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High Schoolers Help Teens In Need

Don’t let their ages fool you. They may only be between the ages of 14 and 16, but Hicksville High School students Rhea Manjrekar, Fatemah Mukadum and Annamaria Zisimatos, along with their friends Karishma Kamat and Divya Adbani, from Herricks and Milan Sani from Port Washington, are determined to change the world.

A few months ago, the enterprising teens started CH3, a youth chapter of Children’s Hope India, a nonprofit organization that raises money for children’s programs and resources such as clean water, medical care, and education in India and provides scholarships and funds for counseling services for children of South Asian origin in the United States. After hearing stories from their mothers and family friends who were involved with the organization, the girls decided to start their own chapter to get involved with the cause.

“(We) would hear about these kids who were in trouble and had all these problems, but it was interesting to know that by just doing a little bit, we could go a long way,” said Kamat.

Though the chapter is still in its infancy, the girls already have ambitious goals. They’re currently trying to raise $3,000 to send two local homeless children to summer camp. One of these children is an eight-year-old from Hempstead, the other is a 12-year-old from Jericho.

“You don’t see homelessness and poverty as much here as you may see it in India, but it’s still there,” said Kamat. “We want to raise awareness of it to show that there are needy people living right next door that need help.”

Their first fundraising event takes place Tuesday, April 8 at Friendly’s at 285 S. Broadway in Hicksville. From 5 p.m. to closing, 15 percent of proceeds will go to the CH3’s fundraising efforts. The resourceful teenagers also plan on doing an event at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington later this month, and numerous other restaurant fundraisers in order to meet their $3,000 goal by June. Mukadum, Zisimatos and Manjrekar have also been holding bake sales at Hicksville High School.

The girls are continually thinking of new ideas for events and taking advantage of their connections and resources, which includes social media. The girls say that being in high school is an added benefit as it allows them to reach out to teenagers and know better how to connect with their peers about the cause.

“Kids our age take everything for granted, so we want to open their eyes,” said Manjrekar.

The group says that the most common reaction they get when asking for help is surprise, as many are unused to seeing youngsters advocating for their peers in need.

“It’s always interesting for people to see kids of our age trying to help kids of our age,” says Kamat, who is 16. “But I don’t think that’s a problem at all, we still have a heart to help kids. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we want to have the same impact.”

14-year-old Zisimatos echoed the sentiment. “We want to show that teens can make a difference. Our age doesn’t matter, no matter how old you are you can help,” she said.

For more information on CH3, check out www.childrenshopeindia.org/about-us/ch3/

News

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.

Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.

Drivers across Nassau County were up in arms due to the recent implementation of the school zone cameras, which had issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of  warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.


Sports

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.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8 who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



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