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Dancing To Benefit Down Syndrome

A Massapequa resident is set to perform an emotional dance for a cause very near and dear to her heart.

World Down Syndrome Day has been celebrated on March 21 since 2006 to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. Alexander’s Angels and the Down Syndrome Advocacy Foundation are teaming up to present Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day: Believe in the Possibilities. The thought-provocking and fun Long Island celebration will take place on Saturday, March 22 at Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center in Garden City with proceeds benefiting Down syndrome research.

The event will conclude with a special benefit dance performance “Let the Angels In” at 7:30 p.m. More than a dozen dancers under Massapequa native director/producer/choreographer Juliet Dolan, owner of NuBella Productions, will take the stage of Adelphi’s Dance Theater for an inspirational and entertaining performance to raise funds and awareness for Down syndrome research. A repeat performance will be held on Sunday, March 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. The cost is $25.

Having a sister with Down syndrome makes this a cause very dear to Dolan’s heart and Alexander’s Angels has benefitted from her fundraising dance efforts. Last June, she presented her first benefit dance production, Let the Angel’s In, at the Triskelion Arts’ Aldous Theater in Brooklyn and each of the three performances brought the audience members to their feet all while raising funds and awareness for this worthy cause.

Down syndrome is not the only causes the recent graduate of Queen’s College embraces. Over the past few years, Dolan has combined her passion for dance and helping others to accomplish successful fundraisers with both the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and The Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network benefitting from her dedication to direct and choreograph benefit dance performances.

“NuBella is a philanthropic production company born from the shared desire of inspired dancers to spread awareness for charitable causes,” said Dolan, who is proud to be premiering NuBella in support of World Down Syndrome Day. “Our mission is to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of all ages, shapes and abilities through dance. We hope to continue building our legacy for empowering others through dance.”

Prior to Dolan’s performance, the event will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with the symposium “Why is Down Syndrome Research Important?” Leading experts in the field will provide answers to the question in the concert hall located on the main floor of Adelphi’s Performing Arts Center. The 90-minute symposium will be led by Dr. Michael Harpold, chief scientific officer of the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation who will address the exciting progress to cognition improvement, including memory, learning and speech; Dr. Xiao-Fei Kong of the Rockefeller University Sponsored Research and Program Development whose presentation includes the difference of the immune system in Down syndrome within the framework of how the human immune system works; and Dr. Patricia White, director of the board of the Research Down Syndrome Foundation who will emphasize the need for support for Down syndrome research.

While the symposium is free of charge, advance registration that includes tickets for all of the event’s activities is required and available online at www.alexandersangels.org/id104.html.

A reception with light fare at $20 per person will immediately follow and provide an opportunity to continue discussing the issues raised at the symposium. It will take place on the second floor Atrium from 6:15 to 7 p.m.  

“Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. But there is still so much more we can do,” said Vanessa dos Santos, president of the Teddington, England-based Down Syndrome International, promoter of the annual World Down Syndrome Day. The overall goal, said dos Santos, is to “create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome” every year on March 21. To learn more about World Down Syndrome Day, visit www.worlddownsyndromeday.org.

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

YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30



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