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Martial Arts America Students Host Black Belt Event

On March 18, Martial Arts America in Hicksville hosted their Annual Black Belt Extravaganza at the McGuire Theater at SUNY Old Westbury. A total of 21 black belts were honored in a Traditional Fire and Water Black Belt Ceremony. The parents and spouses of the new black belts were part of the ceremony as well.

The extravaganza was a showcase for all the black belts to demonstrate their proficiency in various aspects of their training, along with over 150 other students of the school graduating to their next belt level from ages 4 to 64. There were over 500 spectators on hand to see the event.

Special awards were given to senior instructor Michael Donohue, due to his dedication to the community, student service and outstanding leadership. He was named “Citizen of the Year 2011.”

Also on hand to present special certificates of merit to all the new black belts for their hard work and dedication to achieving their goal were longtime supporters of the school Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker and Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia.    

Prior to the extravaganza, the candidates ranging in ages from 10 to 50-something underwent an eight-week intensive training cycle, where they were required to track and log acts of kindness, righting wrongs and mending relationships, list personal victories, empathy training and physical training (including 3,200 reps of pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and running, to name a few) and ending with a written exam and final test with Grandmaster Shin and the black belt review board of the United Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do Association located in Floral Park.

“I’m so proud of the progress my students have made,” said Senior Instructor Michael Donohue of the Hicksville school and northeast director of Black Belt Schools International. “Regardless of what the future has in store for them, I know the martial arts have made a positive impact on their lives.”

Congrats to the following students who promoted to the different levels of Black Belt that night:

To 1st Dan Black Belt: Aidan Banahan, Charlotte Canavor, Jonathan Cheslowitz, Viren Fernandes, Mark and Matthew Franolich, Katie Hart, Patrick Harten, Amy and Matthew Kacprzycki, Peter Kwon, Donald Pesonen, Yatharth Sharma, Evan and Maria Torti, Emory Ventura and Frankie Wawrzynski;

To 2nd Dan Black Belt: Andrew Hynson, Ryan Wimbiscus and Wendy Yackavage;

To 3rd Dan Black Belt: Chris Valenza.

To find out more about upcoming summer karate and sports day camp or evening classes, call 932-5275 or visit www.maaschools.com.

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



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