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Locals Run The Tunnel To Towers

It started with 800 people and now, more than 30,000 come out for the Annual Tunnel to the Towers 5K Run/Walk, now in its 12th year. Eighty people left from Piccola Bussola Restaurant in Mineola for lower Manhattan on Sunday, Sept. 29 to retrace the steps of Stephen Siller, a FDNY fireman that abandoned his truck and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel with 75 pounds of gear to help as the towers were falling during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Siller was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned what was happening.

“He was trying to get into the city and left his car and ran there,” Piccola Bussola Owner Tony Lubrano, who helped organize the local runners, said. “Unfortunately he was a great athlete and got their too soon as the towers were falling.”

Lubrano called the event “emotional.” Runners were greeted by 343 firemen as they exited the tunnel, holding banners of friends who perished 12 years ago.

“A group of us here in Mineola decided we wanted to participate,” Lubrano said. “We got buses together and met that Sunday morning and the Mineola Fire Department together with the New Hyde Park Fire Department, got two firetrucks together to hold a flag over Jericho Turnpike for a touching photo, which we had framed.”

Lubrano and Nick Valastro helped organize the 80 runners. Valastro and Lubrano have worked together in the past, organizing local work for the Walt Disney half-marathon.

Valastro owns a real estate business and lives in Garden City. He runs United Mavericks, an ad-hoc group of local business leaders that support local charities and causes.

“The number one focus is to support each other’s charity by getting physically involved in the charity, rather than writing a check,” Valastro said.

For next year’s run, Lubrano and Valastro plan to reach out to more first responders and volunteer firefighters to participate. Valastro called the scene coming out of the tunnel “incredible.”

“The fact that we were walking and running through the same tunnel where Stephen Siller ran...it was great to get everyone involved in it,” he said. “When you get to the finish line, the sea of people...it was incredible.”

The whole event raised more than $2 million, with $6,000 coming from the Mineola participants.

News

The Wheatley School recently hosted an Item Writing Workshop for more than 100 language teachers representing districts across New York State.  The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), the professional organization that has assumed responsibility for the creation and administration of the FLACS

Checkpoint A and B Exams (formerly the NYS Second Language Proficiency and Regents Exams).

Last year, the Mineola Fire Department initiated an Adopt-A-Hydrant program to offer residents and businesses an opportunity to enhance their fire protection by providing a simple service to the village, caring for a fire hydrant. The MFD is looking for adopters once again.


Sports

After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events. 

 

After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer. 

Cross-Country Crowned Champs

The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park.  This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought. 

 

Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20.  Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.


Calendar

Mineola School Meeting - November 20

Fools Rush In - November 21

Mustangs Face Roosevelt - November 22 


Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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