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.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.
“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00
The Mayor’s Annual Snapper Derby had plenty of kids, fish and fun on the Pryibil Beach Pier in Glen Cove this past Saturday. On the pier were lots of parents and children fishing for prizes. Below the pier the snappers in the water were only too happy to cooperate with the children trying to catch them. For a while it looked like the children were “catching” and not fishing.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.
This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.
The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at Roosevelt Park.