Good News of the Week: City Kids Get Fresh Air, Turtle Finds Freedom

Some stories put a smile on your face. Here's our wrap-up from around Northern Suffolk and the East End.

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.

A few New York City children are getting to spend a fun time in the sun on Long Island this summer, thanks to the Fresh Air fund, a program that provides free summer vacations to children from low-income communities.

Saul Saldivar, 12, and Mark Wilks, 13, both of Brooklyn, will be spending time on the North Fork. Wilks is staying with Greenport couple Carole and Richard Mavity, who have participated in Fresh Air for the past nine years.

“The first thing he wanted to do this year was to play mini-golf, but we haven’t gotten to that yet,” Carole said. “When he arrives, we make a calendar and fill in the things he’d like to do when he’s here. We’ve already been sailing out of Orient, swimming at the beach, renting movies at the library for the evening. We know Mark really well and are always delighted to have him.”

Meanwhile, Salvidar is staying with Kathleen Dwyer of East Marion and they've already gotten in some good beach and biking time.

One the South Fork, for several other children who have vacationed on the East End thanks to Fresh Air Fund.

Southampton Inn owner Dede Gotthelf hosted kids from Fresh Air Fund for three years, and she's organized the annual barbecue and pool party for the past five years.

For Amy Wilson, this is her family's second time hosting the same child, 9-year-old Marques Taylor of the Bronx.

"All the things we have to be grateful for — to share it with one more child is just wonderful," she told Patch.

When Stephan DePascale was diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, it created a big problem for his business. As a woodworker, his hands are just as important as any tool. Luckily for him, his workers banded together to help, taking over the labor aspect of his while DePascale continued to manage.

And the business hasn't missed a beat, despite pressure from retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot competing for business.

"It's not stopping us," he said. "I'm moving forward." said DePascale, a 33-year resident of Port Jefferson Station.

The Long Island Farm Bureau will for the first time give top honors to two women at its annual awards banquet.

Farmer and Riverhead resident Deb Schmitt, of Schmitt Farms, will receive the he Amherst Davis Memorial Farmer Citizen Award while Randi Dresner, president and CEO of food relief organization Island Harvest will be honored with the LIFB Citizen Award.

Sherman, a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle found cold-stunned in Sag Harbor in December, will be released back into the wild on Saturday after being rehabilitated by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

The turtle will be let go at Tiana Beach at 5:30 p.m.

Matt July 23, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Aye, aye Captain. Wait , this isn't the S..S Patch, so don't tell me to take a deep breath. I'll bring on the crazy any time I want, now go catch some crab or something.
GLENN July 23, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Hey Captain, you can laugh and cry...as long as it doesn't cost me any more money for people who are reproducing and want me to pay for their kids fresh air weekend! everything is free until the tax payer has to pay, many people are tired of the "oh we gave the underprivileged " and now we are so wonderful for that, who keeps footing the bill..if you want to keep paying you and all you ultra liberal bleeding hearts can but leave me out of it...I am tired of being forced to give to all the ACORNS ..
KpNibbler July 24, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Please turn off Fox News and Glen Beck for one minute...Of course you see the worst...I hate to break it to you, but not everyone who is poor just wants to sit around and collect a check...Are there abusers, yes, but not the majority....It's easy to see through your words Annmarie and the fact you are not color blind...That's fine, it is a free country, but you should be honest about it...This has nothing to do with tax dollars or taking something from YOU.This is about people giving of their own free will to those who need it.The F.A.F. has a decent vetting process. They help kids who are talented, have excellent grades and who work hard and deserve a little fun...They also serve very sick children. The F.A.F. has been around for well over 100 years...it was started in a small town church.Today, most of the donations come from big corporations and people in the entertainment industry. When I was a kid my family hosted a girl named Natasha. She never got to play or be a child because her parents both worked 2 jobs and she had to help take care of her little brother and sister. Even with all that and living in the projects she had good grades and eventually went to college and became a Doctor..Yes, I still talk with her... Her situation wasn't her fault, but like she says the things the F.A.F. taught her helped her not to become another statistic..I say that's worth a small donation...This program only helps children, so I ask you Annmarie, why would you want to hurt a child?
Drtee-Dancer July 24, 2012 at 04:39 AM
@KpNibbler - No need to bring Fox News or Glen Beck into this.
John Gruber August 11, 2012 at 11:01 PM
if you actually had take a history class you'd know the French peasants were the ones who ousted a king because they were being treated so badly. You're attempt to show your intelligence has only shown how even more empty-headed you really are


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