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Lynbrook, Hewlett giving back to the troops

Long touchdown run by Lynbrook's Mike Kozlakowski against

Long touchdown run by Lynbrook's Mike Kozlakowski against Hewlett. (Oct. 9, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Last night's Lynbrook-Hewlett game was a key Conference III football matchup between undefeated teams (it was won, 45-30, by the Owls). But the teams kept the game in perspective this week, devoting time and effort to a worthy mission for the troops in Afghanistan.

Laura Devine is a social studies teacher at Lynbrook who founded the Facing History Club, which discusses important community and global issues while also promoting social awareness. Her brother, Captain Patrick Devine, is stationed in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan as a member of the military.

Patrick recently spoke to the club via webcam and discussed basic needs the soldiers are going without. One was the need for baby wipes, which they often use to bathe with due to a lack of water, and another was Gatorade mix to help stay hydrated in the sweltering heat.

When Lynbrook coach Steve LoCicero, who is also a social studies teacher and shares a classroom with Devine, heard of the need, he enlisted his players to help the Facing History Club in its effort.

The response to the program, which visiting Hewlett also got involved with, was overwhelming, as the nearly 2,000 spectators at the Marion Street Elementary School field last night donated in droves. Donations of wipes, Gatorade mix and cash will also be accepted at Lynbrook's game against Division this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Said LoCicero: "The Lynbrook community is such a beautiful place. Every elementary and middle school is now doing it too, so we're curious to see where it goes. The biggest problem now is getting the money to ship it all."

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