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Editorial: Steps From Ground Zero

In commemoration of 9/11, the Brooke Jackman Foundation (BJF) is commemorating its 11th anniversary with their 3rd annual read-a-thon. The nonprofit organization named for Brooke, an Oyster Bay High School alumna, promotes literacy for at-risk children in the greater New York area. The event, A Celebration of Literacy and Hope will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, from noon to 1:30 pm, just steps from Ground Zero at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. Hosted by Arts Brookfield, this free public event for children and families will celebrate the positive, transformative power of literacy.

The 11th annual Read-a-thon will also debut readings from a newly published collection of stories and illustrations from the kids in the foundation’s programs, called ABC, My Family & Me: An Alphabet Book by the Kids of the Brooke Jackman Foundation. All proceeds from the sale of the book support the work of BJF.

“For more than a decade, we have sponsored literacy programs across New York City, and the Read-a-thon allows for all of our children to gather and share their love of learning,” said Erin Jackman, Brooke’s sister and BJF’s executive director. “Just as the rising of the Freedom Tower marks the progress that New York City has made since 9/11, the growing popularity of the Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon and the publication of our first book of stories and illustrations from the kids in our programs marks the progress that we are making in advancing youth literacy.”

The Brooke Jackman Foundation was created 11 years ago to honor Brooke Jackman, a bright and compassionate 23-year-old who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks before achieving her dream of becoming a social worker. Brooke was an avid reader, and her passion and commitment to literacy and helping children spurred the Jackman family to create BJF as her living legacy – turning tragedy and despair into hope for a better world. Since 2001, the Brooke Jackman Foundation has donated nearly 100,000 books and almost 15,000 Brooke Packs, backpacks filled with books and school supplies, to children and families in need. BJF has established four libraries, as well as a number of after-school literacy programs, at sites across all five boroughs, including homeless shelters and Family Justice Centers for victims of domestic violence and crime in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon recognizes the hope born from the tragic events of that day and celebrates the resiliency of New York and its children.

Simply put, they made lemonade out of lemons. They didn’t allow Osama Ben Laden to dictate the future and instead fueled and fulfilled Brooke’s dreams.

Aug. 30, at the Republican Convention in New Orleans, Olympic athlete Derek Parra, a speed skater, spoke about the honor of being one of six people who carried the World Trade Center flag into the stadium in Salt Lake City. He said his most powerful memory of the Olympics was holding that flag.

“When it came time to begin the procession, I touched the flag for the first time, and I remember a physical sensation unlike anything I had ever experienced. If it’s possible to feel your soul being touched, then that is what I felt,” he said.

That flag touched Mr. Parra the way the attack on the Twin Towers touched all of us and continues to affect all of us.

Oyster Bay will again commemorate 9/11 with a ceremony at the Western Waterfront’s 9/11 Memorial Garden that is being arranged by NYS Senator Carl Marcellino’s office. It will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. In case of inclement weather, it will still be held.

The Town of Oyster Bay will hold their 9/11 Memorial Ceremony Friday, Sept. 7, beginning at 7 p.m. at Tobay Beach. Kaye Weninger, chair of the Locust Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony said their event will take place at the gazebo in Thomas Park from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 9. As we went to press, the Village of Bayville had not announced their 9/11 plans.

— DFK.

News

There is a new psychic medium on the North Shore of Long Island to compete with the original “Long Island Medium,” Theresa Caputo. Her name is Mary Drew and she has been working for more than a decade doing private readings. Recently, Drew has expanded her horizons and has been conducting readings at restaurants, public events and fundraisers.

“I discovered my ability to speak and to hear the deceased voices when I was 10 years old,” said Drew, who grew up in Brookville and now resides in Glen Cove. “The first deceased person I had an encounter with was my grandmother and it was a very profound experience, to say the least.”

The Oyster Bay Charitable Fund and the Oyster Bay Rotary Club hosted the annual Oyster Festival “Kick-Off” press conference on Friday, Aug. 15 at the flagpole in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

In attendance were NY State Senator Carl Marcelino and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, both Honorary Oyster Festival Chairmen; Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr.; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris J. Coshignano; Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Michelle Johnson; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joseph Pinto; Oyster Bay Rotary President Judy Wasilchuk; Verizon Title Sponsor Representative, Director of Government Affairs Patrick Lespinasse; Executive Director, h2empower, African Studies Specialist Helen Boxwill; Oyster Festival Sports Representative James Werner; Long Island Rough Riders Representative Sarah Culmo and Emcee Harlan Friedman.

The 31st annual Oyster Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



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