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Young Patrons Use The Force

The Westbury Memorial Public Library hosted a Star Wars Day recently and dozens of local youngsters and their parents enjoyed guest appearances from Stormtroopers, a Tusken Raider and Darth Vader, as well as Star Wars-themed games, refreshments, crafts and of course, books. 


During the hour-long program, children had the opportunity to take photos with the Star Wars characters, all members of the 501st Legion costuming organization. Since 1997, the Legion has functioned as a group, creating a true science-fiction/fantasy ambience with a wide range of professional-grade costumes and props. Members of the 501st, which is often called “Vader’s First,” also took time to make their way through the Adult Library, stopping to greet patrons. 


A table displaying a large selection of Westbury’s available and age-appropriate Star Wars books was set up in the Library’s Meeting Room and children had the opportunity to select the ones they wished to borrow. Over at the craft table, youngsters in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade had the chance to make Yoda or their own Yoda ears and Princess Leia buns while others played Pin the Millennium Falcon on the Death Star for a chance to win a small prize. 


The event even featured Star Wars themed snacks. Those who made their way over to ‘Mos Eisley Catina” enjoyed Rice Wookie Treats, edible Lightsabers (red, green and blue chocolate covered pretzels) and donut holes representing Death Star, Hoth and Tatooine. 


 “This is totally not what I expected,” said Westbury mom Corrine Cillo. “I expected a craft, some snacks and books. I never imagined it would be this great.” Cillo, whose four-year-old son Corven was among the first to arrive to the program and have his photo taken with his favorite Star Wars characters, added, “This totally made my son’s day. To see how well (the Star Wars characters) interacted with him and others was a big deal. This totally rocked.”


For more information on the 501st Legion, visit For information about upcoming events and programs for children, teens and adults offered at the Westbury Library, visit or call 516-333-0176. 


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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