Good News: Lotto, Quadruplets and Marty Lyons Bring Seasonal Cheer

Some stories put a smile on your face. Here's our wrap-up from around Long Island.

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.

Former Jet Swoops In

Former New York Jets defensive tackle Marty Lyons was on hand Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the Commack office of his children foundation’s Long Island chapter.

The Marty Lyons foundation, which started in 1982, has granted more than 6,500 special wishes to children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses. The mission of the Foundation is to grant last wishes to children and help families get through difficult times.

Bellmore Man Wins $1 Million in Lottery

Andrew Roland, 28, never thought that one scratch off game could change his life.

Roland was presented with a $1 million check at the new Lottery Service Center in Plainview on Thursday.

"I am elated," he said. "This is great."

On Oct. 21, Roland went to Sai Gas & Food in Farmingdale to meet his mother, Mary Roland, who was having car trouble.

"I had seven dollars on me and took five dollars and bought the 20X the Cash scratch-off game and told my son to keep the ticket," Mary Roland said.

When Andrew Roland scratched off his ticket, he realized he won big.

Roland chose to receive his prize as one lump sum payment of $840,000 with a net of $555,912.

Anonymous Donations Bring Holiday Lights Back

Wintertime is one of the most beautiful seasons in Northport Village as the trees on Main Street, the dock and gazebo are illuminated with a holiday glow, but until Wednesday, it appeared it would be lights out for the village.

To many disappointed villagers, it isn’t Christmas-time in Northport without the glowing lights. When Pidel first put up the lights, he took great pride in the fact that Northport had its holiday lights put up before the White House did, Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said.

What happened next though, was a Christmas miracle – or at least an act of great generosity.

On Wednesday, the Village received anonymous donations to decorate the gazebo, dock and Main Street trees with holiday lights keeping up the tradition set by Pidel.

Local Family Thankful for Newborn Quadruplets

Linda and Chris Astefanous of Centereach have always dreamed of a big family, and this Halloween their wishes came true when quadruplets Brandon, Natalie Ann, Abigail and Charlotte were born Oct. 31 at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

A Magical Trip for Boy With Cancer

Buddy Abrams, a 20-month-year-old Rockville Centre boy diagnosed with a tumor on his brain stem, and his family have embarked on a magical trip that came courtesy of local business owner.

After seeing a story about a new handicapped-accessible swing being installed at the Rockville Centre recreation center, Robert Jesberger, owner of Mid Island Auto Collision, offered the family a trip to Disney World in Florida. The trip includes a Mercedes-Benz recreational vehicle with a chaffeur, park entrance tickets and food and lodging. The total package cost $5,000 to $7,000. The family was scheduled to leave on Friday.

Local Cops Rock 'Movember' Staches

Perhaps you noticed East Hampton police officers growing a little more facial hair than usual.

Well, there was a purpose behind what may have looked like a throwback to the 1970s. All jokes aside, town and village police officers grew moustaches as part of an international campaign to raise awareness of men's health issues.

Missing Port Washington Cat Gets Happy Reunion

Who says cats don't have nine lives?

That magic number might be down to eight for one lucky Port Washington tomcat after finding itself on Patch's missing pet list last month.

The white male cat with black spots was discovered wandering in early-November near St. Stephens Church by resident Amanda Wolfe who lives on South Washington Street nearby.

'Bracelets for Breast Cancer' Scores Big for Hospital

Three East Hampton High School students recently donated $2,500 in support of the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Southampton Hospital.

Throughout October, Shannon Ryan, Trevor Mott, and Thomas Brierley sold pink leather bracelets that they call Bracelets for Breast Cancer.

Gladiator Fund Raises $11K for Dad Fighting Cancer

Over 300 friends and family attended a recent "Pig Roast" benefit for Dave Kelnhofer, a local New Hyde Park Volunteer Fireman and former FDNY firefighter at Spanky's Bar & Grill in New Hyde Park.

Kelnhofer contracted a rare cancer, (Amyloidosis) while working at Ground Zero after 9/11.

Students Hold Successful Holiday Food Drive

With the help of the school’s Peer Leaders, Academy Elementary School worked to make this year’s Thanksgiving a celebratory one for several local families in need.

During the building’s annual Thanksgiving food drive, the building’s students, staff and families donated an abundance of grocery store gift cards, turkey coupons, and holiday supplies, including tableclothes, napkins and Thanksgiving table decorations. The collective donations were sorted and delivered to area families prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

WWII Vet Honored For Military Service

Local legislators and lawmakers gathered this past week to honor a 49-year West Islip resident, S/Sgt Frank McLoughlin, 91, for his dedication and military service accomplishments.

The WWII veteran served with the US Army Corps as an engineer/turret operator on the B24.

37 Students Earn Presidential Service Awards

A large group of students in the Lindenhurst School District have been honored for dedicating their time to serving their communities in the past year.

37 students were recognized and honored with the Presidential Service Award, which is given to those who complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service.

Local Featured In University Fall Dance Concert

Hofstra University's Dance Program presented its annual Fall Dance Concert, at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, November 21-24. Julia Macchio of Miller Place was one of the featured dancers in the program. Julia, 21, is a member of the Hofstra class of 2014, majoring in Dance.

This year's fall concert featured choreography by Stormy Brandenberger, Rachel List, Amy Marshall, Karla Wolfangle, Royce Zachery, and guest Terry Creach, who directs the New York City-based Creach/Company.

East Rockaway Gym Raises Cash for Wounded Veteran

East Rockaway's ROK Health & Fitness, along with surrounding towns and villages and the Nassau Coalition of Veterans, have come together in a community effort to raise the funds needed to purchase an Action Track Chair for a wounded veteran.

Nutrition Program Gets $140,000 Surprise Donation

The Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai received an unexpected gift from a local resident that will help it's Brookhaven's North Shore Nutrition Program purchase must needed chairs for it's center.

Herbert E. Haussmann, an 83-year-old Mount Sinai resident who recently passed away, left almost $140,000 in his will to The Rose Caracappa Senior Center to help them purchase nearly 90 chairs for the nutrition program they host in their center. 


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