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Islanders, Local Fans Team Up For Sandy Relief Drive

The New York Islanders asked local residents to step up and support their neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy, and Long Islanders delivered in a big way Monday, Nov. 12 at Nassau Coliseum.

More than 2,000 people stopped by the Islanders’ home ice to donate clothing, nonperishable food items and money to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims in the Long Island area. The American Red Cross and Island Harvest were stationed in the Coliseum lobby, accepting contributions from anyone generous enough to help. To thank those who came out to support the effort, the Islanders hosted free public skating sessions with team coaches and staff from 2 to 8 p.m., along with free skate rentals for participants and a variety of games set up around the edges of the rink.

In addition to caring neighbors who came out to support the charitable cause, families affected by the hurricane came to the Coliseum in search of a much-needed break from their personal recovery efforts. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano, who spent several hour-long sessions interacting with attendees on the ice, said the atmosphere around the rink was positive, a good sign given the unfortunate circumstances many people have faced since the storm.

“It’s great any time that our organization can do something like this,” Capuano said. “It’s a relief for the people affected. A lot of them have been through so much, and for them to get away from the recovery efforts that they’ve made, to get out here and socialize and skate around, it’s a good feeling. You can see it in their eyes.”

Islanders Assistant Coach and Senior Advisor to the General Manager Doug Weight was also on the ice with fans. The year-round Long Islander was impressed with the way the local community has banded together to help those in need.

“Days like today show that people in all corners of the United States are strong people, and they come together in times like this,” Weight said. “This is a major part of a lot of people’s lives that we see every day. We’re among friends and family here, and it’s been a great turnout.”

Weight added that the clothing and food items should go a long way toward making those most affected by the hurricane feel at home again, especially as the weather gets colder on Long Island.

“Something small like this can bring a lot of smiles, and hopefully a lot of warmth and food and other important things to these people while they go through this hard time,” Weight said. “It’s all relative – we lost a lot of trees and we lost our power for nine or 10 days, but so many people got it so much worse.”

Many of the donated items will go to Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, to aid the people who need food and clothing the most. The volunteers from Island Harvest found themselves overwhelmed once the Coliseum doors opened at 2 p.m. and people filed in to donate. One of those volunteers, Ira Adler, was overwhelmed by the support of the Long Island community.

“This is unbelievable,” Adler said. “The folks who came today and participated gave so much food and clothing. It’s going to go a long way for Hurricane relief and for everyday use.”

Adler also said that because of the approaching holiday season, this would normally be a busy time for local charities anyway. Due to the widespread devastation caused by the storm, Monday’s donations are especially valuable.

“Normally we’d be doing food drives with the supermarkets, but now we’re focusing more on hurricane relief,” Adler said. “A lot of the items that would have gone to the holiday donations are now going to hurricane relief because the demand is so much greater.”

As Long Island and much of the tri-state area continues to rebuild, Weight described the uplifting mood of the event and what he thought it meant in terms of the next step for Long Islanders.

“There’s a lot of areas that were decimated,” Weight said. “It’s sad, but we’ll get through it and come together. They say adversity makes you stronger. We’ve had some adverse conditions here. Hopefully everybody gets their lives back to normal.”

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



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