By Eden Laikin
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano this week recognized, and commended, 3 young Long Islanders for acts of charity they performed to benefit their neighbors. In Late November, the County Executive, himself, was recognized – and presented with a commemorative jacket – by the Nassau County Firefighters – Operation Wounded Warrior (NCFF-OWW).
Most recently, the County Executive presented a citation to Kyle Vidasolo and Jules “JR” Alonzo, of Floral Park. after they raised more than $8,000 for the medical care for their high school English teacher’s son.
The two men bicycled 237 miles, riding at high altitudes along the Grand Canyon, to raise funds for the medical care of 5 year old Ethan Demmers, son of English teacher Dustin Demmers, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The hope is that their “Ride for Ethan” will also spread awareness about DMD.
A citation was also presented to 14 year old Cory Nichols, who has raised more than $13,000 over 2 years for local food pantries.
Cory started “C the Difference: Cory Cares” a 501C3 charity consisting of a nine member junior advisory board, and approximately 50 young volunteers. He did so after seeing a film documentary about the hungry. He purchases food monthly through his nonprofit and gives it to various food pantries.
And, just before Thanksgiving, members of the NCFF-OWW, presented County Executive Mangano with a NCFF-OWW jacket celebrating the organization’s 10th Anniversary.
Displayed on the jacket is the group’s new logo, which depicts two firefighters in turn-out gear helping to carry a soldier in combat gear. The logo symbolizes the efforts of Nassau’s firefighters to aid and assist our wounded warriors. The three people who posed for the photo depicted in the new logo are Lynbrook firefighters and all three are in the military. The soldier dressed in combat gear in the center is US Army First Lieutenant Steven Liguori who was wounded in battle in Afghanistan. The firefighter on the left is James Tucker, a Navy Corpsman, while the firefighter on the right is Matt Amato, a Marine.
Floral Park firefighter and OWW Chairman, Joe O’Grady; Garden City firefighter and OWW Vice-Chairmen Bill Graham; Mike Kushner of the Stewart Manor FD; and Steve Grogan, from Lynbrook FD – attended the presentation at the County Executive offices in the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building in Mineola