Empire State Games for Physically Challenged Saved: May 30-June 1
Nassau County will host the Games for the Physically Challenged on May 30 through June 1 for the third consecutive year. With the support of private-sector donations, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano saved the games in 2011 after learning that New York State had eliminated the funding for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. Mangano will continue to coordinate and save the games in 2013.
“The young student athletes who are able to participate in the weekend of events are truly inspirational to watch,” County Executive Mangano said. “As you see them cross the finish line, you see the smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes. For one weekend, they get to compete with their friends from across New York State, share their stories and continue to build long-lasting friendships.”
NBTY Helping Hands Charity, a non-profit corporation formed by NBTY, Inc. a leading manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements worldwide, has committed once again to being the Event Sponsor of the Games for 2013. Their generous donation of $50,000 will have a significant impact on providing a memorable weekend of events for the physically challenged student athletes participating in the Games.
“As an organization that promotes health and wellness, these games are a perfect vehicle for NBTY to give back to our community and recognize these inspirational and determined athletes for their achievements, said Mike Oliveri, Chairman NBTY Helping Hands. “It is so refreshing to have the opportunity to witness the love, cooperation and good sportsmanship that these games cultivate each year.”
The 2013 Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged will take place from May 30th through June 1st at Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College. 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.
In its 29th year of competition, 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. NuHealth has shown their support by providing medical assistance with staff and volunteers in the past and will continue in 2013. The Nassau County Department of Health and our Medical Reserve Corp volunteers will once again work in partnership with NuHealth to provide onsite medical care and response during the games. In addition, Veolia will be providing shuttle bus service for Game participants and is also generously donating $3,000 to the Games as well.
“King Kullen has had the honor & privilege to be the food sponsor for The Games since the inception and are pleased to continue to show our support.” Tony Femminella, King Kullen – Vice President of Store Operations.
“The Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged celebrate perseverance, diversity and personal achievement, and the student athletes who compete set the bar high for all of us,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Hofstra is proud and honored to be a part of such an inspiring New York State tradition.”
“Nassau Community College is once again proud and privileged to be a host venue for the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. There is no hurdle that is a match for the indomitable spirit of the participants. We are all humbled and inspired by their commitment and courage.” Acting President Kenneth K. Saunders, Nassau Community College.
“NuHealth is proud to continue to partner with others in support of the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. Under the leadership of Dr. Jorge Gardyn we will provide the medical advice and support to ensure that the athletes participate in the safest possible environment”. Dr. Steven Walerstein, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick has committed to a $5,000 sponsorship for the Games already and will be hosting another fundraiser for the Games on April 8th at Hofstra’s David Mack Hall honoring Susan Gordon Ryan the Founder and Former Director of the Games; Lar Enterprises presented a $3,210 sponsorship of the Games; the Bussani Mobility Team presented a sponsorship check of $2,500 for the Games; Astoria Federal Savings has agreed to a $2,000 sponsorship; the Testaverde Fund will be holding a Fundraiser on May 2nd at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh in memory of Peter Zarba who worked tirelessly on the Games since its inception in 1985 where the funds raised will go directly to the Games; the Disability Opportunities Fund will be providing the medals for the Athletes at the Games; and Bill Mountzouros from Cre8ive Video Productions has given the Games a $3000 discount on the Games video production and also produced a Games promo video at no charge.
“The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick on Long Island are once again proud and happy to help support the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. I congratulate the wonderful athletes who will be competing in this year’s Games, and I’d like to acknowledge all the hardworking volunteers who help make these Games possible.” John McDonough, Friendly Son’s President.
“We wouldn’t miss this event for the world,” said Daniel Bussani, Vice President at Bussani Mobility Team. “This year, it will have an extra special meaning for us as we remember our amazing colleague and friend Peter Zarba and all the years he devoted himself to the Games. Something tells me he’ll be smiling down from above as the athletes compete.”
“The Testaverde Fund is happy to lend its support to the Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged. We are all devastated by the loss of our good friend Peter Zarba and with him in mind, we will be there every year to help these great games continue to be a huge success.” Anthony Testaverde, The Testaverde Fund
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.
“I challenge the public, on May 31st and June 1st, to come to Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College to support these student athletes and experience first-hand their joy and triumph,” Mangano said.