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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

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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