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South Grads Rock For Charity

Members of a Great Neck High School band reunited after 40 years for a benefit performance in support of the Third Annual Katie Oppo Memorial Run/Walk, an ovarian cancer charity recently. The Rockets, led by Barry Douglas, M.D., keyboardist and a partner at Manhasset and Garden City based Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, performed following the 6.19k run/walk in Flower Hill Park, Manhasset.

Inspired by the leading R&B groups of the day, the band met and started playing together over 40 years ago while students at Great Neck South. The group had not seen each other, or played together, in many years, until Katie’s cause became the reason for a reunion.  These days, the members try to practice whenever they can get together; and they perform sets when members’ individual schedules align . 

Katie Oppo’s Memorial Run/Walk became an imperative cause for the band. The Katie Oppo Memorial Run/Walk charity event is organized by Manhasset resident Liz Oppo, whose 19-year-old daughter, Katie, a pre-med student at Johns Hopkins University, died of ovarian cancer in 2011.  Johns Hopkins University will receive a grant this year from all donations raised.

“It’s amazing to me what a bunch of guys could do when they come together again,” remarked Douglas.  “When we first heard about the benefit, we immediately decided to play and help raise awareness for Katie’s cause. We are honored and hope that through our music we are playing a part in supporting the research effort.”

“Giving back to the North Shore community from where we started meant a lot to all of us,” added Dr. Douglas.


The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.

To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.

At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.

The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also.  Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.


The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.

Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”

Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it  paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”

Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.


Park District Swim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9

Peter Max Exhibit Presentation

Tuesday, December 10


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,