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.”
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
Taking a successful step in the music business requires plenty of talent, but also a measure of luck. And for a trio of local musicians, a recent one-off performance sparked a whirlwind of attention and video clicks.
Carolyn Miller of Massapequa, Mikel James of Farmingdale and David Wong of Huntington Station were on separate musical paths before convening to record a cover of “Say Something,” a song originally released by A Great Big World and then re-released featuring Christina Aguilera.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
With kids today obsessed with all the latest electronic gaming gadgets — the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and the like — you’d think that the comparatively antiquated concept of pushing a piece of plastic along a sheet of cardboard would be eschewed by your average teenager; however, judging by the crowd of kids at the Massapequa Public Library’s Board Game Café, this actually may not be the case.
Young Adult Services librarian Peter Cirona, who created the Board Game Café at the library’s Central Avenue branch (in addition to a whole host of other young adult programs), said that it’s a great way for kids to socialize and play some classic board games in a fun and friendly environment.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:47
One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:58
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”