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Eight-year-old Emilio Pereira, center, got his Christmas wish: (Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Eight-year-old Emilio Pereira, center, got his Christmas wish: His older brother Lance Cpl. Sigfredo Arturo Velasquez, 22, left, surprised Pereira in his third grade class in December 2011. It was the first time Pereira had seen his brother since the Marine left to serve in Afghanistan in April 2011. Their mother, Sonia Pereira, right, got emotional and said, "These are really tears of joy."

Read more about the heartwarming reuinion.
(Dec. 9, 2011)

Hometown heroes

LI's courageous residents and good Samaritans.

Rick Spellman, 39, of Manhasset, with Margaret Savarese,
(Credit: Brittany Wait)

Rick Spellman, 39, of Manhasset, with Margaret Savarese, 77, of Massapequa. Spellman helped save Savarese's life after she collapsed with a heart attack while playing golf at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 10. (Dec. 27, 2012)

Francine Goldstein, 67, of Merrick, receives an award
(Credit: Handout)

Francine Goldstein, 67, of Merrick, receives an award from, from left, AIDS Walk New York founder Craig Miller, event director Shona Borevitz, and Craig DeThomas, a board member for Gay Men's Health Crisis. (March 2012)

Eight-year-old Emilio Pereira, center, got his Christmas wish:
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Eight-year-old Emilio Pereira, center, got his Christmas wish: His older brother Lance Cpl. Sigfredo Arturo Velasquez, 22, left, surprised Pereira in his third grade class in December 2011. It was the first time Pereira had seen his brother since the Marine left to serve in Afghanistan in April 2011. Their mother, Sonia Pereira, right, got emotional and said, "These are really tears of joy."

Read more about the heartwarming reuinion.
(Dec. 9, 2011)

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Sgt. Louie Varias esd welcomed home by his
(Credit: Frank Posillico)

Sgt. Louie Varias esd welcomed home by his family and local politicians at MacArthur Airport in July 2011 after serving in Germany and Iraq for nine years in the Marines.

Read more about Sgt. Varias' homecoming and service.
(July 7, 2011)

Nassau County Police officer Mark Iovino was just
(Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara)

Nassau County Police officer Mark Iovino was just awarded a Carnegie Medal for Heroism for his 2010 rescue of a woman trapped in her burning house. (June 29, 2011)

Read more about Officer Iovino's medal-awarding and his heroic role in the 2010 rescue.

Jalen Sair of Huntington Station gets a hug
(Credit: John Dunn)

Jalen Sair of Huntington Station gets a hug from his cousin, Peter Marion, 9, after helping rescue Chris Walker from drowning in a pool. (June 27, 2011)

Read more about Chris Walker's Huntington pool rescue.

Neil Hicks at the Great Neck LIRR station
(Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

Neil Hicks at the Great Neck LIRR station near the spot where he pulled a 92-year-old man from the tracks. (June 8, 2011)

Read more about Neil Hick's LIRR track rescue.

Desiree DiToro, of Centereach, said her son Nico,
(Credit: Erin Geismar)

Desiree DiToro, of Centereach, said her son Nico, 4, called for help when she fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious. (May 2, 2011)

Read more about Nico's quick thinking that saved his mom.

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Partnered with Suffolk County's branch of international non-profit
(Credit: Screenshot from Newsday.com video by Jim Staubitser)

Partnered with Suffolk County's branch of international non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity, Brentwood High School students built Monique Summers, 42, single-mother of two, a home in North Bellport.

Read more about Brentwood High's admirable work with Habitat for Humanity.
(March 31, 2011)

Kendall Levy, right, and Marvin Voltaire, students at
(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Kendall Levy, right, and Marvin Voltaire, students at Valley Stream North High School, were 20 minutes late for class one winter morning because of their good deed: They helped an elderly couple, Mark and Elaine Treske, push their dead car out of the driveway and from the street back into the driveway again, so that Mark Treske could get his other car out to drive to work. (Feb. 2, 2011)

Read more about good samaritans Kendall and Marvin.

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