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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

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

Mammography Van

Thursday, July 17

History Walk

Saturday, July 19

Dessert in a Jar

Monday, July 21



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