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Holy Family School A Home Away From Home

Red Cross emergency specialists, volunteers welcomed at Hicksville school

Recently, you had to have seen all the trucks from power companies and the long lines at gas stations, but you may not have noticed some very special heroes in Hicksville.

Since Thursday, Nov. 1, Holy Family School was used as home for Red Cross volunteers, who came from places like Texas, Louisiana, and Michigan, the Carolinas, Florida and even as far as Washington and Alaska. The call for the Red Cross Emergency Specialists went out nationwide and they responded. Often, they are the first ones reporting to disasters. They help local authorities and then set up their own facilities.

But before arriving here on Long Island to help your neighborhood, this amazing organization needed room to set up a home base. Holy Family in Hicksville was a large enough area to house some of the hundreds of volunteers being requested along with their trucks, cars and equipment.

The Red Cross is a volunteer-led, humanitarian organization, providing emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. From their home base at Holy Family, they received their daily assignments to go out into the neighborhood and help with the relief efforts here on Long Island.

As the Holy Family School strives to teach these very same values to their students, housing the Red Cross volunteer workers was a perfect match. It was a place for the workers to regroup and rest up then get their assignments for the next day.

“I must say an enormous thank you to the many of you who have reached out in support these past weeks. I am keenly aware, as I join many of you in dealing with issues of no heat, no lights, no gas and so on, and yet, you have taken the time to reach out to me and more importantly you have reached out to the amazing Red Cross volunteers using our gym as their Long Island home,” Holy Family School Principal Maryalice Doherty said in a statement.

The Holy Family Church, throughout this emergency, remained open until 9 p.m. The first night they offered hot drinks during the blackout. Then as the true scope of this emergency was realized, on the second night they operated as a charging station for cell phones, a warming center for those without utilities and showed movies for families. Volunteers started serving an evening meal at one point as well.

The small, local parish school has proven to be an invaluable asset, not only to the local community but to all in all the surrounding areas like Long Beach, Oceanside, Island Park, Coney Island and any who needed the Red Cross to help immediately.

“I have never been so humbled nor have I ever felt so proud to be part of this great Holy Family School family,” Holy Family School Principal Maryalice Doherty said.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com