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Pasta Dinner Raises More Than $72K

Locust Valley FD Operation Wounded Warrior Pasta Dinner

The Locust Valley Fire Department’s 5th Annual Operation Wounded Warrior Pasta Dinner proved to be a success. In the midst of the season of giving, the co-chairs of the event, Paul Long, Paul Marecki and Brian Plumb, announced the final figure.  

“As unbelievable as it may be,” said Paul Long, “we have once again surpassed our previous year’s total, as this year’s total after expenses was $72,520.” 

Long, on behalf of the co-chairs, continued, “Words cannot express our gratitude and indeed our awe at the generosity shown by our neighbors and friends from both Locust Valley and neighboring communities from Glen Cove to Bayville to Oyster Bay and to those that came from even further away to attend our 5th Annual Operation Wounded Warrior Pasta Dinner.”

Earlier this month approximately 50 firefighters from various Nassau County fire departments, including Locust Valley, made their annual trip to Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center hospital with U-Haul trucks full of gifts for injured troops. 

Along with the gifts, the firefighters also bought and delivered some items such as recumbent bikes and treadmills to fulfill some special requests that they had received. The recumbent bikes enable those with serious injuries to once again ride with their spouses and their children, as they can no longer ride using regular bicycles. The donated treadmills also help others to continue their physical therapy. 

The firefighters also brought large screen TVs for some of the barracks on the bases and laptop computers to help those with more recent injuries stay in touch with their families and friends while they are in the various hospitals.

Long explained, “This year we met and handed out gifts to approximately 500 injured troops recovering at Fort Bragg Army Base, approximately 200 recovering injured marines at Camp Lejeune. While thankfully there were less than the usual number of injured troops at Walter Reed, the experience of visiting these very recently injured troops does not get any easier. 

“Some of the firefighters who went on that trip spoke of meeting ‘Mike,’ a young soldier who had been hit by an IED. Mike suffered the loss of both arms and both legs, yet still he was strong enough to meet with us and talk of sports and share a laugh or two. We gave him our simple gifts of an iPad, blankets, an OWW fleece with our logo and some Christmas cards written by local schoolchildren. Mike then did as all of these young men and women do, thanking us for what we do as firefighters and for raising awareness and money in our communities for him and his brothers and sisters in the military. The word “humbling” does not say enough as for our experiences upon meeting these young heroes! May God Bless them always!”

Long continued, “Again, as I have said before, words cannot portray the gratitude we were shown by our young men and women, so many of whom have suffered life changing injuries, upon our arrival with gifts for them. They all become very emotional once they learn that these gifts are the direct result of the generosity of the people of Long Island. They embrace us and hug us, thanking us for remembering them. Again, on behalf of Operation Wounded Warrior and the members of the Locust Valley Fire Department, we thank you all most sincerely.”


News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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