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Student Wins Essay Contest

Third-grade student Jasmine Roldan from Fork Lane Elementary School recently won the Long Island Ducks essay contest for her piece on all the things she loves about Hicksville.

The Long Island Ducks, a minor league baseball team, holds the “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest every year. This year, the Ducks wanted participants to explain “Why My Community Is Important to Me.” Roldan’s essay stood out among the thousands who participated. She was one of only four contestants to win.

Roldan truly believes in what she wrote about Hicksville. “Almost every day the birds are chirping and the sun is shining,” she said.

In her essay, Roldan interviewed Legislator Rose Walker about her involvement in the community. Roldan expressed her interest in being a part of Hicksville through community events such as fundraisers, fairs and parades.

“Hicksville is beautiful,” said Roldan. “It’s my community and where I grew up. I think it’s more special than other communities because everybody is nice to everybody.”

As part of her prize, Roldan and her classmates received a visit from the Ducks' team mascot, Quakerjack, and team manager Kevin Baez this past Friday.

Roldan read her essay in front of Quackerjack and Baez, as well as her teacher, classmates, parents and TD Bank representatives.

“We look for people who are interested in the community because that’s what the Ducks are about,” said LI Ducks Assistant General Manager Doug Cohen.

Baez spoke to Roldan and her classmates, and then followed up with a question and answer session during which the students asked him about his job, the Ducks, baseball, interests, and more. Afterwards, Baez and Quackerjack signed autographs for the students.

At the event, Eric Fischon and Xiomara Leto, representatives of TD Bank, presented Roldan a $50 Visa gift card.

“I’m happy to say that in all my years of being a part of this essay contest, Jasmine’s essay is the best essay I’ve ever heard,” Fischon noted.

After meeting members of the Ducks, Roldan and the rest of Mrs. Koerner’s third grade class had a celebration with cupcakes and chips back in their classroom.

Roldan’s classmates were just as excited as Roldan about her winning the contest. They congratulated her and thanked her for bringing the Ducks to their school. Two students in her class even wrote and performed a song congratulating Jasmine on her essay.

Roldan’s favorite part of the entire event was getting autographs from Baez and Quackerjack, and “especially the $50 gift card,” she added.

She said that she is going to use the gift card to buy her whole family tickets to a Ducks game.

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