Albertson, N.Y. – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined with generous sponsors and athletes as she announced that the County is once again raising the necessary private donations needed to host the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. New York State funding was eliminated for the Games several years ago.
The Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged will take place this year from May 31st through June 2nd at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College.
“It is my pleasure to be here to celebrate the 34th Year of Celebrating Ability,” Nassau County Executive Curran said. “I would like thank our wonderful sponsors, many of whom have been loyal Games supporters for many years. These generous individuals and corporate neighbors keep the games alive and successful each year.”
"We are very grateful for our New County Executive Laura Curran’s support of the Games as we celebrate our 34th year of competition right here in Nassau County,” said Susan Gordon Ryan, Games founder and former director. The Games have a long and very positive history for the athletes, which could not have happened without the support of Nassau County, New York State and of course the commitment of the Committee Heads, Volunteers and Coaches for all these years."
With the general support of corporations such as Elias Properties, GEICO and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, athletes will compete in track, field, slalom, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis. Participants, ranging from ages 5 to 21, face disabilities including blindness, visually impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, spinal cord injured, amputees and those who have cerebral palsy, dwarfism and other physical challenges.
Now in its 34th year, the Games will take place in part due to contributions from King Kullen - America’s First Supermarket - who has been a long-time sponsor helping to feed the athletes, while Hofstra University has committed to housing the athletes with only minimal costs for maintenance.
Nassau Community College is the venue hosting swimming, wheelchair basketball and table tennis events as well as the closing ceremonies. The Nassau County Department of Health and Medical Reserve Corp volunteers will once again work to provide onsite medical care and response during the games. In addition, NICE Bus will provide shuttle bus service for participants and has also generously donated $5,000 toward the Opening Ceremonies.
“We are also grateful to all the people who work behind the scenes to make the Games possible each year. Those who keep track of times, count medals, gather prizes, clean up the field, and many other duties, are providing an invaluable service,” said County Executive Curran, who mentioned that many volunteer positions are still open and waiting to be filled.
The cost of participation is free, and the numbers of athletes increase each year, boasting over 1,000. The dedication brought forth by the parents, families, teachers, coaches and volunteers are critical to the success of the Games. Operating with a small staff, the Games are facilitated by those who return year after year to a program they love.
“The Games provide a weekend of memories of competition to all the athletes, coaches, friends and family members,” said County Executive Curran. “These Games are dedicated to the spirit of our athletes. Each an inspiration in courage and commitment to achieve his or her own personal best. We wish this year’s athletes much success in their competitions!”
For more information, please visit Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged website at www.nassaucountypcgames.com. For the latest news and events occurring in and around Nassau County, please visit www.nassaucountynewsnetwork.com and/or download the “Nassau Now” app today!
QUOTES FROM THE GENEROUS SPONSORS: “It is always a privilege to host the athletes who come to Nassau County for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Their determination, dedication and ability are an inspiration to us all.”
“Once again, Nassau Community College shares pride of place in hosting the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged,” said says Dr. W. Hubert Keen, President, NCC. “We are so honored to be the host venue for these athletes who serve as such an inspiration to us all, and demonstrate the best of the human spirit… We are humbled by their presence and encouraged by their indomitable spirit.”
“King Kullen has been an advocate of The Games for decades & we’re thrilled to continue our support for all the athletes & their families,” said Frank Vassallo, Vice President Store Operations.
Martin Elias wrote: “Ike, Molly & Steven Elias Foundation and Elias Properties are proud to be a long time sponsor of the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. It is so gratifying to see how enthused and excited all the athletes are each year as participants in these games. The games truly make a difference in their lives and we are very happy to support the ‘2018 Games’.”
"The Society is honored to be a part of such a rich tradition of support for such a worthy cause,” said Andy Healy, President, of The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick’s of Long Island. Mr. Healy continued, “We all look forward to watching and cheering on all the athletes from far and wide
"It's an honor to be a long-term community partner with the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, and we look forward to supporting the 2018 games," said Rick Hoagland, vice president of GEICO's New York operations. "The athletes who participate in the games show an incredible amount of grit and determination, and their stories inspire both our GEICO associate family and local Long Islanders."
"NICE bus is proud to be supporting the Games for the seventh consecutive year,” said Jack Khzouz, Chief Administrative Officer of Nassau Inter-County Express. “Dozens of dedicated NICE employees help make this wonderful event a success every year. Our 1,000-person workforce is committed to keeping Nassau County ‘on the move’ and making the Games a memorable experience for its participants.”
“The Dee Foundation is very proud to sponsor the games again this year,” said Jim Macri, Board Member of the Dee Foundation. “Our sister truly enjoyed all aspects of this wonderful event. The games are not just for the athletes, but for all the people who surround them. It gives families and friends an opportunity to celebrate the challenges and triumphs of all the competitors.”
"Apple Bank Is honored and proud to continue our support of the Nassau County Empire State Games in 2018," said Antonietta Chiauzzi, vice president and manager of Apple's Westbury office. "The young athletes who work so hard to train and participate in the Games are an inspiration and are truly role models for all of us."
“Bethpage Federal Credit Union is pleased to again support the Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president corporate affairs. “We are proud to sponsor an event which displays true determination and fortitude on the part of the talented athletes. We wish all of the participants success in pursuing their goals.”
“The next generation of Bussani looks forward to supporting the games as we have done for decades. Our congratulations go out to the athletes and wish them all well,” said Daniel Bussani, CEO, The Bussani Mobility Team. “Keep up the inspiring hard work. We can’t wait to see those medals!”
"It is a privilege for UBS to, once again, participate in such an important event for our community," said John Houlihan, the Long Island market head from UBS. "Witnessing the determination and drive of the athletes is an inspiration to us all."
“The Citizens United to Remove Barriers is once again happy to help provide an opportunity for athletes to participate in activities free from barriers,” said CURB President Rich Papetti. “We wish all athletes and volunteers an enjoyable weekend.”
“SureHands is honored to support the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged” said Tom Herceg, president, SureHands Lift & Care Systems.
“We wish every athlete the best of luck and most of all a fun time! It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together and give the athletes a chance to shine. SureHands is proud to be part of this inspiring event.”
"On behalf of Trainville Hobby Depot and all the train clubs that volunteer to exhibit their operating layouts, we hope to be able to continue with the 10th Nassau County Model Train Show. The last 5 shows benefited the Games for the Physically Challenged and raised over $20,000. Many county residents have enjoyed this event," said Joel Berse, Show Coordinator and President of Trainville Hobby Depot.
“The New York Islanders are once again proud to support the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. The games offer youth the opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities adapted to their unique abilities. These games bring not only hope but joy to all the athletes participating. We look forward to participating in this great sporting event,” said Ann Rina, community relations director for the New York Islanders.
"I will be eternally grateful to Nassau County for keeping these Games alive for the children who look forward to the experience each year. It is a place where they are the norm and is a wonderful event for all involved." Angela Melledy, publisher of Able Newspaper.