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At The End Of Their Rope

Descending the outside of a building 13-stories tall may seem like a scary task, but more than 60 people found the courage to rappel to the ground for an organization called Shatterproof that helps raise funds in order to fight drug and alcohol addiction.

Last month, participants in the Shatterproof Challenge went down the side of the Administrative Tower building at Nassau Community College.

Shatterproof travels all across the United States to host rappelling events that raise funds for their cause. The event had a $25 registration fee and Shatterproof also asked participants to help raise $1,000 in donations.

Supervising the Shatterproof Challenge were experienced rappellers from Over the Edge, a company that partners with non-profits that wish to hold rappelling fundraisers. Those participating were first outfitted in safety gear including a helmet and a harness. They were then sent to a training station where they learned to use the devices before rappelling down 13-stories.

Two participants who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to rappel down a building were HIcksville’s Julia Height and Nikki Sclair.

“Aside from the chance to jump off a building, it was for a good cause,” said Height. “We’ve had a few friends who have died from heroin overdose.”

Like Sclair and Height, most of the people who participated in the event have known someone who has suffered from addiction.

There are millions of people in America who are currently addicted to drugs and alcohol and 350 people in this country who die every day due to addiction, according to founder and Shatterproof CEO Gary Mendell.

To Mendell, Shatterproof is a promise to help end addiction. “We need to begin to raise awareness and funding for the disease of addiction and to end the stigma,” he said.

After Mendell lost his son, Brian, in 2011, he founded Shatterproof to help others become “Stronger Than Addiction,” which is now the foundation’s slogan.

Since Shatterproof began in 2012, it has been steadily growing larger and larger. In just the past six months, Shatterproof raised $7.5 million to help fight addiction.

The reason behind Shatterproof holding rappelling events is that they like the visibility that it brings, according to Associate Director of Special Events Jere Keys.

Rappelling is out in the open, and people can watch it and understand what it is about right away, which is what Shatterproof aims to accomplish. It is Shatterproof’s goal to do these high-profile events in order to get information about addiction to the public and get people to realize that it is a disease.    

“One of the core values of the organization is breaking down the stigma around addiction,” said Keys. “So much of the addiction community is centered around anonymity and we think that is harmful.”

Shatterproof is currently advocating the states to have health insurance cover intervention programs for teens. This will allow the states to intervene with the teens before they become addicted and these programs will able to be covered by health insurance.

Shatterproof wants to help anyone whose life has been shattered by addiction. They want to make America shatterproof.

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News

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.


Sports

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



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