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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

Mineola resident Frank Zuniga and his wife, Charlotte, were heartbroken. It was bad enough that they had to take Mollie, their rescued beagle/terrier mix to the veterinarian on July 4, but it wasn’t until last week that they found out what happened to her until last week.

 

It started on Independence Day when Mollie, who the Zunigas adopted in February, started vomiting. Their regular vet was closed for the holiday, and the couple found that the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center of Westbury would see them.

Jaclynn Demas always loved film and television. She dreamed of having a hand in its creative process. and wanted to shape the moving image. The East Williston resident’s obsession paid off after taking home a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Animated Program last month as producer of PBS KIDS’ Peg + Cat.

 

“I’ve loved TV and was a movie buff since I was a little kid,” she said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was make films. I was just upset at how things were made. When I got older, I took a lot of courses in TV and video production.”

 

After graduating Hicksville High School in 1998, Demas, 34, attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., majoring in mass communications, specifying in film and television production.


Sports

Runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K on Sunday, June 15. The runner first across the finish line was Mineola resident Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental in Manhasset. 

 

The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race, timed by Long Island Race Timing. 

Hurricanes Fall To Saints

Mineola Hurricanes lost a battle of the bats on Sunday, June 29, at St. Joseph’s Field in Kings Park, falling short in a 9-8 ball game against the St. Joseph’s Saints in the first game of a doubleheader.

The top of the first saw the Hurricanes take an early 2-0 lead. The runs came home for the Hurricanes when T.J. McManus scored on an error and Connor Eakin scored on a fielder’s choice. The Saints never surrendered the lead after the first inning, scoring five runs on two errors and an RBI single by Jonathan.


Calendar

Family Night - July 25

Satisfaction - July 26

Million Dollar Baby - July 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