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Concert Benefits Independence Fund

For Maestro Louis Panacciulli, the 30th anniversary of the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra is about giving back. 

 

“We are celebrating this anniversary and we wanted to do something meaningful,” he said.

 

So, for its first concert commemorating the milestone for the Pops, the orchestra is holding “A Tribute to the American Spirit” on Sunday, April 13 at 3 p.m. at Chaminade High School in Mineola to benefit the Independence Fund. The fund raises money to purchase hi-tech wheelchairs for disabled veterans. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who brought the fund into the national spotlight after The O’Reilly Factor ran a story with a war veteran, is co-sponsoring the event.

 

O’Reilly, a Chaminade graduate, called on viewers to donate to the fund. Viewers have raised more than $20 million in the last three years, according to Fox News.

 

“Anybody who needs [a chair] can get it,” O’Reilly said. “They have a great sense of independence because they can do anything from play golf, to go over any type of terrain with these chairs. They deserve this help.”

 

War veteran Jerral Hancock lost his left arm and was severely paralyzed after being hit with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Hancock received a track chair from the fund.

 

“He seemed like an upbeat guy and didn’t seem to hold any grudges against anybody,” Panacciulli said. “It was heartwarming watching the interview. Our PR director called me and suggested we contact Bill to raise money for these track chairs with a concert.”

 

Track chairs cost around $15,000, but have a militaristic feature that helps users get around. Panacciulli, who co-founded the Pops, says a local veteran will likely receive the 500th track chair produced at the concert.

 

“They have tank tracks instead of wheels,” he said. “It affords them great mobility on a variety of terrains.”

 

The concert will feature traditional American classics, including “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” But, it will also feature lesser-played pieces, like “Thin Alabaster Cities Gleam” and “Flight of Valor.”

 

“In Their Honor,” by Carl Strommen is dedicated to the September, 11, 2001 attacks.

  

“It’s all patriotic music,” Panacciulli said. “We even have a female trio that will do a coupleof Andrew Sister songs from way back.”

 

Tickets are $50 for reserved seats. They are available online at nassaupops.com/tickets. For more information, call 516-565-0646.

News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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