The Rockville Centre
St. Patrick's Parade
The Opening Word --- http://www.openingword.org/
The Opening Word is a literacy, ESOL, and job readiness program; the purpose of which is to unlock the language ability of adult participants, providing them with a key to future personal empowerment, increased civic and social responsibility and enhanced skills for membership in the workforce. Sites are located in Amityville, Huntington Station and Wyandanch.
The HEARTest Yard --- https://receptionsforresearch.org/the-heartest-yard/
The HEARTest Yard initiative, a family service program administered by Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC. The cutting-edge program provides families of babies affected by congenital heart disease with a multitude of services including in-home, private nursing care, physical therapy and speech therapy among other benefits.
The New York Irish Center --- http://www.newyorkirishcenter.org/
The New York Irish Center is a community center in Long Island City, Providing a home for the Irish at heart , building and researching community through culture, identity and friendship.
Life's WORC Family Center for Autism --- http://familycenterforautism.org/
The Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism (FCA) in Garden City, New York, opened its doors in April 2015. Since that time, we have worked to engage the autism community with our unique model of providing innovate programs for individuals with autism and their family members. The program model offered at the FCA is the first of its kind on Long Island. It is a family-focused model that provides support for the entire family, because when you have a child with autism, you have a family with autism.
Family Lives On Foundation --- http://www.familyliveson.org/
Family Lives On Foundation supports the lifelong emotional well-being of children who have suffered the death of a parent. Our Tradition Program provides annual ongoing opportunities for intentional remembrance for our program children while creating a safe haven for grief, communication and celebration.
The Tradition Program is a therapeutic tool that supports the grieving process by assisting a child in selecting a tradition that the child shared with his or her deceased parent and enabling the child and his or her family to continue that tradition on an annual basis until the child “graduates” in five years.
The Irish American Heritage Museum - Albany New York --- https://irish-us.org/
“We share Irish American heritage.”
The Irish American Heritage Museum located at 370 Broadway Albany, New York 12207 creates and displays exhibits, hosts lectures on historic topics and modern politics, hosts film screenings, theater performances, cooking classes, open sessions, genealogy courses, concerts, and much more. The Museum is also the home to the Paul O’Dwyer Library, which contains almost 1500 books related to Irish and Irish American culture and history. Also contained in the library are the archival holdings of the National Ancient Order of Hibernians and the American Irish Legislators Society of New York.
BackYard Players and Friends --- www.bypandfriends.com
We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. To have a feeling of belonging and a sense of community. The Backyard Players and Friends was born as a unique, inclusive arts-based community program dedicated to enhancing the social and interpersonal skills for teens and young adults of all abilities. BYP & Friends believes that by providing arts-based experiences and hands on opportunities in a loving and supportive environment, our participants will be empowered to reach their full potential. We discovered a need to continue the inclusive community that develops while a student is enrolled in school. As students graduate, many experience a decline in their social relationships and community bonds. BYP & Friends works to create positive and meaningful experiences to decrease the gap between the end of their structured education community and the new freedom of adulthood. We are based in Rockville Centre, New York with classes at Molloy College, St. Mark's Church and The RVC Recreation Centre. We have community enrichment programs and classes in Theatre, Yoga, Zumba and more. Our participants are invited to seasonal dances, field trips, and participate in community service activities. Most importantly, inclusion inspires communities to work together, learn from each other and form lasting bonds that bring everyone together.
Breathe Believe --- http://breathebelieve.org/
Breathe Believe is a nonprofit organization founded by Angela Ruggeri and is made up of family, friends and dedicated businesses to raise funds to provide financial assistance to individuals with cystic fibrosis who cannot afford the essentials to stay alive. Breathe Believe is based on the premise that everyone with Cystic Fibrosis deserves a chance to fight the disease. We are a community of love made up of family, friends and dedicated supporters, who stand by those in need of help to manage their disease. Anyone is welcome to join my community of love to support those living with Cystic Fibrosis. We, as a community, will devote our time and effort to raising money so no one with CF should go without the necessary medicine and care. No one should have to think twice for treatment because they cannot afford it. No one should have to be turned away from a lung transplant because they cannot pay for it. No one should die from CF because there is no cure and they cannot get what they need. We will give hope to those struggling with CF who find themselves unable to pay insurmountable bills for necessary medications and hospitalizations. We will support research devoted to finding a cure for CF. Angela Ruggeri initiated Breathe Believe to honor all those who have given of themselves to keep her alive: To those who much is given, much is expected
Pieta House --- http://www.pieta.ie/
Although Pieta House’s foundations lie in the care of those in suicidal or self-harm distress we are providing a more wide ranging suite of therapies to deal with the issues facing the Irish in New York. Our success is down to the pragmatic but empathetic approach we take to suicidal ideation, no matter the reason behind it and no matter the person. In New York this approach extends to the care that we give to all of our clients, no matter what issue is facing them. Through the successful delivery of our service as well as the implementation of our community programs such as Mind Our Men and Mind Ur Buddy Pieta House has played an important part of removing the taboo of suicide, and bringing it loudly to the global conversation.
Tommy Brull Foundation --- http://tommybrullfoundation.org/
In the fall of 2008, family and friends decided to commemorate brother and friend, Thomas Brull, who passed away tragically in an accident on Christmas Eve of 1999 at the age of 23. The Tommy Brull Foundation Inc. was started with the goal of gathering old and new friends and family to remember and celebrate Tommy’s life. The Tommy Brull Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity and its mission is to raise money to benefit people and organizations dedicated to serving people with physical, mental, and emotional challenges in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Tommy worked at Camp ANCHOR during his adolescent and young adult years and dedicating a foundation in his name to serve the special needs population would be a nice way to honor his memory and keep his spirit alive. The Tommy Brull Foundation Inc. is funded through the kind donations of friends and family at an annual Fundraiser held every November at Cannon’s Blackthorn and The Shine A Light Music Series Benefit Concerts. The Tommy Brull Foundation has successfully raised $250,000 for various individuals and organizations dedicated to people with special needs in the greater Long Island area.
Children's Tumor Foundation --- http://www.ctf.org/
The Children's Tumor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with neurofibromatosis (NF), a term for three distinct disorders: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. NF causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities, and excruciating and disabling pain. NF affects one in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. The Children’s Tumor Foundation funds critical research into neurofibromatosis. In addition to benefiting those who live with NF, this research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community. The Children's Tumor Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) medical foundation, dedicated to improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by the neurofibromatoses (NF). The Mission of The Children's Tumor Foundation is to: Encourage and support research and the development of treatments and cures for neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, schwannomatosis, and related disorders (hereafter collectively referred to as "NF"); Support persons with NF, their families, and caregivers by providing thorough, accurate, current, and readily accessible information; Assist in the development of clinical centers, best practices, and other patient support mechanisms (but not including direct medical care) to create better access to quality healthcare for affected individuals; and, Expand public awareness of NF to promote earlier and accurate diagnoses by the medical community, increase the non-affected population's understanding of the challenges facing people with NF, and encourage financial and other forms of support from public and private sources.
The Ballinasloe Eagles Special Olympics Club
Ballinasloe Eagles are an entirely voluntary funded club which allows adults and children with intellectual disabilities participate in a range of sports. We are a very successful club with dedicated athletes and volunteers. Our athletes ages range from 6 to 45 years of age and are from a wide geographical area including Mountbellow, Roscommon, Athlone, Ballinasloe, New Inn, Portumna and Ahascragh. Our mission is to encourage people to involve themselves in our activities Golf, Swimming and Horse Riding we have found participation in our club brings rewards to both the athletes and their families. In a world where it can be challenging for those viewed as different the club allows these individuals to develop both physically and emotionally, they develop new friendships, realise their abilities, feel part of a team/group and gain a sense of belonging. We have an oath in Special Olympics "Let me win but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt". We enable the athletes to achieve and win not only in sport but in life too, gain a sense of achievement, independence, the quietest, timid, afraid of the unknown child or adult will often in time and patience come out of themselves when near a horse, or playing golf or swimming with others, they see what they can achieve with a little time and effort.
The Katie McBride Foundation --- http://www.katiemcbridefoundation.org/
The Katie McBride Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 with the mission to honor the memory of Katie and the families of all childhood leukemia victims and other life-threatening diseases. The Foundation's primary objective is to honor Katie while raising important funds and awareness of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, the family support services the House provides, and other local worthy causes. The Foundation raises funds primarily through two annual events: Katie’s Run and Katie’s Koncert. Katie’s Run is a 5k race and 2 mile fun run/walk that is held each year on the Sunday after Father’s Day, drawing over 1,000 attendees. Katie’s Koncert is typically held around the time of Thanksgiving at the Msgr. James P. Kelly Parish Hall at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre to raise funds for the Katie McBride Memorial Scholarship Fund. Since 2010, the Katie McBride Foundation has donated over $70,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island and has provided over $40,000 to local charities, families in need, and scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional volunteer service to the community.
The Hance Family Foundation --- http://hancefamilyfoundation.org/
The Hance Family Foundation was formed five years ago to honor the memories of our daughters, Emma, Alyson, and Katie Hance, who died tragically in a car accident on the Taconic State Parkway on July 26, 2009 at the ages of 8, 7, and 5. Our foundation has a mission that is so vital to us no single word can describe it: to honor the lives of our three beautiful daughters by ensuring healthy, happy, and safe children through innovative self-esteem educational programming and the support of children in need. The funds we raise are used to support our innovative self-esteem educational program for women and girls, Beautiful Me…The EAK Project, as well as local educational and charitable giving programs for children. A powerful educational journey has begun with our flagship program, Beautiful Me. It teaches females of all ages to learn how to think positively and with assurance about their bodies, their skills, and their relationships with others. Through the Beautiful Me program, our organization has already reached over 10,000 participants with content-based lesson plans. Beautiful Me has been implemented throughout Long Island, New York City, Westchester County, and in cities around the country. The foundation hosts an annual fundraiser that is one of the largest 5K race/walks on Long Island. Next year’s 5K will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Following the race, participants and their families are invited to attend our Family Fun Day. We look forward to our new friends from Rockville Centre joining us for this great event. We also run a wide-reaching Christmas Toy Drive each holiday season. Our foundation collects thousands of new, unwrapped toys and hand delivers them to children in need throughout New York City and Nassau County. A foundation like ours is ultimately about people. People who care about their peers, love their families, and are generous with their time and talents. These are the people we work with at the Hance Family Foundation and who we are blessed to know.
Dublin Children's Pilgrimage
Each Easter for almost 30 years children from the Dublin Diocese with “special needs” travel to Lourdes where they are joined by thousands of children from around the world for “Children’s week in Lourdes”. The principal behind these children traveling each Easter is that they are based on groups of 10 children with ten adult carers, a doctor, a nurse and a priest chaplain. Each of the carers, doctor, nurse and priest pay their own way and then help with fundraising for the entire group of children. There are no administrative costs as all of the ‘office work’ is done on a voluntary basis through the year so all money raised goes directly towards the cost of the children on pilgrimage. The approximate cost of a child traveling and the extras provided by way of medicines, special foods etc is €1,100 (euro) each – about $1,440 (dollars). The budget of funds to be raised in Dublin each year for about 40 children is €45,000 (euro) or nearly $60,000 (dollars). It can be very difficult to raise such money on a voluntary basis in what are very much recessionary times in Ireland. The children who travel have an illness of some kind either physical or mental and many of them would not be able to go but for the fact that there is a team of medical personnel in attendance. Some of the children also come from very poor backgrounds in inner-city Dublin. What this trip does for these children is amazing to see and the happy family atmosphere whilst in Lourdes is something some of them do not get at home. Over the years hundreds of children have travelled with the Children’s Pilgrimage and a family atmosphere has been created. Along with fundraising events special occasions are an integral part of this special group, events such as birthday parties, engagements, weddings and even baptisms have all been celebrated.
New Ground --- http://www.newground.org/
New Ground is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization assisting homeless families and Veterans on Long Island. New Ground provides long term intensive Social Work and education services to assist our children, parents and Veterans in breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for which many have been trapped for years. We work with the parents and Veterans to improve their education, employment opportunities and financial literacy. Social Workers meet our families and Veterans where they are and assist them with building greater skills in all areas of life. Assistance is also provided to the children to ensure that they are thriving academically and like their parents, on track to have a future career that will provide self sufficiency. When our families and Veterans graduate from New Ground, they are able to support themselves and live an independent and successful life.
The Angelman Syndrome Foundation --- http://www.angelman.org/
The Angelman Syndrome Foundation's mission is to advance the awareness and treatment of Angelman Syndrome through education and information, research, and support for individuals with Angelman Syndrome, their families and other concerned parties. We exist to give all of them a reason to smile, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. The Foundation sponsors AS research through grants to researchers who pursue promising avenues of discovery. Since 1996, the ASF has funded 66 research grants totaling over $4.6 million. The ASF has awarded a majority of these funds ($4.5 million) beginning in 2005. ASF is a national 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping families, care providers and medical professionals arm themselves with as much helpful information about Angelman Syndrome as possible. The ASF sponsors a biennial conference which gives you the opportunity to hear the latest research results, therapeutic techniques, educational strategies, long-term planning and financial-planning information. The conference also offers many networking opportunities to talk to families that are dealing with the same issues you might be having while caring for an individual with Angelman Syndrome. The ASF publishes a monthly newsletter, Voices of Angels, which alerts members to upcoming meetings and events, provides helpful insights from AS families and friends, and informs readers of any new research and medical developments that could better the lives of AS individuals and their families.
The Nassau County AOH Feis Committee --- http://www.nassauaohfeis.com/
The Nassau County AOH Feis and Irish Festival ~ Est. 1973 Now in its forty first year, the Ancient Order of Hibernians have presented Nassau County with its annual Irish Feis and Festival. Held every year in September the Feis is a celebration of Irish culture and history. This year 2013, the Feis was held on Sept. 15th at Hofstra University. The day centered around Irish traditions; first starting with Sunday Mass and then the dance and piping competitions. One of the premier Feis in the New York Area, it attracts both dancers and pipers from all around. The Feis is a great opportunity to witness Irish culture and its rich heritage.
The Jillian E. Daly Foundation --- http://www.thejillianedalyfoundation.org/
The Jillian E. Daly Foundation was created in memory of our beloved daughter. Her zest for life, perpetual smile and ready laugh, brought a ray of “sunshine” into many people’s lives. Her career as a nurse was suited to her personality and compassion for others. It was, however, cut short with Jillian’s passing, at the age of 24, in October of 2010, barely a year into her professional life. An autoimmune condition known as warm hemolytic anemia abruptly ended Jillian’s life. Jillian also had several bouts of ITP, a platelet disorder, since her junior year in high school. ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia) is also an autoimmune disorder. How the two are related or triggered, is not completely known. Our desire is to invest our fundraising interests and energies into autoimmune disease research and to assist young students entering the health professions. There are over 23.5 million Americans affected by autoimmune disease. Lupus, Type 1 diabetes, Celiac, Crohns, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriasis, MS just to name a few. We hope to one day discover why the body turns against itself and to uncover ways to correct and prevent these conditions. We have recently established a relationship with the Feinstein Institute of North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Manhasset, New York. The research team, led by Dr. Betty Diamond, is specifically involved in immune system research. They are investigating what triggers the autoimmune response and finding less toxic methods of treatment. We hope you will join us.
ALS Association Greater New York Chapter --- http://www.als-ny.org/
The ALS Association's mission is to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global, cutting-edge research and to empower people with Lou Gehrig's disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. As one of The ALS Association's leading chapters, the Greater New York Chapter plays a major role in promoting the mission of The ALS Association by: Providing a quality services to patients and families living with ALS throughout the greater New York area, including the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, the Hudson Valley, and northern & central New Jersey. Funding aggressive, cutting-edge research to find a cure that utilizes the newest techniques and fosters collaborative initiatives among government agencies, the private sector and scientists. Supporting The ALS Association's national advocacy program to expand government support of research and elicit programs to make treatments and care accessible and affordable for all ALS patients. Heightening awareness of ALS in order to stimulate volunteerism, scientific and healthcare community activism, and public support that is essential to the fight against ALS. About ALS: ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease after the New York Yankees legend, is a neurodegenerative disease where the motor neurons connecting from the brain to the spinal cord die, leading to paralysis and eventual death. Currently, over 30,000 people are living with ALS in the United States. Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes someone dies from ALS. Notable persons to have died from ALS include: David Niven, Michael Zaslow, Charles Mingus, Lead Belly, Lane Smith, Jon Stone, Catfish Hunter, Jacob Javits, Henry Wallace, and Lou Gehrig. There is no known cause and no cure. For more information on ALS and the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, please visit www.als-ny.org or call 212-619-1400.
Crosscare Dublin Ireland --- http://www.crosscare.ie/
Crosscare is the social care agency of the Dublin Archdiocese. Since 1941 Crosscare has been delivering services to those who need them most within the greater Dublin area. We offer a range of programmes based on innovative approaches to meet new and emerging needs. These services are currently run from more than 30 locations throughout the Dublin Diocese. Our services can be broken into three main categories; Those affected by homelessness, The needs of young people, The development of community driven services. Crosscare’s ethos is based on the principle that every person is created in the image and likeness of God. This places responsibility on us in Crosscare to work to the highest possible standards while treating every person who uses our services and who works for and with us, with the utmost respect, courtesy and love. Deriving from this principle we have four core values against which we will proof all of our activities and actions. Respect: Every person regardless of their lifestyle, race, nationality, gender, religion, beliefs, values or sexual orientation is unique; has intrinsic worth; and is entitled to dignity, respect, well being and self-fulfilment. Human Rights: It is our responsibility to be aware of the rights that those who avail of our services are entitled to, and that hand in hand, with the delivery of our services, we advocate on their behalf when their rights and entitlements are being denied them. Integrity: We will honour the trust that is placed in us, by conducting ourselves with integrity in all of our activities and actions. We hold ourselves accountable to be open, honest, genuine and reliable at all times; creating a culture of fairness and integrity that we can be proud of. Excellence: To live out our ethos is to strive for excellence in everything we do. The people who avail of our services, along those of us who deliver them, are equal partners in pursuing excellence in all of our relationships and endeavours.
Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS) --- http://www.acds.org/
The Association for Children with Down Syndrome (“ACDS”) was established more than 40 years ago and serves over 700 individuals affected by Down syndrome and other severe developmental disabilities. ACDS is dedicated to providing lifetime resources of exceptional quality, innovation and inclusion for individuals with severe developmental disorders, providing them with hope and support through all of life’s stages through a cycle of mutual service and support, and has become Long Island’s leading provider to such individuals. Specifically, for the approximately 300 children per year it serves, from infancy to 5 years old, ACDS provides a continuum of year-round programs and services that include diagnostic evaluations and treatment, early intervention, day care/nursery school, preschool, special education and clinical services. In addition, for the approximately 250 children aged 5 and over ACDS serves per year, it provides evening and weekend recreation services while providing its adult population, approximately 50 adults aged 21 and over, with supervised homes.
ECAD - Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities --- http://www.ecad1.org/
Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities, Inc. (“ECAD”) a national non-profit organization incorporated in New York and primarily serving the East Coast through its mission of enabling people with disabilities to gain greater independence and mobility through the use of specially trained dogs. ECAD has placed over 150 educated dogs with clients with a range of disabilities. From the first ECAD client who suffered from muscular dystrophy to some of the latest, wounded warriors contending with disabilities and/or post traumatic stress disorder or children with autism, ECAD recognizes that each disability calls for a different kind of assistance from the dog. These canine skills range from opening the door of a refrigerator or pulling socks on and off, grocery shopping or picking up change, acting as an anchor, providing strength or balance when needed, and, always, the companionship of a good friend who will give unconditional love. Each dog is to respond to over 80 commands when finished with their training, which lasts from when they are about 8 weeks old until they are about 2 years old.
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island --- http://rmhlongisland.org/
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, which opened in 1986 in New Hyde Park as the 100th of the over 300 Ronald McDonald House programs around the world. Its mission is to give shelter and comfort to the approximately 1,000 families with a seriously ill child in a local hospital it serves per year. A “home-away-from-home”, the House provides the parents and siblings of these children with a temporary haven in a secure and comfortable environment among other families sharing a similar burden. The New Hyde Park House consists of a 44,00 square foot facility which includes 42 bedrooms, each with a private bath, children’s play areas both inside and outdoors, a library, eight kitchen stations, two Kosher kitchens, a fully stocked food pantry, five laundry rooms and a Great Room where the families can socialize or watch television. For more privacy, there is a small TV room on the second floor and an additional main floor lounge that is perfect for quiet activities.
Nassau-Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America --- http://www.nsasa.org/
The local charity chosen by the Parade Committee this year (2011) is the Nassau-Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America (NSASA), a parent driven organization serving over 1,400 families on Long Island in coping with autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurological disorder that typically lasts a person’s lifetime and impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. Currently, 1 in 150 children are being diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Because there is no currently definitive cause, prevention or cure, the parents of autistic individuals take one day at a time. The disease often leads those afflicted to engage in undesirable behaviors such as self injury or tantrums, causing families to remain at home in isolation. Research indicates, however, that an appropriate educational setting and access to social opportunities can result in significant improvements in the quality of life for those suffering from autism. The mission of the NSASA is to provide such settings and opportunities to families struggling with the disease. The NSASA is staffed entirely by volunteers, and all proceeds from its fund-raising efforts are used to provide free educational, recreational and social opportunities to families touched by autism. (www.nsasa.org)
Wounded Warrior Project --- http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
The national charity chosen by the Parade Committee is Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), whose mission is to honor and empower our injured service members. WWP was created when a group of veterans were watching the evening news and were moved by the difficult stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They realized then and there that something had to be done for these brave individuals beyond the brass bands and ticker tape parades. The result was WWP, whose objective is to provide tangible support for the wounded and to help them on the road to recovery, both physically and mentally. This support comes numerous forms, including advocacy, benefits counseling, family support and caregivers retreats, peer mentoring, and WWP backpacks which are delivered bedside to wounded warriors.(www.woundedwarriorproject.org)
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin Ireland --- www.olhsc.ie
The Irish charity selected by the Parade Committee is Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, which opened in November 1956 and has grown into Ireland’s largest pediatric teaching hospital with 248 beds and employing over 1,500 staff. The Hospital was, and is, designed specifically to care for and treat sick children and is built on a site of approximately 5 hectares (roughly 7.5 acres) provided to it by the Archbishop of Dublin. It is involved in the teaching of all disciplines of healthcare staff, as well as research, a fundamental component of all pediatric disciplines. Indeed, the Hospital has an international reputation for the quality of the research it carries out. On a yearly basis, the Hospital treats over 24,500 inpatients and day cases, 30,100 Emergency Department attendances, 76,000 Out Patient attendances and performs over 13,000 operating procedures.
Families of SMA - Greater New York Chapter
The local charity chosen by the Parade Committee this year is the Greater New York Chapter of the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (www.fsma.org), which is based in Rockville Centre. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease that affects the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. A small group of parents started Families of SMA in 1984 to raise funds for SMA research to cure the disease and to support all affected families. Back then, very little was known about the disease, there was no family support services and thus very little hope. Today, Families of SMA have 26 chapters nationwide with over 65,000 members and supporters, and have raised and funded over $50 million for SMA research. This funding has led to successful results and progress from basic research to drug discovery programs to clinical trials that now provide real hope for families and patients. The President of the Greater New York Chapter, Debbie Cuevas, a Rockville Centre resident, coordinates many fundraising, awareness and support functions for over 500 families within the Long Island / NYC area.
Mollie's Fund --- www.molliesfund.org
The national charity chosen by the Parade Committee is the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation, also called Mollie’s Fund. Mollie’s Fund was established in Mollie’s memory by her parents after her tragic death at the age of 20 from melanoma. The Fund’s mission is to increase awareness for melanoma prevention, provide information and services on skin cancer detection, and support melanoma patients through education of the latest treatments. The foundation has created and produced an educational DVD, “The Dark Side of the Sun”. Over 150,000 have been distributed at no charge to health teachers throughout the United States and Canada. Mollie’s Fund has also created “Have You Checked Your Skin Lately?” an English and Spanish wallet-sized brochure that illustrates evolving moles and demonstrates the process of a self-check.
The Long Island Gaelic Athletic Club --- www.thelongislandgaels.com
The Irish charity selected by the Parade Committee is the Long Island Gaelic Athletic Club, Inc. The purpose of the Long Island Gaelic Athletic Club also known as the Gaels, is to Promote Gaelic Football and Culture on Long Island from underage boys and girls through senior as part of the New York Gaelic Athletic Minor and Senior Boards. Gaelic football, which is one of the oldest sports in the world, resembles a combination of soccer and American football and is a fast-paced and entertaining game to watch. It is played on a field slightly larger than an American football field with fifteen players on each team. The Gaels presently have five underage programs: under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14, and under 16. They draw players from all over Long Island with 15 players being from Rockville Centre, and compete against 12 other clubs from around the tri-state area. Underage training and home games are presently being played at Molloy College, Rockville Centre in conjunction with their Irish Studies Program. They also have a Senior Gaelic Football team and a soccer team.
The De La Salle School
The local charity chosen by the Parade Committee this year is The De La Salle School of Freeport, which was established in 2002 with eleven 5th grade students and now currently enrolls more than 60 students in grades 5 through 8. More than 77% of De La Salle’s students qualify for free or reduced price federal lunch, and the school provides a “Breakfast Club” that serves milk and cereal for all students every morning and offers its students “Extended Day’ study time and social activities three (3) afternoons a week. The school’s teachings are rooted in more than 325 years of De La Salle Christian Brothers tradition, and it maintains a curriculum, which meets and surpasses the guidelines established by the Board of Regents of the State of New York.
Maureen's Hope Foundation
The national charity chosen by the Parade Committee is Maureen’s Hope Foundation, Inc., which was founded five (5) years ago by Susan Bertrand after watching her younger sister, Maureen, endure a courageous and difficult two (2) year battle with cancer. Ms. Bertrand learned that there are many needs that a patient has when faced with a life altering disease that cannot be met by the medical community, and the mission of Maureen’s Hope is to try to fill that gap and fulfill some of those needs. In its five (5) year history, Maureen’s Hope has provided practical support and assistance to over 400 people facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis or other life altering disease, including providing patients with a cleaning service for their home; meals for the family; wigs if they have lost their hair; help with travel expenses and fundraisers; and personalized gift baskets of hope filled with items that offer comfort and inspiration.
Molloy College Irish Studies Institute
The Irish charity selected by the Parade Committee is the newly-established Irish Studies Institute at Molloy College, a long-time supporter of the Parade. Molloy plans to use the funds received from the Parade for one of two distinct projects. The first proposed project is the establishment of the oral history archives which will become part of the permanent collection of the Irish Studies Institute. This oral history project will preserve the story of Irish Americans in this region. The second proposed project will be the establishment of an endowed scholarship fund for Irish Studies that will exist in perpetuity and be named “The RVC St. Patrick’s Parade Scholarship Fund at Molloy College”. The proceeds the Parade committee donates will benefit those students interested in pursuing a certificate in Irish Studies, would be put in a restricted account and scholarships would be awarded on the interest collected on that endowment. Both of these projects provide for a lasting legacy to the generosity of the Parade.
Long Island Sled Hockey, Inc. for the handicapped athlete
The 2008 local charity is the Long Island Sled Hockey, Inc. ~ for the handicapped athlete, based in Lynbrook. Sled hockey is played mainly by people with various lower extremity disabilities, such as amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, post polio and the like. The Lynbrook charity is the only program of its kind in the United States as it joins both physically and mentally challenged athletes on the ice. The club is in its 12th year, and all monies raised during the year go directly to their athletes, as there are no administrative fees or coaches salaries paid. This amazing group of young boys and girls has captured the hearts of everyone with whom they have come in contact, and we are delighted to support them.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The 2008 national charity chosen by the Parade Committee is The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, which was founded in 1998 by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti following Kathy’s diagnosis with the disease. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell that is an incurable but treatable disease. At present there are more than 50,000 people in the United States living with the disease. The Multiple Myeloma Research foundation is the world’s number one private funder of research into the disease, having raised more than $85 million to fund 70 laboratories worldwide. This effort has been producing results, as there are several promising new therapies that are helping patients live longer, healthier lives.
Ards Friary Retreat and Conference Centre, Donegal Ireland
The 2008 Irish charity selected by the Parade Committee is the Ards Friary and Retreat Centre, a historic 1708 building located on the beautifully scenic Ards peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland. It is estimated that 80% of all Irish Capuchins, at home and abroad, studied at Ards. Today, having been taken over from the Capuchins by the Roman Catholic diocese of Raphoe, the Ards Friary is used for a whole host of worthy causes, from ecumenical exchanges and youth retreats to marriage preparation and adult education. In recent years Ards Friary has also erected many practical exhibits on promoting a cleaner environment
Camp Anchor Parents Foundation
Camp ANCHOR is a 6 week summer day camp that provides meaningful social and recreational activities for approximately 600 physically challenged citizens ages 5 and above who are residents of the Town of Hempstead The camp is a comprehensive recreational program that includes music, dance, arts and crafts, ceramics, swimming, bowling, physical education, competitive sports, court and board games, home economics, fitness, camper and professional shows, a field day, a swim festival, and a spectacular carnival. It is staffed by knowledgeable professionals and numerous volunteers, who work with participants to help them develop skills, improve self concepts and integrate into community life. Camp Anchor is part of the Town of Hempstead's year-round ANCHOR (Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreation) program, which offers a range of after-school activities and an all-day Saturday recreation program dedicated to meeting the special needs of mentally and developmentally disabled and physically challenged children and adults residing in the Town of Hempstead. Founded by the Hempstead Town Board in 1968 at the request of a group of parents of physically challenged children, ANCHOR has grown from an after-school program serving 50 children to a year-round program with over one thousand children and adult participants.
St Baldrick's aptly describes itself as "a whimsical twist on St. Patrick's Day," in which volunteers agree to shave their heads bald in order to raise funds to help combat childhood cancer. It was begun in 1999 by a group of New York City business executives of Irish descent who decided to transform their traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration into an effort to assist young children diagnosed with cancer. Because cancer treatment for these children often causes their hair to fall out, the group recruited volunteers to have their heads shaved in public in return for pledges of support What began as a single New York City event with a goal of raising "$17,000 on the 17th" has grown in five years to hundreds of events around the globe that have raised nearly $7 million,. The chief beneficiary of St. Baldrick's is CureSeareh National Childhood Cancer Foundation, which supports CureSearch Children's Oncology Group, the world's foremost childhood cancer research organization.
Playing for Peace
"Children who play together can learn to live together." That is the philosophy behind PeacePlayers International, a program founded in 2001 as Playing for Peace that uses basketball and life skills training to bring together young people of diverse religious, racial and cultural backgrounds in some of the world's most divided regions. Over the past five years, Playing for Peace has touched more than 45,000 young people in these regions, bringing together Catholic and Protestant children in Northern Ireland; Israeli and Palestinian teen-agers in the Middle East; children of varied racial backgrounds in South Africa; Turkish and Greek youth in Cyprus; and helping them develop leadership skills and learn to live together as friends and neighbors. PeacePlayers International has four main objectives: to bridge social divides, develop future leaders, educate children to lead healthy, constructive lives, and build community involvement The program targets children ages 10 - 14, when they are old enough to pick up the basics of the sport of basketball, but young enough where prejudices have not yet been cemented. The youngsters interact through basketball teams, clinics and tournaments, and the program also reaches out to older teens and adults, training them to be coaches and youth mentors. In addition to its efforts to promote dialogue and friendship and combat prejudice, PeacePlayers International is also working to combat the AIDS epidemic which is ravaging Africa, incorporating AIDS / HIV education into its programs in South Africa and Uganda.
The Michael Manzella Foundation
Michael Manzella was an accomplished musician and composer who, while at Yale, devoted himself to music and volunteered much of his time to the community by working with ill and underprivileged children. In 1993 he succumbed to a two-year struggle with cancer. The Michael Manzella Foundation honors Michael's legacy through its support of cancer/medical research, children's causes and the arts. One of the foundation's programs is holiday parties at local children's hospitals, and this year the foundation will be at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola.
Bethany House operates shelters for mothers and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Currently there are sixty women and children who are being accommodated in four shelters on Long Island. In addition to room and board, the program also provides medications and transportation for these Families in need. Bethany House provides educational programs for mothers so that they can be independent.
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Limerick
St. Vincent's Centre, Lisnargy, Limerick, opened in 1952 to provide services to children with intellectual disabilities. Since then the Sisters have expanded and developed the Centre to serve adults as well as children. The Centre uses a multi-disciplinary approach and the wide range of facilities and activities, many of which are now provided off-campus throughout the region.
The Injured Marine Semper FI Fund in Honor of Marine Lieutenant Ronald Winchester
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund was formed to provide supplemental assistance to injured Marines and Sailors and their families, as they face the road to recovery. The fund, named for the U.S. Marines’ motto, which means “always faithful,” is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization based in Oceanside, California. With more than 174,000 active duty Marines and 37,000 Marine reservists serving our country in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no more worthy national charity for our St. Patrick’s Parade to support than the Semper Fi Fund. Marine Lieutenant Ronald Winchester, a resident of Rockville Centre, was killed in action during his second combat tour in Iraq. The donation to the Semper Fi Fund will be made in his honor.
The 69th Regiment Restoration Fund
The “Fighting 69th” New York Regiment is one of the most famous units in American military history. From the Civil War, when it was made up of mostly Irish immigrants, through World War I, with its Chaplain, the immortal “Fighting Father Duffy” through World War II in the Pacific, up to the present day fighting in Iraq. The Regiment has been legendary in its courageous service to our country. The restoration fund supports the creation of exhibits of regimental memorabilia at the 69th Regiment Armory.
The Galway Hospice Foundation
Our 2005 Irish charity, The Galway Hospice Foundation, provides palliative care in their homes to over 100 terminally ill patients in Galway city and county seven days a week. Since it’s founding in 1990, the association has provided home care and day care programs for more than 3,000 patients. The foundation is a registered charity receiving no public funding, and relies on the generosity of the people of Galway and many parts of the world to continue its vital services to those in need.
The Boomer Esiason Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Boomer Esiason Foundation was founded in 1993 by the famed former New York Jets quarterback after his son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. The foundation is strongly committed to supporting critical research to help find a cure for this genetic respiratory disorder. Recently, BEF donated more than $2 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to combat this fatal disease, and in the past ten years has raised more than $17 million to fund Cystic Fibrosis research.
Project children is an American-Northern Ireland partnership dedicated to showing Protestant and Catholic kids that they have nothing to fear from each other and much to gain. The program started in 1975 with six children from Belfast, three from one community and three from the other. The kids spent that summer in America, getting to know each other in a small New York town. Now Project Children places more than 600 children from Northern Ireland with host families across America each summer. And several years ago Project Children expanded to include university students by offering summer internships on Capitol Hill. A few months later, a new venture with Habitat for Humanity and local trade unions pulled on vocational students and gave them on-the-job experience building homes in America. Project Children also sponsors programs in Northern Ireland that bring together Protestant and Catholic children and their families. Although Project Children has expanded, our vision remains the same: to help build peace in Northern Ireland through its children and young people.
Friends of RVC 911 Memorial Foundation
The horrific events of September 11 devastated Rockville Centre and its extended community. The men and women of Rockville Centre who died on that tragic date all had one thing in common, their commitment to their families. The Friends of Rockville Centre 911 Memorial Fund honors the lives that were lost by ensuring the financing of their children’s future education, and by providing for unforeseen needs that may arise for the families of the victims.
Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association
The Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA) is a non-profit organization with over 2,000 members in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Since its founding in 1946, the EPVA has enabled its members, as wall as, other persons with disabilities, to lead full and productive lives, the EPVA's overall mission is dedicated to enhancing the lives of veterans with a spinal cord injury or disease by assuring quality health care, promoting research, and advocating for civil rights and independence. In addition, the EPVA regularly takes the knowledge gained in its recreation and advocacy programs for members and brings it to the broader public with physical disabilities. The EPVA's School Visits Program, for example, allows members to educate the younger generation on what it means to live with a disability.
Literacy Volunteers of America
The Literacy Volunteers of America - Nassau County is a not-for-profit agency that has been serving the needs of functionally illiterate people in our area for more than thirty years. Students may include parents struggling to read to their children at bedtime, grandparents who left school years ago, or new immigrants who need help learning English. With over 1,000 volunteers, the Nassau County affiliate is one of the nation's largest. Its programs include Basic Literacy Courses, English for Speakers of Other Languages, the Nassau County Jail Program, Welfare to Work, Family Literacy, Juvenile Offenders and Computer Training. With Over 40% in some of the county's communities who can't read, this is a hidden problem which the LVA-NC is working hard to alleviate. St. Patrick's Parade Scholarship Fund. Four Substantial scholarships will be awarded to candidates who successfully meet the eligibility criteria. H.S. seniors attending Rockville Centre's Public Schools, or Rockville Centre Residents attending private schools may apply. The competition is open to all students regardless of race or ethnic background. One criteria requires the student to submit a written work that depicts some aspect of Irish history, culture, etc. The specifics and the other eligibility will be announced following the parade.
The New York Police and Fire Widows and Children Benefit Fund
Established in 1985 by Rusty Staub, the fund is a nonprofit organization that assists the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Thus far, over $7.3 million has been given to help these families defray education, housing and medical expenses. The September 11 World Trade Center disaster, with the loss of hundreds of firefighters and police officers, has created an urgent need for increased donations to benefit the families of fallen firefighter and officers. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum / Irish Apartment Project. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s mission is “to promote tolerance and historical prospective through the presentation and interpretation of a variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a “Gateway to America.” The misaim recreates immigrant family residences on the Lower East Side.
The Rockville Centre Community Fund has established the “We Care” campaign to distribute assistance funds exclusively to Rockville Centre Village and School District families impacted by the September 11 World Trade Center disaster. This effort provides a vehicle for RVC residents to provide immediate assistance to their neighbors devastated by this tragedy.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children spearheads national efforts to locate and recover missing children and to raise public awareness about ways to prevent child abduction, molestation and sexual exploitation. The NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization which works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice, The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Through its tool free national hot-line 1-800 THE LOST, it has processed over 1.3 million calls resulting in the recovery of over 47,000 children.
Bridges To Peace
Bridges To Peace is a non-for-profit organization founded on the conviction that peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland can be secured by working at the grass roots level, in the local communities to promote peacemaking initiatives that recognize the rights of all citizens. The organization's main project areas are: Reconciliation, Cross-Community Dialogue, Human Rights and Justice and the Involvement of Women in the Democratic Process.
St. Agnes Parish Outreach Program
For over 26 years, St. Agnes Parish Service Center has been helping people from all parts of the Rockville Centre community. Based on love of neighbors and the love of God, the Center provides resources to those in need throughout the year. Though Rockville Centre is widely regarded as an affluent community, more than eight hundred residents live below the poverty level, and more than 200 families qualify for Federal rent subsidies. Working cooperatively with other community outreach programs, The St. Agnes Outreach Program provides food, clothing and other assistance to those in need, without regard for race, creed or color.
The Leukemia Society of America
The "Save-a-Life Project Rockville Centre
The Jeannie Johnston Project
Mercy Medical Centre
Rural Resettlement Ireland
VA Medical Center
The American Paralysis Association
AOH Division 14
Rockville Centre Children's Fund
Mayor's Comm. Fund