Written by Observer Staff, email@example.com Saturday, 28 December 2013 00:00
Call it a busman’s holiday. For the employees at Foundation Source in Lake Success, philanthropy is central to their organizational mission: providing comprehensive support to private charities. Yet this holiday season, they embarked on a new effort.
“I wanted to do something closer [to home],” said Jennifer Johnston, an administrative assistant at Foundation Source who lives in Massapequa Park. “We have so many people here; we could do more.”
The staff, which includes Judith Hirschkorn, Rochelle Brizan, Angela Mahoye, Jennifer Bruckman and Estee Shor of Great Neck; Brian Rosen and Emily Sroga of Levittown; and Dionne Brown, Sadjola Qeraj and Nia Jackson of Garden City, banded together to practice charity in a more tangible way: serving as holiday “angels” to Long Island families in need.
Working through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, employees “adopted” individual children or, in some cases, a whole family, purchasing gifts and supplies requested through anonymous cards. Most of the families had very small children, said Johnston, who spearheaded the effort, and were requesting books and educational toys.
“People were pretty excited,” Johnston said. “We’ve been shopping all week. There are tons and tons of toys here.”
Johnston was inspired by a longstanding ‘adopt-a-family’ holiday tradition at the Connecticut headquarters of Foundation Source, which supports more than 1,100 family, corporate, and professionally staffed philanthropic foundations with administration, online foundation management tools, and philanthropic advisory services across the country. (The Lake Success office specializes in tax and legal issues.) Johnston’s coworkers enthusiastically embraced the effort.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Sroga, a lifelong Levittowner. “Even though you don’t get to see the child’s face when they open it on Christmas Day, you know you are doing something great for the holidays.”
Sroga, whose prior holiday giving had been mostly donating canned food for the local churches, jointly adopted a 2-year-old girl with a coworker, and they had a blast picking out coloring books, Barbie dolls and adorable winter wear.
“I got her the cutest clothes!” Sroga said. “If they had them in my size I would wear them.”
Given the success of the effort, it won’t be the last for these good Samaritans.
“We’ll definitely be doing this more often,” said Sroga. “After all, it’s the basis of all we do.”
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,”