Written by Marlo Jappen Friday, 11 July 2014 08:42
Sebastian, a two year-old pit mix with chocolate and caramel fur, wags his tail and splashes inside of a kiddie pool outside of the Forgotten Friends of Long Island rescue center in Levittown. The energetic pup is looking for a home, just like the four other dogs housed at this location in the basement of the Animal Hospital at 4 East Village Green.
“He’s good with other dogs and actually likes cats,” said Beth Marzo of Plainview, a dog coordinator at Forgotten Friends of Long Island. Sebastian was rescued from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter where he lived for one year.
Forgotten Friends of Long Island is a non-profit rescue organization that survives entirely off of donations and fundraised money.
“It’s all volunteer,” said cat coordinator Jody Karaler of Wantagh who takes care of the 58 cats and kittens sheltered at this center. “We cover all the shots and vet expenses of any cat that leaves here.”
Forgotten Friends of Long Island rescues cats and dogs from local animal shelters and saves abandoned animals in the community.
“I felt that there were so many animals overlooked by the public and animal rescue organizations,” said the rescue group’s president, Loretta Rinaldo of Plainview. She started this organization six years ago, but the Levittown location just experienced its grand opening on June 8.
“The biggest obstacle we face is the huge debts from vet care,” she said.
Rinaldo, a Registered Nurse of 36 years, ensures that every animal receives proper medical care. The animals are spayed, neutered, dewormed, de-fleaed, given shots, and tested for diseases.
Forgotten Friends of Long Island takes in animals from difficult situations. Jameson, a friendly 3-year-old pit mix, spent more than two years in the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, and never knew of a home. The bonded mother-daughter duo, Nikki, 5, and Jenna, 8, both a beagle-terrier mix, were left abandoned and tied up to a man’s fence.
Molly, an 8-year-old pit mix, spent three years in the Town of Hempstead shelter. Her ears were chopped with scissors and her teeth were filed.
“I believe she was a bait dog,” said Marzo. “She’s very gentle and loves walks.”
“Everyone of these animals have a great temperament,” Marzo said. “The goal is to find these animals their forever homes.”
However, the volunteers at Forgotten Friends of Long Island don’t give these animals to just anyone. They do home checks to make sure that the animal is in the right hands.
“The match is very important,” said Rinaldo.
For animal lovers who don’t want the long-term commitment, fostering one of these animals is also an option.
“Fostering these animals benefits them greatly,” said Marzo, adding that the rescue group loves “foster failures,” which she said are foster families that fall in love with the animal and decide to adopt them.
The organization has more than 40 volunteer dog walkers that take on different shifts. Current volunteers at the organizations come from such towns as Levittown, Massapequa, Farmingdale, Seaford, Hicksville and Plainview.
“We’re always looking for volunteers that are able to walk big dogs,” Marzo said.
Forgotten Friends of Long Island is hosting a fundraising event at the AMF Bowling Center in Wantagh on Saturday, July 26 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. For $20, guests can enjoy two hours of bowling, pizza and soda as well as a Chinese Auction. If interested in donating to the organization or adopting one of the animals, please visit www.forgottenfriendsoflongisland.org or call 516-719-0808.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.