Written by Cynthia Paulis, email@example.com Friday, 20 September 2013 00:00
More than 100 people including local politicians attended Adopt-a-Battalion’s first annual Support our Troops Dinner held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Massapequa Park last week.
The brainchild of Jack and Pat Parker, whose son was a marine stationed in Iraq at the time, Adopt-a-Battalion is a 100-percent volunteer-based organization started in 2004.
Jack Parker said the idea for the organization came after he received an email from his son.
“He talked about the kids over there not getting any boxes or goodie bags, so we started something over here,” he said.
The 501c3 organization has grown exponentially, shipping more than 40 tons of goods valued at approximately $420,000 and sending more than 20,000 letters and cards from school children since its inception.
Richard Olson, a Vietnam veteran, said the organization’s importance lies in its willingness to support thousands of service men and women with items most people take for granted.
“We collect personal items like food, snacks, lotions, clothing, winter clothing, sun block and things that the government doesn’t provide the troops,” he said. “We ship them over on a weekly basis. Right now we are supporting 10 battalions. That’s 7,000 men and women. The boxes are packed every Saturday by volunteers.”
One dedicated volunteer is 13-year-old Christian Licato, who has come every Saturday from Bellmore for a year to help out. The organization was so impressed with his dedication that it saw fit to honor him with an award named after a fellow member who recently died.
Licato admits that he is usually the only one his age helping out, but said his sacrifices are nothing compared to what the troops go through.
“To help out the troops, you can’t get a better feeling knowing that you are helping someone out,” he said. “When you see the pictures on the walls and the presentation, that’s their reaction, it’s just a good feeling inside.”
Massapequa Park Mayor Pravato had high praise for the Adopt-a-Batallion,
“This is a great organization that helps take care of the troops abroad and also when the troops come home, they help them out to finds jobs, work, they help them out financially,” he said. “I am happy to support them anyway I can.”
Legislator Michael Venditto echoed the mayor’s sentiments and said those on the homefront need to do their part in order for the country’s military outposts to do their job.
“If you are going to achieve military victory for the United States of America there are two components that you need to reach; our troops overseas being brave and valiant on a daily basis giving their time so we can enjoy our time on the homeland,” he said. “But the second component is why we gather here tonight. We have to make sure that we show the proper morale, support and energy and motivation that our troops need to achieve that victory.”
Councilman Joe Pinto remembers when Jack Parker came to the board with his idea.
“I remember when we thought this was a great idea and look at what it has become today,” he said. “They have raised about $70,000 to get those packages out and this is all volunteer and community work. They are here every Saturday morning packing those boxes. It is a great accomplishment for the community and for what they have done for these service men and women.”
Adopt-a-Battalion needs volunteers to help pack boxes and it also need items including gloves, socks, t-shirts and personal-sized toiletries including shaving cream, hand and body lotion, shampoo, sunblock, bath soap, lip balm and deodorants. Snacks for the troops are welcome as well, including beef jerky, hard candy, gum and other ready-to-eat nonperishables.
Drop these items off at the Knights of Columbus Hall collection site at 2 Eastgate Rd. in Massapequa on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal pannel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards. Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
Outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
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,”