Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00
Massapequans turned out in droves at the Bar Harbour Library for a special event last week to give a special gift to the community — the gift of life.
The Library hosted the New York Blood Center in one of its many blood drive efforts, and according to Dionis Xhindolli, donor specialist and the gentleman running Tuesday’s event, Massapequa is always a great spot to harvest the good red stuff.
“We hold blood drives here at least three or four times a year,” he said.
“Turnout at this library is always strong...this is a very nice community, and as you can see we’ve already had ten people come in and we’ve only been here 10 minutes so far.”
Xhindolli explained that the Blood Center’s job is never finished, as the substance they are charged with collecting is not only in high demand, but also quite perishable.
“Blood is always in need, because it has an expiration time...so once you collect it, you have to use it or lose it,” he said. “Certain components of blood, such as platelets and plasma, expire within five days, so we have to keep collecting constantly to keep the inventory high and meet the demands of the community.”
Among the many blood types available, Xhindolli said that the Blood Center is always on the lookout for one special kind in particular.
“O-Negative, which is known as the universal donor type,” he said. “It can be given to anybody, and that’s always in a short supply, because if you’re seriously injured and go to the emergency room and they don’t have your blood type, they can’t always wait to find it, so they can just give you O-Negative.”
In addition to the Massapequa Library, Xhindolli says the Blood Center also holds drives at a number of other Massapequa locations, including Massapequa High School, Massapequa Fire Department, and churches such as Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Rose of Lima.
While 18 year-old Tiffany Philipplu of Massapequa Park is a newcomer to blood donation, she looked quite comfortable lying on one of the cots set up in the library’s basement auditorium while a Blood Center worker slowly extracted a pint of plasma from her arm. Philipplu said she intends to make this act a regular occurrence in her life going forward.
“This is going to be my third time,” she said. “My mom does it every chance that she can, and at first she was dragging me down with her, but it feels good to help people who need the blood, and obviously I have lots of it to help people with, so I’ve really developed an appreciation for it now.”
Tiffany’s mother, Joanne, was waiting for her daughter to finish up at a snack table provided for donors. She said that a personal emergency prompted her to start giving blood, and before she knew it, she had gotten the whole family in on the action.
“A few years ago my daughter got into a car accident, and she needed blood and no one in my family donated, so I stepped up,” she said. “And now I’ve convinced my brothers and sisters to donate as well, in addition to my daughter.”
Jesse Bouffier of Massapequa Park cited dangerous local driving conditions as a driving force behind his reasoning for giving the red stuff to those in need.
“At this point in the summer, people don’t donate as much, and there’s a lot of drinking and driving and these young kids are driving around irrationally...I almost got hit myself crossing Merrick Road the other day,” he said. “It’s nice to give back to the community and the hospitals, and I plan as donating as often as I can.”
However, despite good intentions, there are a few factors that can disqualify people from giving blood; among them are extended travel to countries afflicted with Malaria or Mad Cow Disease, recent tattoos and usage of antibiotics, and sufferers of Hepatitis.
Xhindolli said that the word needs to continue to spread about the need for regular blood donors in the community; with each pint donated, he said, a life is potentially saved.
“The community depends upon everyone that donates, and it’s very important,” he said. “Some people don’t understand until it hits their family or loved ones...of course, we can’t make blood, it only comes from people willing to donate it, and it’s vital to people who are sick.”
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Ask anyone on Long Island where to go to get a quality cup of coffee, and you’ll probably hear a variety of answers; however, ask the same question in the Massapequas, and one response you’ll hear more often than not is “Massapequa Perk.”
Located at 117 Front Street in Massapequa Park, across from the Long Island Rail Road station, Massapequa Perk first opened its doors five years ago in August of 2008. They deal with tea, smoothies, and various food and dessert items, but their bread and butter, so to speak, is coffee — selling it, roasting it and educating people about it, said co-owner Lisa DiBenedetto
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A recent lawsuit against Northrop Grumman Corp. for groundwater contamination has the Massapequa Water District ensuring residents that its drinking water is safe for public consumption.
Bethpage Water District officials recently filed a federal lawsuit against Northrop Grumman Corp., claiming the company’s facilities caused “irreparable harm” by creating a toxic plume that has contaminated the groundwater, costing the district millions of dollars and threatening more than 33,000 customers in Bethpage, Old Bethpage, Farmingdale, Levittown and Plainview — while coming close to Massapequa.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With the Nassau County title on the line, junior kicker Zach Kolodny was the most composed player on the field. With time expiring, he booted the game-winning kick to send the Farmingdale Dalers into the Long Island Championship with a 29-26 victory over the Massapequa Chiefs.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Kolodny. “I was confident from the beginning that I would make the kick,” he added. “We practice this every day.”
The game featured a bevy of twists and took on a completely different feel in the fourth quarter than it did for the first three quarters.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
It was a historic day for the Chiefs as both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams capped the season with state championship titles. The win was the first state championship for the boys, who defeated Fairport, 1-0 at SUNY Cortland and the fifth for the girls, who beat North Rockland, 2-1 in Middletown, New York.
The winning goal for the boys team was scored by sophomore Dylan Nealis, who just the day before scored the winning goal in the AA state semifinal.