The Carle Place community’s voice was loud and clear as parents, coaches, community members and athletes rallied recently to show their displeasure with the Town of North Hempstead’s neglect to Charles J. Fuschillo Park. Residents say they have tried to get the Town’s help in repairing the facilities, fences and ball fields, but to no avail.
“The Town of North Hempstead gives us zero love. We must let these people know we are fed up,” said Anthony Bulzomi, who spearheaded the rally on September 14 at Fuschillo Park. Bulzomi is currently running against incumbent Viviana Russell for the District 1 Council seat.
Horseability, the equine therapy center in Old Westbury, was recently home to the regional Special Olympics Horse Show. Over 80 riders from Horseability, as well as Saddle Rock Ranch’s Special Olympics training program, competed in equitation (the practice of horse riding) and obstacle courses. Winners from these games have the opportunity to go on to state, national and even world games.
Horseability’s Director of Operations, Jamie Kolodziejski, says that the Special Olympics gives special needs athletes an even playing field.
When John Power’s wife was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in April 2008, a friend reached out to him with the name of a support group. The ALS support group at Plainview Hospital helped Power better understand the disease, as others shared their experiences and provided coping advice. Through the support group, the Westbury residents were also introduced to the loan closet, which provided them with helpful medical equipment such as patient lifts, shower chairs, and a ramp.
Westbury resident Pepitz Blanchard is running against incumbent Robert Troiano for the chance to represent District 2 in the Nassau County legislature. Blanchard grew up in Haiti and moved to Westbury almost 30 years ago in hopes of gaining a better education. Once he learned English, he decided there was no reason to go back to Haiti so he stayed, built a family, and set out to make a difference.
Blanchard has served as an auxiliary police man for the village for almost 17 years. He is running for legislature because he is hoping to be a voice for the Haitian community and bring change.
When a Florida pastor threatened to burn almost 3,000 copies of the Qur’an on September 11, he probably didn’t expect that his hateful display would result in such good. In response to the pastor’s threats, the Islamic Center of Long
Island donated almost 4,000 food items to the Long Island Council of Churches and the food pantry at St. Brigid’s Church. It took a little over a week for the center to pass their intital goal of 3,000 items, and collect nonperishables which included cookies and soups.
Some people play Words with Friends online, but a group of Westbury ladies prefers to play the old-fashioned way: making friends in person.
The Scrabble Club has been meeting at the Westbury Public Library every Friday since 1999. Usually about eight women come to play at two large square tables by a window, where on a nice day generous amounts of sunlight pour in to illuminate their games. It’s not uncommon for the women to play for four hours or more.
Roz Catena of Westbury says that even though it was twenty years ago when she found out she had breast cancer, she can recall it as if it were yesterday. “First was denial,” she says, not believing it could happen to her, a healthy 49-year-old woman. Then she kept asking, “Why me?” Eventually with the support of her daughter, Theresa, and the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Program, she moved to acceptance, rising above the disease.
Roz doesn’t think she could have moved forward without the support. There was Theresa at home. “If she was feeling fearful, she kept it in check,” says Roz. “We were going to get through it together.” At the time, Roz was working as an executive assistant to the president of an international shipping company and her boss was supportive, allowing her time off when the chemotherapy threw her for a loop. Her next helper was her oncologist who, recognizing that Roz was depressed, recommended she call the Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline. It was there that Roz found a new direction in her life.
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church has already made its mark on the Westbury community, but now that mark will be official. As the church celebrates its 126th anniversary, a portion of Maple Avenue was recently renamed Bethel AME Way.
The street renaming ceremony was held on Sunday, Sept. 8. The church worked with Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano to change the name of the street, beginning east at School Street and ending west at Linden Street.
Michelle Vivona remembers being a shy child. The only time she wasn’t was when she was dancing, something she did a lot since her parents owned a dance studio. When she saw how much her already outgoing daughter flourished taking classes at Drama Kids, she wondered how much a program like that would have helped her as a child. So, she and her husband, Jerome, decided to open their own Drama Kids chapter.
“I was so drawn to it from my background in theater and in being such a shy child,” Michelle said. “It’s a safe and a positive place for children to explore and express themselves. It’s wonderful to see the progression in the kids, as both a teacher and parent.”
Professional cross-skier and Olympian Kris Freeman is coming to Westbury to talk to children and parents about his remarkable success story and record-setting victories in spite of his struggle living with type 1 diabetes.
“I love getting involved in community events. I do a lot of events in conjunction with diabetes. It’s a great way to talk to kids and parents about the struggles of living with diabetes,” Freeman said.
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