Written by Chris Boyle Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00
When lives are touched by the hand of tragedy, many often turn to help others similarly afflicted; with their unique understanding of the situation, such giving souls often make for the most qualified to ease the hardships of others.
Elaine Polan, a 23-year Mineola resident, has faced the terrible loss of two family members to breast cancer. However, she has taken this tragic occurrence and spun it into something positive; she has just completed an intensive 20-hour training program enabling her to become a volunteer with the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, a cause that is very near and dear to her heart.
“I had two sisters who had died from breast cancer...we have a family history of breast cancer,” she said. “I had just retired recently – I was a nursing educator for over 20 years – and felt that this was a way to give back to individuals in a way that was important to me.”
The program, based out of Garden City’s Adelphi University, welcomes new volunteers into their ranks on a regular basis; Polan responded to an ad she had seen in the paper, and decided that this was a cause that she wanted to get involved with.
“They explained how to man the hotline, answer questions, and offer resources,” she said. “We’re there for the women hot to feel alone...we haven’t finalized my duties yet, but I hope to be able to work on other programs they offer, such as community outreach, and offer my services wherever they will be the most helpful.”
Kathi Kassover, coordinator of the volunteer and hotline program for the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, said that her group has been helping to support and empower women diagnosed with breast cancer for over 33 years and running.
“We’re one of the first groups to deal with breast cancer, back when nobody was even mentioning breast cancer,” she said. “We openly dealt with it and advocated it in a legislative manner as well offering support, and we’ve continued that until this very day...this is the oldest group of its kind.”
Kassover pointed out that the organization offers services and support to both women and men afflicted with breast cancer.
“The program has two components...one is a hotline that is run by about 100 volunteers, and the majority of them are breast cancer survivors themselves. They talk to the callers and help to walk them through what’s going on. People call up feeling venerable and confused and by the end of the call the feel like they feel supported and not alone,” she said. “We also go out into the community and we educate people about breast cancer all of the time. We also have a variety of support groups based on the needs of the community.”
For Polan, getting involved with such an important group has inspired her; she said that she can’t wait to get to work helping women and men through the hard times that she only knows all too well.
“The great feeling that I have, just being in the support group with women who have survived breast cancer,” she said. “I’m very impressed by brave they are, having gone through something as difficult as having breast cancer, and to be able to offer others the help they need to get though it as well is nothing short of phenomenal, and I’m so honored to be involved.”
If you wish to volunteer with the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, or just learn more about the organization, please visit: www.adelphi.edu/nysbreastcancer
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A new proposal by interim Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of approximately 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.
Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.