The New Year’s holiday wouldn’t be complete without giving a nod to those who left their mark on the year. As we look to 2012, here’s Patch’s nod to 11 people, in no particular order, whose contributions made life better in our community this past year.
Glenn Buscareno and Laura Cocchi: The swift actions of Buscareno, a teacher at Ocean Avenue Elementary School, and Cocchi, a parent, are credited with saving the life of fifth grader . The two performed CPR after the youngster had difficulty breathing during the school's Science Olympiad in May. Shoutouts also go to the staff at Ocean Avenue for assisting in the life-saving efforts.
Sarah Connor: We could all learn a lesson or two from the philanthropic 12-year-old. Her Project Lemon Aid charity has raised more than $6000 for many causes since 2005, including Save the Children's funds for the tsunami in South East Asia and the earthquake in Haiti, the American Cancer Society, the Little Angel Fund, UNICEF and the American Red Cross. This year she donated money to the village of Northport to , including cherry trees along Main Street.
Artie Burke: The owner of the popular restaurant is known for his generosity throughout the year. While the big fundraising efforts for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to benefit childhood cancer research occur in March, Burke continues to raise money for the organization via his annual . In August he expanded the event into a giant block party, raising more than $5000, the most in the nine-year history of the event. In the fall you'll find him organizing an annual coat drive to benefit veterans.
Tammy Walsh: The Northport High School math teacher is known throughout the community for her tireless efforts to protect kids from drugs. She started the popular Northport Community Book Club, which focuses on books on addiction and recovery, and is a member of the Northport Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force. She was just recently named one of the moms in the Five Moms campaign, a national effort by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association to raise awareness among parents of medicine abuse by teens.
Tammie Topel: Long before she became a Northport Board of Ed member in 2011, Topel was changing the world for kids across Long Island. She founded the organization K.I.D.S. (Kids in Developmental Sports) Plus, which offers sports and therapeutic recreational programs for children 4-20-plus with developmental disabilities. Programs include basketball, bowling, soccer, cheerleading, and therapeutic riding.
Sgt. Tom Schramm, Police Officer James Glozek, and Harbormaster Tony Graziano: The trio made the world a lot safer for the rest of us in 2011. They received proclamations in September from Suffolk Police Deputy Chief Robert Cassagne on behalf of Suffolk County Police Commissioner Dormer for their contributions leading to the arrest of Michael Walsh. Walsh, 58, was accused of a , including the Chase Bank on Route 25a in Fort Salonga and the on Larkfield Road in East Northport, among others.
Julia Fried: The president of the Elwood Education Endowment (EEE) is well known in the Elwood community for her tireless fundraising efforts on behalf of the organization. Since 2004 the EEE has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to the school district for programs not covered by the school budget, including social studies, literacy, foreign languages, technology, the arts, and special education.
Jim Mahoney: The Past Commander and former member of the is a fixture in the community. Attend any special event and you’re sure to find Mahoney: laying a wreath during , participating in Cow Harbor Day and St. Baldrick’s, handing out awards to youngsters at the annual Fire Prevention poster contest, and much more. Next up on Mahoney’s list of projects: co-chairing the planning committee for the Northport Fire Department’s in 2014.