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, 22 October 2014 00:00
Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.
As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
If Heather Lehrman is not yet a familiar face to local pet owners, her name is likely to soon become a household name to dog lovers and families with young children, as her children’s book, Bullied at the Dog Park, was released this week. The book is based on a real-life incident with her own dog, Herbie, and fans will have a chance to meet her and Herbie at a book signing at Petco in Glen Cove on Saturday, Oct. 25.
“I wanted to help get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying,” says Lehrman, a resident of Great Neck. “This book teaches children valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness.”
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Glen Cove Finley Middle School opened their football season with a home game against Thompson Middle School. The game opened with the Glen Cove offense going on a nice drive, which saw quarterback Mike Vaughan score on a 30-yard touchdown run.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
Six North Shore High School athletes competed in the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games and led the New York Delegation to victory, winning gold. The students included Jacob Abramowitz, Brett Bennett, Drew Jacklin, Ben Lerner, Josh Mandell, and Ben Saltzman. The Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic tournament for Jewish teenage athletes, ages 14-16 years old. It is held in numerous venues across the United States.
Bennett proudly said, “Competing in the Maccabi Games was a unique and thrilling experience for me. It not only was a highly competitive basketball tournament, but it also emphasized the importance of building strong values such as good sportsmanship, leadership, team unity, compassion and respect.
This, for me, was an experience of a lifetime!”