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Letter: Thanks for Making Glen Cove One of the ‘Best’

On behalf of the City of Glen Cove, I would like to thank everyone who made the City’s 100 Best Community Celebration such a success. As has been reported in the press, last fall, the City of Glen Cove was named by America’s Promise Alliance as one of the 100 Best Places for Young People in the United States. Glen Cove was the only community on Long Island to receive this designation, and one of only five in New York State. Over 300 communities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico vied for this prestigious award.

Achieving this designation would not have been possible without the dedication of the many organizations, schools and businesses in town that provide services to our youth on a daily basis. Working together, they are able to provide a myriad of services to meet the needs of Glen Cove’s culturally rich and diverse community. This award also would have not been possible without the support of our young people who avail themselves of the services and always strive to become the best that they can be.

To commemorate this award, the city hosted two contests – one to allow our youth to express what they like about our community and one to honor youth who have gone above and beyond in giving back to the community they love so much. We also celebrated with a community party. Planning and implementing this event was truly a collaborative effort and thanks and congratulations are due to many.

First, I would like to thank the 100 Best Committee that met for months planning the 100 Best Celebration. Representatives of our city, schools and youth and business organizations met to plan an event that was enjoyed by all. With over 400 people attending, it truly was standing room only. The organizations that planned the event are the same organizations that work with our youth day in and day out to make Glen Cove an oasis for our young people. They reached out to a number of local businesses and I would like to thank all of them for their valuable contribution to the party’s success. Sal’s Pizza, Delicious Pizza, Dominick’s Pizza, LaFamiglia, Downtown Café, Stop and Shop, King Kullen, North Shore Farms, Starbucks, Glen Cove Senior Center, The Regency, Landing Bakery, Glengariff Healthcare Center and the Dr. Alberta Hersey Foundation graciously donated refreshments for the festivities. Hassel Volvo and Glen Cove Car Wash donated helium and balloons to decorate the Middle School Cafeteria. Marra’s, Andros Grill, Forest Pizza, Tuscani, Downtown Café, Delicious, SAFE, Stevenson Printing, Maxine Cappell Mayreis, TD Bank, Gold Martial Arts, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Dance With Me Studio, Clay Nation, Glen Cove Printery,, American Community Bank, Mail Boxes Etc., Maria Lewis, Rita’s Ices and Glen Cove Arts Council provided the prizes for the contestant winners.

Many also offered their services in making the evening a success. Thank you to Victoria Crosby, Leanna Chippana, Sheila Harmon and Mark Deutsch for judging our Artistic Expression Competition. And thank you to Michael Cipriano and Hender Alvarez for offering soccer and karate demonstrations. Mark Deutsch was busy taking photos at the event and Chris Barry prepared a wonderful video in which our youth gave testimony about what they feel makes Glen Cove such a special place for young people.

I would also like to thank the many volunteers who donated their time on the night of the event. Students from the Glen Cove High School DECA Club, Glen Cove Boy Scout Troop 6, Glen Cove Youth Council and Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club donated their time to make sure that younger youth would have a special evening. Our older youth staffed the craft and trivia tables, painted faces, helped youngsters receive tattoos, staffed the food tables and kept the beverages flowing. Staff from the Glen Cove Youth Bureau oversaw logistics for the evening.

In addition to all of these thank you’s, I would like to congratulate our outstanding youth who were recognized for their artistic expression or commitment to Glen Cove. The winners of the Art category of Artistic Expression were Brandon Carmona, Lauren Retoske, Joseph Yee and Jennifer Cruz. Allesandra Juarez, Devon Thurmond and Yenifer Guillen received Honorable Mention. The winners of the Essay and Poetry category were Colleen Coelho, Chloe Ventura, Jessica Stengler and Elena D’Ambrosio. Honorable mention went to Jason Downer, Oscar Landaverde, Jared Buehre and Leilani D’Onofrio. The Multimedia category winner was Andrew Vela, with Alexandra Gerin receiving Honorable Mention.

Twenty-three students were nominated for the Youth Who Make a Difference Award. The Award winner was Amanda Ieraci. Maleesha Ebanks, Alexandra Franklin and Brendan Rogers received Honorable Mention. The other nominees were Matthew Grabowski, Kewan Beebe, Yadiyah Letellier, Matthew Bellomo, Yaqarah Letellier, Monica Juarez-Barnes, Ariana Cavallone, Alexandra Gerin, Daniel Lynch, Erick Pajuelo, Emily Natale, Nicole Alexander, Christine Adams, AJ Perfetti, Maria Krisch, Grace Blinkoff, Essence Fowler and Linesha Davis.

In closing, I was overwhelmed with the sense of community that was evident at the celebration and I am proud to be the mayor of such a great place – for young and old alike. Thank you to all who made it possible. May we all continue to work together for the benefit of our young people.

Ralph V. Suozzi
Mayor, City of Glen Cove