8th Annual Main Street Mile Continues Success
by Mark Leff Friday, 07 September 2012
‘Mile’ sets records for participants, fundraising
The 8th annual Main Street Mile for Companions in Courage Foundation (CiC) was held in Farmingdale on Sept. 1. CiC, the race benefactor, raises funds to build interactive playrooms in children’s hospitals throughout North America. It has become a Labor Day weekend tradition to support the great work done by Hockey Hall of Famer and former NY Islander and Ranger Pat LaFontaine’s foundation, CiC.
The weather was warm but could not have been better for this great event, which produced records for both participants and funds raised to benefit CiC. Bob Cook, owner of the Runners Edge, the Melville based law firm of Carter, Deluca, Farrell and Schmidt, Cisco Systems, Farmingdale Chiropractor Dr. Larry Lembo, Croxley Ale House and B103 Radio presented the event this year. The co-race directors were the team of Cook; Mark Leff of Cisco Systems; Mindy Davidson of Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) and BOCES; Eric Bressler of Wikham, Bressler, Gordon and Geasa; and Craig Gluf of Henry Schein.
Proceeds from the Main Street Mile, exceeded $8,500 this year, and support the Companions in Courage Foundation (CiC), founded by LaFontaine, who regularly participates in the event. The race finished in front of the Farmingdale firehouse and village hall, with the post race awards ceremony at the gazebo on the village green.
There were a record 430 participants in the race, 34 of them from Farmingdale and many from surrounding local towns such as Massapequa and Seaford, and as far away as Limrick, Ireland.
The event has strong local representation with other sponsors that include the Library Café of Farmingdale; Wikham, Bressler, Gordon and Geasa of Melville; Anheuser Busch (who donated the Apple iPad for the raffle); Farmingdale Observer; Dr. Jospeh Ciaccio, DDS of Hewlett; Babylon Bike Shop, Dave and Buster’s of Farmingdale; Bill Romas, LMT; GLIRC, Jeffery Frey of SBRLI.com (who generously donated his time to be the race photographer), Joel Harris Photography of Mineola (who donated time to do photography at the post race fundraiser), Caracara Mexican Grill, the Farmingdale Flower Shop, Gino’s Pizzeria, Polar USA (who very generously donated five heart rate monitors to the raffle), Sebastiano’s, All Round Foods, Mizuno, Palmers American Grill, Adventure Cycles and Sports and Bottles on Broadway in Massapequa.
There was also a kids’ fun run where the younger participants run a quarter-mile up and down Main Street and received medals and free ice cream from Bollinger’s on Main Street.
“It’s always an honor to see the Long Island community come together to help those in need. Thanks to a lot of hard work by the committee members, the Main Street Mile has become a great way for families to celebrate the start of the Labor Day weekend and to make a difference in the lives of sick kids in children’s hospitals. As one mom said to me, ‘Kids in hospitals never have a holiday,’ the Main Street Mile helps ensure that 50,000 hospitalized kids per year can stay connected to their friends and families every day.” said LaFontaine.
Dignitaries in attendance included Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, Legislator Joseph Belesi, Farmingdale Deputy Mayor Patricia Christensen, Village Trustee Cheryl Parisi, Village Administrator Brian Harty.
The race was followed by a special fundraising event at Croxley’s Ale House, who generously donated their space with complimentary food and soft drink for all the participants. The emcee for the event was Frank Brinka of B103 Radio’s Wiseman and Frank in the Morning show.
The Main Street Mile once again produced great performances for both the men and women. Ryan Zillman, 24, of Wantagh won the men’s open division (under 40 years of age), with a time of 4:14. Chris Mammone of Massapequa, the 2008 and 2009 champion, followed him in a time of 4:16. Franklin Diaz of Farmingdale took third in a time of 4:20.
In the men’s master’s division, Boyd Carrington of Amityville won in a time of 4:26, followed in second by Gerry O’Hara in 4:32, with Serman Lau of Brooklyn finishing third in 4:39.
In the women’s open division, Nancy Aboff of Lloyd Harbor won in a time of 5:34, followed in second by Susann Cuccia of St. James in 5:41 and Jill Skelly finishing third in 5:43.
The two top Farmingdale participants were Franklin Diaz finishing in 4:20 for the men, and Christina Diaz in 6:46 for the women.
There were also great performances from some of the younger participants, including 10-year-old Thomas Augeri of North Massapequa in 6:14, 10-year-old Joseph Scarpa of Old Bethpage in 6:46, 9-year-old John Haywood of Ridge in 7:18 for the boys. For the girls, 9-year-old Jackie Amato of East Quote finished in 7:01, 8-year-old Jillian Johnson of Massapequa finished in 7:28, and Julie Haywood of Ridge finished in 8:08.
There was one notable out of town participant – 41-year-old David Sheehan of Limerick, Ireland who finished in 6:26. Pat LaFontaine finished the mile in a time of 7:38.
There were also many participants from the RunStart program, which is sponsored by GLIRC and Runner’s Edge to help introduce new runners how to train, with the Main Street Mile being one of the races the members of this program trained to take part in.
Once again, this year’s race was once again run in memory of John McManus, a long-time member of the Long Island running community who passed away in 2007. The last race he ever participated in was the 2006 Main Street Mile.
LaFontaine's organization builds state-of-the-art rooms in children's hospitals, dubbed Lion's Dens. They feature technology from Cisco Systems and Microsoft. Through innovative communications tools, these playrooms replace the isolation of a hospital with a connection to family, friends and celebrities during their hospital stay. This effort paves the way for the foundation’s motto, “No child in the fight for life or health should ever have to go it alone.”
Lion’s Den playrooms are located throughout North America and locally at Huntington Hospital, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at Columbia Presbyterian, and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. Other Lion’s Den playrooms have opened this year at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, with another new room slated to open at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City later this month.
Another CiC and Cisco initiative for the Lion’s Den rooms, known as ‘Connected Kids,’ is a way to bring athletes and celebrities closer to children in the hospitals via WebEx video conferencing. One recent visit was by Heisman Trophy winner and now Washington Redskin player Robert Griffin III. Massapequa's Matt Bennett, the star of Nickelodeon's "VicTORIous" also was a recent guest.
In addition to the facilities of the Lion’s Den and the Xbox kiosks, CiC will partner up with Cisco again in December to bring Santa Claus into various CiC supported hospitals throughout North America via WebEx videoconference.
The race organizers expressed great appreciation for the generosity of all of the sponsors and supporters including Croxley’s Ale House, B103 Radio, and the Village of Farmingdale.