Written by Steve Mosco, firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Blankets have comforted children ever since the first knitter put needle to fabric at some point along the timeline of human history. And Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park continues that tradition in a special way — by hosting a blanket-knitting program every Wednesday, with the handcrafted creations going to children undergoing cancer treatment through the nonprofit organization, We Care Blankets.
And recently the knitting ladies at Our Lady of Lourdes, 855 Carmens Rd., hit a milestone, donating their 1,000th blanket to the worthy cause of comfort.
“It was a momentous occasion,” said Beverly Artz, a volunteer from We Care Blankets and a Plainview resident. “The women that show up to do this are amazing. And their creations are unbelievable. They come up with color combinations you wouldn’t think of in a million years.”
The women Artz speaks of is a collection of mostly senior citizens from the Massapequa area. The come to the church every Wednesday at around 10 a.m. to knit or crochet unique blankets — they also talk, building strong friendships on a foundation of caring and giving.
“It is a nice way of giving back,” said Artz, adding that anyone can show up on a Wednesday morning to join the blanket crew. “The women are so dedicated and fascinating. They all belong to the church, but they are spending their own personal time doing this for children who need comfort.”
Artz, who has volunteered for We Care Blankets for about four years, collects the blankets from Lourdes about once a month. The blankets are then distributed to hospitals across the eastern seaboard and are then given to children who need a little warmth and reassurance during their difficult time.
As an added personal touch the knitters include a note in each blanket, complete with their name and address, so that the children can respond with a ‘thank you’ — fostering a relationship that goes beyond fabric.
“Some ladies prefer to remain anonymous, but the ones that include notes have a real sense that they are helping a child personally,” said Artz. “It makes them feel like they are doing something extra good.”
Artz was a PTA mom for many years, but after her son became an adult and moved on from school-centric meetings, she still wanted to give back to her community and beyond. It was through fellow parishioner Tamara Baker, founder and driving force behind We Care Blankets, that Artz was able to find an outlet for her giving nature.
After about a month of knitting and crocheting, a ‘wrap’ is held, where blankets are collected, wrapped and packed for delivery, all done by volunteers. At each of these events as many as 250 blankets are readied to comfort a sick child.
“The thought of children shivering and feeling scared during cancer treatments really drives all of us involved in this process,” said Artz. “So many people are involved, from the volunteers to the hospitals, and they are all in it to help the children.”
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,”