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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

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.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

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.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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