Written by Steve Mosco, firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00
Joshua Sason remembers his youthful days at Plainview’s Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center, playing basketball and hitting the gym multiple times a week. Now, one year after the JCC renamed that very same gym in his honor, Sason is continuing efforts to help fund a full renovation.
In recognition of those efforts, the JCC recently honored Sason for all of his significant contributions to the organization in 2013 at an annual golf event at the Glen Head Country Club. Sason, who helped raise $150,000 for the community center over the course of the day, said giving back to the JCC is a no-brainer, as the community center was integral to his youth in Plainview.
“Last year was the first point in my career that I had an opportunity to give back in a significant way,” said Sason, 27, who is the CEO of Magna Management Group, an investment firm in the city. “I was having a conversation with my mother, who still lives in Plainview, and she said the Y was looking to raise money for renovations. That is all she needed to say.”
Sason grew up in Plainview, attended Plainview-Old Bethpage High School, and started attended various programs at the Y when he was around five or six years old. As he aged, Sason grew into a gym rat, spending six or seven nights per week working out at the Y.
Aside from giving him a place to stay fit, Sason said the Mid-Island Y JCC is an important piece of the community puzzle in Plainview; it has programs for kids, teenagers, seniors, people with special needs and anyone else from the immediate neighborhood and beyond. Sason said he knows of members that come from nearby towns like Hicksville and Jericho, and he even knows of some attendees that travel from Connecticut and New Jersey to enjoy particular programs.
“It’s not just the building that is important, it is what’s going on inside of the building,” he said. “They ensure that anyone can get in there. And it keeps people busy. They provide basketball, roller hockey and all sorts of things to keep kids buys and not just hanging around getting into trouble. As a community, you want to have options for everyone. And the Y really separates Plainview from other towns that don’t necessarily have this type of community center.”
The JCC is among the reasons Sason feels lucky to have grown up in Plainview. He said that while in college, Sason would often talk to friends about the old days — especially high school days spent at POB-JFK.
“I had an amazing experience in high school. Some people have a stereotype in their heads about the type of person one might find on Long Island, but Plainview didn’t really stick to any stereotype. It was very diverse and that might surprise some people,” he said. “I was always different, playing in bands, and a bit alternative. In other places, I might have been sort of an outcast, but not in Plainview. Whatever you did, you could find your group. And the school had cliques, but those cliques mixed together a lot, too.”
And while mixing with other donors at the Y’s golf outing, Sason said he remembered the gym renaming ceremony last year and how humbled he was to even be considered for such an honor — an honor that he said also belongs to his family.
“At the ceremony last year, my mother was pretty emotional,” he said. “We have a tremendous amount of pride in our family name and now our name will live on in a building that was been such an important part of our lives. It’s incredible.”
Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00
One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.
Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.
“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”