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.
Kings Park Local Named Woman of Distinction
Kings Park’s Maureen Rossi was recently named Suffolk County’s 2013 Woman of Distinction.
Rossi was nominated by Suffolk County Legislator Lynne C.Nowick. Each legislator can nominate one Woman of Distinction from his/her district and one county-wide woman is then selected by the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission as that year’s Suffolk County Woman of Distinction.
Rossi started volunteering at an early age as a candy striper at a local hospital and has continued to be a volunteer throughout her life ranging from PTA member for her children’s school, den mother for their scout troops, coaching their athletic games and teaching Catholic studies at St. Joseph's School of Religion. Rossi helped after the 9/11 attacks by serving up coffee and cheer at ground zero.
Rossi is also responsible for establishing the Parent Resource Center in Kings Park and founding Kings Park in the kNOw.
Nonprofit to Honor Local Family's Lost Son
It was in a moment of clarity, amid the heavy sadness of the circumstances, that the purpose of ReesSpecht Life was born. Rich Specht was asked to say a few words at the memorial service for the 22-month-old son he had just lost in a tragic accident in their Sound Beach backyard on Oct. 27, 2012. "I just looked at everyone and said, 'Do something right by each other, and do something for each other,'" he said. A friend suggested Rich and his wife Samantha start a foundation in their son's memory, an idea they immediately liked. They decided the goal of the foundation would be to "remind people the importance of community, compassion and civility."
A team of five students from Great Hollow Middle School in Smithtown placed second in the 2013 Brookhaven National Laboratory Suffolk County Middle School Math Tournament.
Sanjana Eranki, William Chiraz, Anurag Shah, Daniel Melcer, and Cindy Li placed second as a team. Eranki and Shah placed third in individual events, and Li placed fourth in individual events.
While the middle school students were competing in a math tournament, a Smithtown High School East student passed a worldwide computer repair certification exam.
Also, Smithtown student Dustin Dispenza passed the CompTia A+ exam, a worldwide certification that was introduced into the district's Technology’s Computer Repair course.
Little Players Score Big in Commack Basketball Game
What the players of the New York Towers lack in stature is made up for in high-flying talent.
On March 22, the under 5-feet-tall team, took on Commack High School's students and staff during the New York Towers "Below the Rim" Tour.