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2012 RXR LI Marathon Weekend May 4 Through May 6

Beneficiary is an organization supporting children diagnosed with a life threatening illness and their families

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, on April 9, joined RXR Realty Chief Executive Officer Scott Rechler, Nancy Mariano, regional director of Friends of Karen and Long Island Marathon runner Brian Ihm, who has been running with the Friends of Karen team for four years, inside the winter garden at RXR Plaza in Uniondale, to announce the 2012 RXR Long Island Marathon Weekend, which will be held Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6. The marathon has grown to include a full and a half marathon, 10k, 5k, 1-mile run and Kids Fun Run.

“I am pleased to team up with RXR and the community of runners, for the 2012 Long Island Marathon,” Mangano said. “This is one of Long Island’s most exciting events and I encourage as many people as possible to participate in this year’s marathon and use this opportunity to become physically active, whether they choose to train for the 5K race or the full marathon.”

“We are very happy to continue our long-standing role of RXR Realty as the title sponsor of the Long Island Marathon. Being an active participant in the community and giving back are part of our core values. These ideals are ingrained as part of the corporate culture at RXR. We work here, we live here and we want to contribute in any way we can,” noted Scott Rechler.

“We are so appreciative of our partnership with the Long Island Marathon which affords Friends of Karen the opportunity to share our mission and vital services with the Long Island and New York communities,” said Nancy Mariano. “Our team has grown from our initial 25 runners to 227 participants who cross the finish line in support of our precious children diagnosed with cancer or another life threatening illness and their families. Last year Friends of Karen helped 1308 children.”

Brian Ihm, of Lindenhurst, has run the Long Island Marathon for the last four years to give back to Friends of Karen, the charity which has given him so much. Brian’s daughter Gwendolyn was diagnosed with leukemia when she was just 2 months old. Brian’s family was overwhelmed with worry and fear. During one of Gwendolyn’s long hospital stays, the family met Marla, a social worker from Friends of Karen.

Friends of Karen has been there for Brian’s family through Gwendolyn’s entire treatment, providing gifts during the holidays for the family, helping with the grocery bills and gas. In turn, Brian wanted to do what he could to give back to Friends of Karen, so he started running the Long Island Marathon with the Friends of Karen team. Now he has brought in friends and family members to grow the team and fundraise.

Gwendolyn, now 6, is in first grade and is your typical 6-year-old girl. She loves to dance, specifically tap and jazz, and is also a Girl Scout. After her bone marrow transplant in 2007, she has been in remission and is celebrating her five-year anniversary this October.

The festivities begin on Friday, May 4, at 3 p.m. with a vendor expo at Mitchel Athletic Complex, followed by a Pasta Party at 6:30 p.m. courtesy of the Main Event Restaurant and Sports Bar. The races begin on Saturday, May 5, with the 1-mile run starting at 8 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the 5K commences at 8:30 a.m. Both the 1-mile and the 5K races start on Charles Lindbergh Blvd. and finish at Mitchel Athletic Complex. The last race of the day, The Kids Fun Run, will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Mitchel track.

On Sunday, May 6, the marathon, half marathon and 10K will take place. All participants will assemble at the starting line on Charles Lindbergh Blvd. for an a.m. start. The races all offer the competitors a course with varying scenery and the opportunity to see prominent Nassau County buildings such as RXR’s Omni Building, Museum Row, the Mitchel Athletic Complex and home to the New York Islanders, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Unlimited spectator viewing areas throughout the course give family and friends the chance to offer moral support during the run. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be live music at the finish line, located across from parking field 5 in Eisenhower Park. Once crossing the finish line, all participants will receive a participant gift bag, finisher medal, and other finisher mementos. The sponsors for the 2012 RXR LI Marathon are: Newsday, Equinox Fitness, Long Island McDonald’s Operators, Michelob Ultra, Snapple, PM Pediatrics, Cabot Cheese, and The Main Event Restaurant.

Registration for the 2012 RXR Long Island Marathon Weekend is available online until April 20. Costs are as follows: full-marathon $65; half-marathon $55; 10K $35; 5K $30; 1-mile $18. Late registration will be accepted on May 4 and 5 at the Marathon Expo for an additional $10 charge. For any additional information or to register, visit: www.thelimarathon.com, or call: (516) 986-5537.

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



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com