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High Schoolers Help Teens In Need

Don’t let their ages fool you. They may only be between the ages of 14 and 16, but Hicksville High School students Rhea Manjrekar, Fatemah Mukadum and Annamaria Zisimatos, along with their friends Karishma Kamat and Divya Adbani, from Herricks and Milan Sani from Port Washington, are determined to change the world.

A few months ago, the enterprising teens started CH3, a youth chapter of Children’s Hope India, a nonprofit organization that raises money for children’s programs and resources such as clean water, medical care, and education in India and provides scholarships and funds for counseling services for children of South Asian origin in the United States. After hearing stories from their mothers and family friends who were involved with the organization, the girls decided to start their own chapter to get involved with the cause.

“(We) would hear about these kids who were in trouble and had all these problems, but it was interesting to know that by just doing a little bit, we could go a long way,” said Kamat.

Though the chapter is still in its infancy, the girls already have ambitious goals. They’re currently trying to raise $3,000 to send two local homeless children to summer camp. One of these children is an eight-year-old from Hempstead, the other is a 12-year-old from Jericho.

“You don’t see homelessness and poverty as much here as you may see it in India, but it’s still there,” said Kamat. “We want to raise awareness of it to show that there are needy people living right next door that need help.”

Their first fundraising event takes place Tuesday, April 8 at Friendly’s at 285 S. Broadway in Hicksville. From 5 p.m. to closing, 15 percent of proceeds will go to the CH3’s fundraising efforts. The resourceful teenagers also plan on doing an event at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington later this month, and numerous other restaurant fundraisers in order to meet their $3,000 goal by June. Mukadum, Zisimatos and Manjrekar have also been holding bake sales at Hicksville High School.

The girls are continually thinking of new ideas for events and taking advantage of their connections and resources, which includes social media. The girls say that being in high school is an added benefit as it allows them to reach out to teenagers and know better how to connect with their peers about the cause.

“Kids our age take everything for granted, so we want to open their eyes,” said Manjrekar.

The group says that the most common reaction they get when asking for help is surprise, as many are unused to seeing youngsters advocating for their peers in need.

“It’s always interesting for people to see kids of our age trying to help kids of our age,” says Kamat, who is 16. “But I don’t think that’s a problem at all, we still have a heart to help kids. It doesn’t matter how old we are, we want to have the same impact.”

14-year-old Zisimatos echoed the sentiment. “We want to show that teens can make a difference. Our age doesn’t matter, no matter how old you are you can help,” she said.

For more information on CH3, check out www.childrenshopeindia.org/about-us/ch3/

News

Rhea Manjrekar traded in her running shoes and track shorts for high heels and an evening gown recently, as she participated in the Miss Teen India New York pageant. The 15-year-old from Hicksville snagged the title of first-runner up, and will be competing for the national title in December. 

 

This was Manjrekar’s first time competing in a pageant. But she started out with major doubts about even participating. 

 

 “At first, I didn’t want to do it. I have extreme stage fright. My mom told me to try it out because she thought it would boost my confidence and look good on my college applications, so I went for the practice,” Manjrekar said. “The girls were so nice. I thought I wouldn’t fit in but I made friends immediately so I decided to do it.” 

The parking lot of Sears in Hicksville transformed into a sea of cars this past Saturday as part of the ninth annual Long Island Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show. 

 

The show, which was founded by Jericho prostate cancer survivor Sandy Kane, is the only car show on Long Island dedicated to raising funds for research, testing and also education for early detection of prostate cancer. The all-volunteer car show usually draws around 4,000 attendees. It features 600 cars, trucks, motorcycles and more; a perfect day for car enthusiasts and the like.


Sports

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! 

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.


Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - September 17

Back To School Night - September 18

Pasta Dinner Fundraiser - September 20


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com