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Dynamic Teen Duo Garners High Praise

As school begins, the question first asked is always, 'What did you do this summer?' For tenth-graders Isabella Molinari of Laurel Hollow and Connor Lynn of Lloyd Harbor, the answer was simple: they helped other kids in a big way.

For 10 years the Lynn family has hosted children from the Fresh Air Fund, when 50 students are bussed out of the five boroughs for one week and have a chance to stay with a host family on Long Island.

“I learned to be very thankful for what I have; some of the things I take for granted these children never had,” said Connor.

Connor and Isabella were hoping to encourage other families to do the same and in April gave a presentation to other families at their school, but there was no interest. Not getting discouraged, they decided to raise money to send five kids to the Fresh Air Fund Camps in upstate New York.

It costs $500 to sponsor a child for a week, so their goal was to raise $2,500. They invited about 100 neighbors to the Lynn’s home one evening to shop for items from three companies, planning to donate a portion of the merchandise sold for the Fresh Air Fund.

The evening proved to be a huge success. “Thirty minutes into our fundraiser, we passed $2,500. We were so thrilled because there were so many possibilities once we raised so much money,” said Connor.

They raised $11,000 in two hours. With this windfall of cash they sent 10 children to camp, sponsored a night at Adventureland in Farmingdale for the 50 visiting children and their families, provided dinner and also provided meals for a night of bowling.

But Connor and Isabella still had money left over. “School is very important to me and I thought it would be a great idea for the kids to start off the school year organized and with the proper supplies they needed to have a successful year. I thought if they had all the supplies in a backpack then maybe they would be more interested and do very well in school.”

Connor contacted LL Bean and told them what they wanted to do. When the company heard what these teens were doing, they gave them a huge discount on the 50 backpacks and monogrammed each child’s name for free. Then they went to Staples and the company also gave them a big discount. Each backpack was filled with 17 school items by Connor and Isabella.

Before the children boarded the bus for their trip home, Connor and Isabella distributed the backpacks to the children and Connor gave a little speech. They wanted to give them something that would help them get organized. He discussed the importance of school and being prepared.

“I felt it was important that they went into the year with all of the supplies they needed in order to succeed and I hoped they would do so. I wanted to give them something that was unique to them so I thought having their names of them would be really special. When they got them, so many of them were so amazed, they had never seen any of that before. I was so happy to see them so excited. The kids ran up and hugged us. Some of the kids told me they never even had a backpack before. Once I heard that, I was so thrilled that I was able to give that to them and we were glad that we were able to help them out.”

Isabella explained what they chose to put into the backpacks: “Since most of the kids are in elementary school we decided to put pencils, pens,  crayons, folders, scissors and things like that they would need. We made a list of what we needed and headed to Staples. It was really great to see how happy they all were because they didn’t know they were getting the backpacks. They were overjoyed. It was just great to see how happy it made all of the kids and how much they appreciated the work we put into it. It made me appreciate what I have.”

Their good work did not go unnoticed. Both Assemblyman Michael Montesano (Glen Head) and Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (Huntington Station) awarded

each teen with an official NYS Citation congratulating them for outstanding work.

Assemblyman Montesano invited both teens and their moms into his conference room as they had a chance to tell their story. He in turn explained what he does as an assemblyman and joked that he would like to hire them for his fundraiser upon hearing how much they raised. He praised them for their idea of the backpacks.

“We just take for granted that people can afford buy these things but there are a lot of kids who go to school without the basic essentials,” Montesano said.

He also complimented the moms for doing a great job raising their kids. “You deserve to be congratulated also because they were raised because of your influence upon them.”

After discussing what the teens wanted to do in the future, he explained to them his career path as to how he became an assemblyman and what they do for the community. He congratulated them on their extraordinary achievement and awarded them their certificates. Then it was on to Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci’s office to receive their second award.

Assemblyman Lupinacci wanted to know how they became involved with the Fresh Air Fund and what they did with the money they raised. He wanted to know what the kid’s reaction was when they received the back packs. He then shared with the students how he became involved in politics going from being a teacher, lawyer and now politician. He congratulated them for their accomplishments and awarded them both certificates and also a NYS assembly gold pin. “These pins have our state seal on it and say, “Always rising, always achieving. We want to thank you for all of your hard work, especially at such a young age. You have already done great things and we know that you are going to do other great things. You impressed those children you affected and gave them an excellent summer.”

Isabella said, “It was really cool to be able to talk to them and get this award. It was a good experience overall knowing how many people we helped.”

Connor added, “I am glad we had this opportunity to do this so early in our lives and hopefully we can do it later in our lives too. It was exciting to receive two awards.

Both moms, beaming with pride, had words of praise for their children.

Mary Lynn said, “I am really proud of both Connor and Bella. I think they put a lot of time and effort into a very worthwhile cause.”

Lisa Molinari said, “I am very proud of them. I know they are on the start of a beautiful road of helping the community and doing the best they can and always putting their best effort forward.”


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.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


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.


Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28


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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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