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Night Of Laughter Held In Honor Of Sarah Grace

Foundation thankful to local community, supporters

For the past nine years, The Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer, Inc. has dedicated itself to helping children and their families faced with the financial and emotional challenges and hardships brought upon by childhood cancer.

To do so, the nonprofit, volunteer-run organization established in 2003 by Hicksville residents Matt and Marissa Weippert in honor of their daughter, Sarah Grace, relies on donations and money raised through garage sales, the sale of custom Christopher Radko Heart and Angel collector pieces and special fundraising events, including its recent Night of Laughter.

Held March 23 at the Milleridge Cottage, the 9th Annual Night of Laughter featured a sit-down dinner and three hours of standup comedy delivered by MC Rick Morgan, impersonator John Santo and comedians Ellen Karis, Rich Ramirez and Pete Michaels.

Close to 150 people attended this year’s fundraiser and helped support the foundation through event and raffle ticket sales. Attendees had an opportunity to partake in raffles for more than 70 different gift baskets, many containing prizes worth close to $500 each and filled with everything from sports memorabilia, restaurant and entertainment gift certificates to gardening, automobile and photography items.

As in previous years, the foundation held a 50/50 raffle with $900 in prizes and raffled off four grand prizes. This year’s top prizes included a GE Profile Deluxe Wine Center complete with a wine and champagne assortment, four Walt Disney World one-day park hopper passes and $250 Disney Gift Card, a Great Wolf Lodge (Poconos) one-night stay for four with water park passes and a $380 gift card and a gift package from The Inn at Fox Hollow.

Overall, the 9th Annual Night of Laughter raised almost $10,000, which the foundation will put toward funding the many programs it sponsors throughout the year, including, but not limited to, holiday parties, meal and transportation allowances, financial aid, toys, games, sporting event tickets, books, etc. In addition, the foundation also sponsors The Bead Program, The Escape Hatch and is the Long Island/New York regional sponsor of Gabe’s Chemo Duck.

The Night of Laughter fundraiser is The Sarah Grace Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event and, as such, “Provides the funding necessary for the foundation to administer the many programs and events sponsored for the children throughout the year,” said Matt Weippert. “All sponsored programs directly benefit the children and as an all-volunteer organization, all funds raised directly benefit the children we serve.”

Weippert is extremely grateful to those who have continued to support the foundation since its inception and help keep Sarah’s memory alive.

“In the economic times we live in it is difficult for any charitable organization to raise the funds necessary for their programs. The Sarah Grace Foundation is fortunate to have a solid support base through a well-rounded network of family, friends and community,” said Weippert, adding, “The support we have today is as strong as it has been from the inception of our organization – almost 10 years ago. We are extremely grateful for the support continually provided to us as a tribute to Sarah and an honor to her memory.”

March was a busy month for the foundation, which also held its Hugs for Sarah campaign and 4th Annual Hugs for Sarah Memorial Blood Drive. Co-sponsored this year with the East Street School PTA, the blood drive took place at Hicksville’s William P. Bennett Community Center on March 31 – a day that the Weipperts hold close to their heart.

“March 31 is Sarah’s birthday. She would have turned 22 this year and we cannot think of a better way to celebrate her life then donating blood, ‘the gift of life,’” Weippert said.

In the days leading up to Sarah’s birthday and at the blood drive, volunteers from the foundation distributed small packages of Hershey Hugs candy with a special message attached.

“The ‘Hugs’ are to remind people how sweet and short life is,” said Weippert. “Our goal is to spread the message about how sweet and short life is. Everyone should spend that extra moment to hug their children or someone they love.”

The blood drive brought in close to 50 potential donors and resulted in the collection of 39 pints of blood. “Throughout Sarah’s illness, the blood and platelets she needed was immeasurable. Giving back is what it’s all about and what better way to honor one life by helping another,” said Weippert.

For more information on The Sarah Grace Foundation For Children With Cancer, Inc., call 433-9745 or visit www.TheSarahGraceFoundation.org. Donations or requests for information may be sent to the foundation at 217 Plainview Road, Hicksville, NY 11801.

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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