9-10 year-olds, “Changing yourself starts with yourself but is supported by the people around you. At the Y, I found a new family that showed me how to overcome my vices and do something with myself, but still for others.”
In 1992, Cordell was a 22-year- old aspiring actor driving to his first audition in New York City when his life was permanently altered. A driver ran a red light and hit Cordell’s jeep. Cordell flew into a telephone pole, crushing his spinal cord at the sixth thoracic vertebrate.
“My condition was caused by an accident, but it did not happen by accident,” said Cordell. “I felt I was meant to do something big and the wheelchair is my vehicle for doing it.”
Cordell and his crew have already captured the hearts of thousands of people across the nation, with many following him on Facebook and via his website www.rollwithme.org.
Says Cordell, “People say we inspire them and I feel the impact of their support tenfold. I’ve been moved to tears so many times that I’ve lost count but connecting with the people I meet never gets old.”
A feature length documentary about Gabriel’s endeavor is in the works.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
In movies like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, a parent’s very real nightmare of inadequate child care is at the crux of the film’s storyline. So the promise of a new website with intentions to revolutionize babysitting offered new hope at the party recently held at Melville’s Jewel Restaurant to celebrate its launch.
Babysitting Barter has roughly 1,000 babysitters and 2,700 parents connected to its website nationwide, according to CEO and founder Brian Mannix of Glen Cove.
“This has been a long time coming, about four years in the works,” said Mannix. “We have built our website and I think it’s very different and innovative. It is something that I really think will make a national difference for parents, babysitters, and for businesses as well.”
Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00
The second meeting of the Powers Chemco property site at Glen Cove City Hall last Thursday night focused on health concerns in the surrounding area. Spokesmen from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH) and other environmental experts discussed the extent of the contaminated soil and water at the site. It was a continued discussion on the proposed clean-up of the State Superfund site, which was formerly occupied by the Columbia Ribbon and Carbon
Manufacturing Company, and now located within the 15-acre Konica Minolta property.
“After careful studies, we found that the contaminated soil and water table poses no threat to nearby residences,” said Nathan Epler, a hydrogeologist from the environmental consulting and management firm Roux Associates.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
The North Shore High School swimming team completed its season with high honors this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified individual athletes for all-conference and all-county championship competitions.
Coach Samara Weitz has also been honored with the Nassau County Coach of the Year award—motivating many of her athletes to succeed throughout the season, including senior Kristen Stanis.
“She made sure I was working hard, but also having fun,” Stanis said. “She taught me how to balance work and play and how it’s important to maintain it.”
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
It was all fun and games at the fourth annual Winter Classic Hockey tournament at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage on Saturday, Feb. 8. Young adults and kids of all ages from the Long Island Blues Hockey team faced off against three other teams in the event that gives individuals with special needs the opportunity to play ice hockey in an accommodating setting.
Michael Russo, founder of the Long Island Blues team, said he started the program 10 years ago so his son, Nicholas, who has autism, could play hockey.