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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

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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