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Long Island Lizards help victims of Sandy

Long Island Lizards lacrosse player Michael Skudin, of

Long Island Lizards lacrosse player Michael Skudin, of Long Beach, teaches footwork during a clinic Sunday at the Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School to benefit the Hurricane Sandy Long Island Disaster Relief Fund. (Nov. 24, 2012) (Credit: Ursula Moore)

Long Island Lizards player Michael Skudin had 6 feet of water in the basement of his Long Beach home after superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on Long Island.

His car was flooded, and he went without power and hot water for two weeks.

“It’s crazy how much water there was,” said Skudin, 23. “My cousins who live one block away, their house was completely flooded.

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So on Saturday, he was thrilled to focus his attention on bringing smiles to kids’ faces as the Long Island Lizards hosted a clinic at the Maud S. Sherwood Elementary School to benefit the Hurricane Sandy Long Island Disaster Relief Fund.

The LI Lizards partnered with the Atlantic Auto Group in West Islip and raised $5,000.

The lacrosse clinic benefit was originally planned for the weekend prior to superstorm Sandy to raise funds for the Maud Sherwood Elementary School Islip Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA decided they wanted to help those affected by superstorm Sandy instead and this would be the perfect way.

Maud Sherwood Elementary PTA vice president Caitlin Eng was appreciative of the tremendous support.

“We have so many communities here today – Sachem, Deer Park, Bay Shore, Lindenhurst, Islip,” Eng said.” It’s great to see Long Islanders helping Long Islanders.”

Long Island Lizards director of youth lacrosse Marie Letterii was excited to see the dozens of kids from kindergarteners to high schoolers learning the fundamentals of lacrosse from skilled players like Skudin and his teammates.

“This clinic is great for the kids,” said Letterii. “They are doing running drills, defensive drills, shooting on goals, catching throws and dodging.”

Lizards player Chris Passavia, 30, who grew up in Stony Brook, was excited to participate in such a worthy cause.

“I live in the East Village and the lights went out during Sandy but that’s nothing compared to all the families that lost their homes,” said Passavia. “What a great way to give back today, these kids are so happy here playing lacrosse.”

Parents in attendance were thankful to spend time having fun and taking their attention off Sandy even if only for a few hours.

“My son Tyler loves the Lizards,” said Jessica Garvey, 30, of Lindenhurst, who lost power during the storm. “It’s his eighth birthday today and he wanted to come here and play lacrosse with the Lizards.”

Ten-year-old Matt Brignanti admitted to loving every minute of the clinic.

“Being here is the best,” said Brignanti, of Elwood. “Playing lacrosse is so much fun because you make friends and it shows us how to work as a team.”

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