Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
The Sarah Grace Foundation for Children With Cancer, Inc., based in Hicksville, is proud to announce that the Parental Bereavement Act of 2013, also known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, has been formally introduced to the United States Congress.
Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) has worked closely with The Sarah Grace Foundation to help develop this bill, an amendment to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and presented it to Congress along with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) on Feb. 5.
The original FMLA legislation, instituted in 1993, allows for employees to take job-protected, unpaid leave from the workplace for certain family or medical issues – such as the birth of a child or the illness of a spouse. However, the original legislation fails to cover the pressing issue of the death of a child. The Parental Bereavement Act, formally known as Bill #H.R. 515, would amend the legislation in order to fix this discrepancy, and allow employees to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave from their job in order to grieve before having to return to work.
“The death of a child, at any age, for any reason, is not a natural occurrence; there is no rule book as to how to process the experience or how to move on with your life, and there shouldn’t be because it isn’t the normal course of events,” said Matt Weippert, executive director of the Long Island-based Sarah Grace Foundation.
In 2002, Matt and Marissa Weippert’s daughter Sarah passed away at the age of 12 from leukemia, and they founded the foundation the following year to honor her memory.
“Sarah was buried on a Wednesday, and I returned to work the following Monday,” said Weippert, stating that he felt uncomfortable taking the extra time off of work since his employer had been very generous with giving him time off to begin with.
When Congressman Israel approached the Weippert’s about naming his legislation in Sarah’s memory, they were honored.
“I was extremely fortunate to work in a situation where I was able to take time off while Sarah was sick, but most families are not so lucky,” Weippert said.
The Sarah Grace Foundation, now in its tenth year, has been doing everything possible to raise awareness of the Act, and with its upcoming Blood Drive and Tenth Annual Night of Laughter, there are many opportunities to spread the word to people.
Having experienced the loss of a child firsthand, Weippert knows just how important this legislation can be.
“Families losing a child need time to heal, time to rebuild, and time to comfort one another, and that’s what this legislation is about,” Matt Weippert said. “We are proud and extremely honored to have Sarah Grace’s name attached to such promising legislation and grateful to Rep. Israel for bringing this to the forefront, and we ask everyone to contact their representatives and urge them to help pass this bill.”
The Sarah Grace Foundation can be found online at www.thesarahgrace foundation.org, or by calling (516) 433-9745. Additionally, you may find and contact your United States Government representatives at http:// house.gov/ representatives/find/.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Hicksville School District Superintendent Maureen Bright gave an overall picture of the district profile at the school board meeting last Wednesday night. The meeting was the final one before the upcoming budget vote, which will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at Hicksville High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The total number for the 2013-14 proposed budget is $124,595,008. This is a 3.29 percent increase or $3,963,375 from the 2012-13 school year. In 2012-13 the total budget was $120,631,633.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
On Saturday, May 11 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Nassau County held their Annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at St. Frances de Chantal Parish in Wantagh. This is the 15th year for the ceremony, originally started by the late Tom Benet and the late Vincent Esposito as a way to honor those military brethren who are still listed as prisoners of war (POW), or missing in action (MIA).
Rick Gales, Town of Hempstead Veteran Affairs liaison, quartermaster of the Elmont VFW, and Nassau County Chairman of the POW/MIA Committee continues the tradition and told Anton Newspapers that the POW/MIA ceremonies are usually held in April or May, coinciding with the fall of Vietnam and the end of a war era.
In 2010, the Department of Defense reported more than 1,700 Vietnam era soldiers as POW/MIA status.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00James Russo, 11, of Hicksville, came in sixth place in the States Competition at 120lbs. Ryan Schecht, 11, of Hicksville, placed third in the States at 105lbs, and is on his way to the Nationals Championship.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:00
Seasonal beach stickers may be purchased beginning on Saturday, May 11, so that residents may get their beach stickers ahead of time and avoid the rush during the Memorial Day weekend, when some town beaches will open for weekends.
“So many residents enjoy the beautiful beaches that we have here in the Town of Oyster Bay and eagerly look forward to the first opportunity to enjoy those beaches during the Memorial Day weekend,” Councilman Joseph Pinto said. “Town residents, who purchase a town beach sticker in advance of the beaches opening, will avoid the possibility of waiting in line during opening weekend.”