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ucpn Honors Frank Ozol and The Atlantic Steamer Fire Co.

Frank Ozol was honored at the 9th annual ucpn Dignitary Awards Luncheon on May 13, at The Carlton in Eisenhower Park. Frank Ozol and The Atlantic Steamer Fire Company received the Excellence in Community Service Award.

The award is in recognition of their enthusiastic participation in and support of the annual Polar Bear Plunge in a variety of capacities including safety management, swimming, and this year, grilling 650 free frankfurters and serving them to the crowd. Frank and the company also raised funds – Mr. Ozol is one of the swimmers - and raised awareness of the work of ucpn. About 25 to 30 members of the company helped out at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Beach where the event was held this year on March 6.

The Atlantic Steamer Fire Company protects 12,000 people living in an area of 8.5 square miles and is 100 percent volunteer. The company was organized in 1890.

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board won the Citizen’s Choice award in recognition of their continued support of ucpn at the annual Polar Bear Plunge event, since it was established.

KJOY and the Long Island Radio Group received the Corporate Leadership Award. They broadcast the Polar Bear Plunge from the site annually and provide music and a great show.

Pete Meyers, Mike Bradley and Kevin McCarthy received the Shining Stars award. As leaders of the Long Beach Polar Bears, these individuals proved guidance to get the ucpn Polar Bear event established and continue to assist and participate in the event as advisors, promoters, swimmers and donors.

Attending were the Ozols, Frank and Kathy; their son Justin, an IT consultant and his wife Noraini, a business analyst with Tyler Communication; Sara Ozol Granieri and her husband Richard. Sara and Richard have been married for six and a half years. They met as children at ucpn. Also attending were Atlantic Steamer Captain Tim Barnett; ASFD board member Bob Walles, Sr., his wife Judy; and Bobby Walles, ASFD 2nd assistant chief.

The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc. (ucpn) is an independent, non-profit health care agency serving over 1,800 children and adults with cerebral palsy, development and other disabilities. The association founded in 1948, operates a comprehensive Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Roosevelt, that has earned international recognition for innovative and high quality programs.

During the afternoon, ucpn presented a film You Can Do Anything about the successes of ucpn clients in creating and teaching a course at the center. The Children’s Learning Center Chorus sang several songs with great feeling and spirit during the event.

Bob McGuire, ucpn executive director said, watching the film made you stop whining about the little stuff; teaches you to get over obstacles; and that no is not an option.

He said, “People watching this video will learn that you can do anything you want to do.” He added that with the cuts occurring in funding for the disabled, people need to be vigilant about making donations to those groups and organizations that help the disabled. He said there is a war going on in funding and said, “Make a commitment to speak to the decision makers to be vigilant. Those decisions can be life or death.”