Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00
Hugs Across America is an organization that has provided over 750,000 new teddy bears to children in traumatic circumstances around the world. Hugs now has over 200 chapters across the country all of which help children in many traumatic situations. But they are especially attentive to the needs of Long Island youngsters.
They also assist first response organizations including North Shore Hospital Pediatric ICU, Ronald MacDonald House at LIJ, Nassau County Family Court, Winthrop Hospital Cancer Care, Nassau County American Red Cross, as well as many local fire and police departments.Each year they honor an organization or individual that shares in a common mission of bringing love and comfort to children in crisis. This year Rev. Ken Smith and Mrs. Constance Wang were honored for their commitment and service to the community.
Father Smith is well know to the Manhasset community for he served as associate pastor in the church of St. Mary’s for 8 years and has been both the chaplain to the Plandome Fire Department and Manhasset/ Lakeville Fire Department. He is currently serving as: Pastor of the Church of St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay; Nassau County’s Fire Dept. Chaplain; advisory board member to Tuesday’s Children; and member of the executive board of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.
No one can imagine that Father Smith has “spare time” as he has also been actively involved with 9/11 families as well as rescue and recovery workers, but when he does, he is said to enjoy camping and sailing. They were honored to present Father Smith as a wonderful example of dedication and a life committed to good works.
Ms. Constance Wang has been a driving force behind the development of the local Association for the Help of Retarded Children. Some 40 years ago, Connie learned that in the late 1940s there was no place outside of a state institution for people who had developmental disabilities. A small group of parents banded together to change that–and that is how AHRC’S first programs started. She has been an active board member ever since, serving as president, publicity chair, journal editor, and fundraising events chair. Connie has never lost sight of this important work even through the busy years of raising her own four children with her husband Albert. They have been living in Manhasset for 45 years and are now the proud grandparent’s of five granddaughters and one grandson. Hugs Across America is delighted to award Constance Wang their Service to the Community Award as well.
Hugs Across America held its annual fundraiser at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in November and the evening was a tremendous success and enjoyed by all. They look forward to 2012 and ask that you consider joining them in November of this year—remember every $5 brings a huggable, new teddy with a message of hope to a child in crisis.
To learn more about Hugs and their mission, view the website www.hugsacrossamerica.net.