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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

Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.

 

“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.


Sports

The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”

 

The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.


As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs.  She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games. 

 

In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - October 22

International Night - October 23

Village Halloween Party - October 24


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