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Nassau schools mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Locust Valley High School's junior varsity and varsity

Locust Valley High School's junior varsity and varsity athletes purchased pink shoelaces in September to wear throughout October in honor of breast cancer awareness. Credit: Locust Valley Central School District

Wearing pink was serious business last month for students throughout Long Island.

Dozens of local schools held everything from walkathons to bake sales to sports fundraisers in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October.

In Locust Valley, the high school's girls volleyball team raised more than $1,000 for the Side Out Foundation through the sale of T-shirts, baked goods and other items during a "Dig Pink" fundraiser during a game against Glen Cove High School.

Locust Valley athletes also had the opportunity to purchase pink shoelaces to benefit the nonprofit Susan G. Komen, which supports breast-cancer research, offers grants and advocates for better breast-cancer policy.

"Our student-athletes not only excel on the field and in the classroom, but they also care about helping others," athletic director Mark J. Dantuono said. "They recognize they are not only part of an athletic team, but also part of a larger community."

St. Dominic High School's Key Club in Oyster Bay sold an assortment of items, from bracelets to pencils, to benefit the American Cancer Society. The efforts culminated with about 300 members of the school community participating in the 21st annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk at Jones Beach on Oct. 19.

In Seaford, Seaford Manor Elementary School participated in Lee National Denim Day, a campaign in which individuals wear denim and donate $5 or more to the American Cancer Society. The school gives about $300 annually to the cause.

The Student Council at Glen Cove's Connolly Elementary School raised $650 with a walkathon during recess periods. Funds went to Glen Cove C.A.R.E.S., a nonprofit that assists residents with cancer.


BELLMORE: Drug Take-Back Day

The Bellmore-Merrick Central School District recently collected about 200 pounds of unwanted or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine during its first Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative designed to curb the availability of prescription drugs in households.

The Nassau County Police Department picked up the medication — enough to fill 10 large plastic bags — for proper disposal.

Residents who dropped off pills were given a resources packet with information about safe storage and disposal of medication, as well as where they can seek drug counseling.

"We were thrilled with the outcome," said Wendy Tepfer, executive director of the district's Community Parent Center. "The bottom line is, if we were able to raise awareness and get stuff out of homes that has the potential to be very dangerous should it fall into the wrong hands, we did our job."


FLORAL PARK: A Walk for Ethan

Floral Park Memorial High School raised more than $2,000 for Ethan Demmers, 5, who was diagnosed last year with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

Ethan is the son of Floral Park English teacher Dustin Demmers.

Fundraisers included a "Dress Down Day," in which faculty paid a small fee to dress casually, and the sale of green bracelets that read "Fighting for a Cure." The efforts culminated with "A Walk for Ethan" at the high school track.


MASSAPEQUA: Math Bucket Challenge

Lockhart Elementary School students, led by sixth-grade math teacher Matthew Cunha, put a unique twist on the Amyothrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Ice Bucket Challenge by swapping ice cubes for math problems.

To participate, pupils bought math work sheets for 50 cents and nominated friends to do the same, ultimately raising $829 for ALS research.

In celebration of students' fundraising — and problem-solving — efforts, the school held an outdoor assembly, with nearly 20 teachers and administrators doused in an actual Ice Bucket Challenge as the student body watched.

ISLANDWIDE: Hunger essay contest

Stop World Hunger, which is an Amityville-based nonprofit, and the Mobilized Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger are accepting entries for their 27th annual World Food Day Essay Contest, held in conjunction with World Food Day on Oct. 16.

This year's topic is: "How can healing the environment stop world hunger?"

The contest is open to students in Nassau and Suffolk counties and in Queens and Brooklyn. Entries are judged on factors such as creativity, practicality and clarity.

Essay lengths should be 50 words for grades 1-3; 100 words for grades 4-6; 150 words for grades 7-8; and 200 words for grades 9-12.

First-place winners will receive a $100 savings bond. Entries should be postmarked by Nov. 7 and mailed to Stop World Hunger, 53 Elm Place, Amityville, NY 11701.

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