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Jim Amen Memorial Scholarship Losing Funds

Manager seeks community support

On Saturday, May 21, 2005 the Jim Amen Memorial Garden Dedication Ceremony was held on the football field of Division Avenue High School (DAHS). Jim Amen was a longtime baseball and football coach, and the physical education teacher at Division Avenue High School. Sadly, after just seven years, the scholarship manager, Ralph Boettger says the funds for this award are in danger of being exhausted.

The scholarship in Jim Amen’s name is given each year on the school’s awards night to a deserving Division Avenue High School athlete who has demonstrated excellence not only on the field, but off the field as well.

“I work closely with Beth Thompson of the DAHS Guidance Department to come up with worthy candidates/winners,” Boettger said. “As is the case with the upkeep of the garden, continuous involvement/donations are what keeps Coach Amen’s memory alive.”

Boettger said that Mauro Chiti, the present athletic director at DAHS, and also an alum, planted a peach tree last year that actually grows peaches. He said, “Coach Amen seemed to be chewing on something all the time...and it wasn’t ‘til I was an eighth grader that I realized it was a peach pit—he loved his peaches—so anyone who had him for sports, PE class, etc. always remembers him chewing on a peach pit.” The plaque with a raised peach pit are a tribute to Amen.

“As an athletic director [at Dryden High School in upstate New York], part of my philosophy is to promote the great things my coaches do, whether it be community service or winning records, etc.,” Boettger, a class of 1973 DAHS alum, said. “I have a soft spot in my heart for those coaches who not only win but also who take time to really connect with their kids. Jim Amen did both, won in baseball and was totally committed to the athletes in Levittown.”

Boettger said he made some calls to some members of his graduating class. He paired with another DAHS alum, Gary Gardiner to put the plan into action. Once ground was broken former classmates Debby Stecher McKosky, Tom Leyden, John Habel and Kathy Shade Lynch planted flowers and erected a temporary plaque.

“He [Amen] had the total package as far as how to treat kids, how to coach, how to build a program, etc. You won’t find too many people from back in the day that had anything negative to say about Coach Amen,” Boettger remembered.

Boettger told the Tribune that caretaking of the garden and memorial is needed; community help is always welcome.

Boettger says he has relied on the financial support of Division alumni, staff, students, and community members. While they have always been generous, Boettger says it’s still not enough to sustain the scholarship funding for much longer.

Dedication bricks are still for sale, at $75 each, which line the walkway of the garden. Money generated through the brick inscriptions benefits the scholarship fund.

Checks can be made out to: Jim Amen Fund, c/o Ralph Boettger, 24 Pheasant Walk, Ithaca, NY 14850. Donations go toward the construction of the Memorial Garden plus the development of a scholarship in honor of Jim Amen. For additional information call (607) 342-2373.

News

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown. 

While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


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Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


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