Written by Youseph Rasheed Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00
It was warmer than average this past Friday, Dec. 20, on the last day before the official arrival of winter. Boxes of toys were stacked up high inside and outside of the Police Benevolent Association in Freeport for the annual United State Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
Inside the PBA headquarters, Retired Marine Major Chuck Kilbride was hard at work, overseeing operations for the event that delivers gifts to underprivileged kids.
“I do it because I want to give back to the community,” said Major Kilbride, as he sorted through a myriad of games and dolls piled atop large brown tables inside. “I do it because it makes me feel good...putting smiles on children’s faces.”
Maj. Kilbride’s life truly embodies the All-American tale. Born Dec. 14, 1952 at the Mitchel Field Air Force Base in Garden City, Kilbride grew up in Levittown and was the fifth of six children born to Major John P. Kilbride and Agnes Gilligan in a Roman Catholic home.
“I had a very fortunate upbringing,” Kilbride said as he nostalgically looked up towards the ceiling. “You really couldn’t ask for anything better.”
As a boy, Kilbride attended Summit Lane Elementary School. “I was a typical kid,” he explained. “I loved playing baseball and football. Levittown was a great place to grow up. Everyone knew everyone and it was a safe neighborhood too.” Kilbride played defensive end for Division Avenue High School. He said, “Our biggest rival was Hicksville, but we always won. We were a great team.”
After Kilbride graduated from Division Avenue High School in 1971 he immediately enlisted in the United States Marines Corps. One short year later he married his high school sweetheart Sandi Kress. “I have the greatest wife in the world,” he said. “We have been married for 41 wonderful years. Together we have four wonderful children who are all West Point Graduates.”
Kilbride attended C.W. Post and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Minor in Criminal Justice. For his masters Kilbride attended National University in San Diego, Calif., where he received a degree in management.
Kilbride described how he became the Chairman of Toys for Tots in Nassau County and said “The Marines asked me if I wanted to be in charge of toys for tots and I said sure, why not? One of my best memories is when I was up in North Shore Hospital delivering toys to the pediatric unit. There was a little girl who had just got her third bone marrow transplant. She looked up at one of the Marines that was with us and told him he was her hero. The Marine took off his medals pinned them on the little girl and told her ‘No, you are my hero.’ It really goes to show you that the Marines are the kid next store. They have heart. They are there to serve and protect.”
Reverend William A. Watson Jr.—a pastor at the Free Will Baptist Church in Freeport and the St. John’s Baptist Church in Westbury—arrived at the Freeport P.B.A. offices to pick up the donated gifts and deliver them to the children. Rev. Watson told The Levittown
Tribune, “I have known Maj. Kilbride for 22 years. He is a great friend, a great activist, and a great asset to mankind.”
Today, Kilbride lives happily with his wife in Levittown, where he is always willing to take time to serve the community.
“I have it all,” Kilbride said, reflecting back on his life. “I have had it all for quite some time. I am a truly lucky guy.”
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites high school graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.