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They’ll Be Home For Christmas

A Massapequa family is finally home for the holidays.

The Henry family will sleep in their Forest Avenue home for the first time since Oct. 29, 2012 — the day Hurricane Sandy destroyed everything they had. But even with the immense loss caused by the superstorm, the Henry family still calls themselves “lucky.”

For the past year, a volunteer organization called New York Says Thank You has worked tirelessly to fix floors, put in insulation, paint walls and much more. Since Sandy hit, volunteers have helped repair and rebuild more than 80 homes of first responders. Anthony Henry is a firefighter who was battling blazes in Breezy Point, Queens the night of the storm. He never thought he would come home to find his family homeless.

“It has been a year of despair, loss and hope. Today, we find ourselves overjoyed,” he said.

That “joy” is also because of a special Christmas delivery from KPMG. The global audit, tax and financial advisory firm has donated nearly 2,000 volunteer hours since the storm. On Friday, Dec. 20 members from the Long Island office presented the Henry family with a $10,000 check during a morning live shot on WPIX. Beth Henry, who is a schoolteacher, cried when she saw what she called a “Christmas miracle.”

“I lost hope so many times but then I would see these volunteers helping me and I knew I couldn’t give up,” she said.

Tony Dalessio is a managing partner of KPMG who lives and works on Long Island. He said joining New York Says Thank You to help local families has highlighted his firm’s connection to the community.

“Teaming up with New York Says Thank You since the storm has truly made a difference in the communities we live and work in,” said Dalessio. “Our firm is so happy that we could help the Henry’s.”

But New York Says Thank You and KPMG had some help from Reporter Mary Murphy and her photographer Keith Lopez. Lopez lives in and covers Long Island. Both have reported on the Henry family journey for the past six months. It was through their television coverage that an anonymous donor from North Dakota saw one of their stories and donated $25,000. Another anonymous gift was left in the Henry’s mailbox. It was a silver necklace for Beth with the word “Hope.”

Christmas is a time for magic and miracles. The Henry family says they have experienced both.

News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

Free Wine Tasting

Friday, April 18

Boating Course

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com