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Honoring A Young Victim

I love being a legislator for so many, many reasons; being able to secure the health, safety and welfare of my constituents to the best of my ability, being able to draft laws which have benefits for the people I represent and meeting the most wonderful, giving people and having the opportunity to work with them to make miracles happen. About two weeks ago just such an incident happened and I would like to share this with you.

I was contacted by a former Woodbury resident, whose family still lives in the area. He inquired about possible donations to help make a dream become a reality. The family suffered an overwhelming loss during the Sandy Hook school incident in Newtown, Conn. Their beautiful family member Madeleine was one of those who was taken by the gunman.

The family’s local church pastor, Rev. A Erik Rasmussen and the church committee is dedicating their current playground at the United Methodist Church in Woodbury in the child’s memory, named “Maddie’s Playground” (the playground dedication will follow the UMC Church service is scheduled for Sunday, July 6 at 10:30 a.m.). This project is for the Newtown Family and their relatives that have lived in Woodbury for many years. Whenever the Connecticut family visited their Great Grand Aunt, Mrs. Dorothy McGough, who is a church member, Madeleine would play at the church and she was always happy and had a beautiful smile.

The gentleman contacted me because the Church is very close to where I live and the Connecticut family is originally from Long Island. Some financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation Community Fund with additional funding received towards the playground from the Sandy Hook Special Revenue Fund. He wanted to know if I would be willing to assist in efforts to secure additional purple flowers and daisies, which this child adored, and anything else I could think of to help this dream bloom with life.

The story touched my heart and soul and of course I responded that I would do whatever I possibly could. I thought of writing to various landscaping firms in our area and farms; contacting the Scouts, both girls and boys, to help when the actual playground is being reworked or if they wanted to create a Boy Scouts project to make some needed wood benches, and if the Girl Scouts would like to create decorative outdoor flower garden sticks and ornaments; and felt that I would reach out to our wonderful community to ask for donations for this loving effort.

Please realize that out of respect for the family and what they have already endured, I am not mentioning all names but I have verified the fact that the story is real. The family would prefer to receive items such as new playground safe flooring, perennial flowers, weed tarp, garden mulch, etc., they mentioned a living Christmas tree to plant to have a holiday tree all year round, because the incident occurred before the Christmas holiday on Dec. 14, 2012. The family feels that many of the needed additional items mentioned might be unattainable and asked for help because of the cost associated. The family is planning this project to honor Madeleine’s beautiful spirit and, in accordance with the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation’s beliefs, promises to honor victims and turn tragedy into a moment of transformation and to bring happiness to others and community.

For information about the Sandy Hook Promise’s mission go to: www.sandyhookpromise.org/mission.

If people prefer to give a check to support the ongoing maintenance of the playground, the family would graciously accept any donation amount and would be made payable to the “Woodbury UMC” and earmarked for the Church’s Children’s Playground. Every dollar donated would help purchase flowers, landscaping supplies, or for the perpetual care of the play area and garden. The Woodbury UMC does not accept donations online; their mailing address is: 577 Woodbury Rd., Woodbury, NY 11797.  

I can be reached at my Legislative office at 516-571-6216 and would appreciate hearing from you. You could also email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

News

You could say Darren Butler has quite the entrepreneurial disposition. The Hicksville resident not only founded a church, but invented a doorstop that does not require screwing any holes into your wall or door. The device simply clamps on to the bottom of any sized door without requiring tools.

“I never envisioned myself as being an inventor,” explained Butler. “I became one by accident and out of frustration.”

After Butler and his wife purchased their home, they wanted to decorate and maintain it.  “We have four children and at the time we wanted to minimize the damage that occurs from doors slamming into walls because as young children do; they have a tendency to aggressively open doors, and as a result the door knob created holes in our wall,” said Butler. “We purchased conventional doorstops so at the very least we could minimize that reality if not eliminate it all together.”

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.


Sports

Madeline Huffman, a fourth grade student at Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, recently became the New York State Free Throw Champion in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition, 9 Year Old Girls Division at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Huffman’s journey to the state championship began at her home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in January. The local qualifier was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Joseph F. Lamb Council #5723. Boys and girls ages 9 through 14 competed, each receiving three warm up shots and 15 free throw attempts.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

“I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.”


Calendar

Hicksville Street Fair

July 20

Blood Drive

July 23

Our Lady Of Mercy Family Festival

July 30 - August 3



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