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Massapequa Offers ‘Virtual Marathon’ Activity

Members of the Adaptive Physical Education (APES) class at Alfred G. Berner Middle School just reached a milestone. They completed 13.1 or half of a 26.2 mile marathon without leaving the walls of the school gym. The 10 member class, comprised of students with either physical or cognitive challenges, have been participating since September in a virtual marathon offered through Achilles International, a non-profit organization devoted to enabling people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to instill personal achievement.

Achilles International plotted a route for the 26.2 mile marathon on a map of Massapequa. After stretching, physical education teachers Tom Fiorentine and Kerry Regan turn some music on and lead the students — with the assistance of aides — in running or walking laps around the gym for 10 minutes. The number of laps is recorded in each student’s folder and then converted to miles. Every week students can view the map and see how far they have gone through the route as it winds through familiar landmarks in their community.  For every five miles that are logged, Achilles International awards the students with a certificate of achievement. When the students complete the marathon at the end of the school year, the organization awards them a medal, a T-shirt and a new pair of sneakers, reinforcing the goal achieved and a sense of accomplishment in the students. Fifteen other students are currently participating in the marathon in Brigit Canle’s class at Massapequa High School and three more in Brian Rath’s class at Fairfield Elementary School.

“The beauty of this program is that it can be easily adapted to the needs and abilities of the class,” Fiorentine said.

“We hope this program instills a passion for fitness and for being healthy and active,” Regan added.  “Massapequa is the only school on Long Island that participates in the virtual marathon. This was a pilot program for us this year, but based on its success, we hope to bring it to all the schools next year and spread the word to other school districts.”


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.


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.


YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30


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