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Fundraiser Swim for Brain Aneurysm Awareness

A group of 20 swimmers dived into the water at Oyster Bay Cove beach to celebrate life and swim a mile to raise awareness and funds to support brain aneurysm research and education, on Saturday, Aug. 21. All proceeds support North Shore University Hospital Manhasset Brain Aneurysm Center and Long Island Volunteer Center, an affiliate of HandsOn Network. Joanne Turnier was there representing the hospital.

Erik Scherbner, 26 of Bayville, who sustained a frontal lobe brain injury in a 1998 assault, had family members and his girlfriend Nina cheering him on. “It was great to see how people connected with each other to support such and important cause,” said Eric.

Madison Callinan, aged 10, said, “I swam this for my dad’s dad Thomas Callinan, who died of a brain aneurysm and for my nan, Joan Imhof, who survived one. I felt good that I actually swam back to the beach.”

Maria Ehlinger of Oyster Bay, of Active Motion Physical Therapy and St. Dominic High School added, “I swim because it’s a way of giving back – I do it for the people who are unable to do a physical activity.”

Other swimmers included Brian Dillmann, Patricia Farnell, Taylor Flanagan, Kristi Halpern, Mandy and Chris Hundling, Joan Imhof, Joe LaCorte, Bonnie Millen, Chris and Frank Murdock, Jeanette Murray, Dr. Peter O’Neill, Randy Pullman, Mark and Darlene Galla-Spechler.

Providing safety were Nassau County Police Marine Bureau officers Mario Boccabella, Frank Borgi and Billy Sharp; Bay Constables from the Town of Oyster Bay; and Bob Walles, Kevin DeSimone Sr. and EMT Mary Anne Kemmer of the Atlantic Steamer fire rescue boat. Three lifeguards, Eric Karahalis, Kohn DeStefanis and David Rupp paddled on boards close to the swimmers in case assistance was needed. Mike Dunn, Maurice and Carol Baron and John Imhof were also manning safety boats.

A beautiful array of raffle prizes were added this year. Event organizer Joan Imhof praised local merchants and friends who generously donated prizes and gift certificates. They included Active Motion Physical Therapy, Best Nails, Buckingham Variety Store, Canterbury Ales, Doubleday Babcock Senior Center and Jack Halyards American Bar & Grill in Oyster Bay; Dr. Patricia D’Imperio, Frank M. Flower & Son, Inc. Oyster Company; Serene Freier; the Holifield family; Ruth MacArthur; Carolyn Mason of Bayville; the McClellan family of Locust Valley; Jan Shaw of Centre Island; as well as Cliffco Mortgage of Westbury; American Dream Abstract; and Burns, Russo, Tamigi & Reardon Law Firm; and Lana Gluck and Diana O’Neill of the Long Island Volunteer Center.

Judi Pullman of Oyster Bay Cove announced the raffle winners. Jackie Callinan, 8, held a jar of life savers and asked people to estimate the amount in the container, labeled “Thanks for being a Lifesaver! Brain Aneurysm Support Group.

“Enjoy your swim. I’ll be here when you get back,” she called out.

Locust Valley High School Interact Club officers Melissa Bales, Meredith Carr and Hollace Francy did a great job of helping with the set up and running the event.