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Staniszewski Is A Winner!

Medals_070815BAfter retiring from the competitive arena almost three years ago to take care of his son Jake [Read more…]

He’ll Run in Suffolk Race

Marathon_062415A (1)When the inaugural Suffolk Marathon in support of veterans sets off on Sept. 13, Great Neck’s Stuart Burkhoff will be ready to go, among the runners. Along with the marathon, the event also boasts a half marathon. The races will raise funds to expand and enhance veterans’ services in Suffolk County. It also is a last-chance qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Burkhoff, a Lake Success resident, along with his wife and young daughter, has already run three marathons. But, running has not already been a lifelong experience. “I was not a runner growing up, quite far from it,” Burkhoff explained. As a youngster he was asthmatic and out of shape. “I started running as a challenge to myself and three marathons later, I now run to inspire my daughter and educate her on the importance of exercise. Burkhoff says that he believes running is a “great activity” that he can do together with his daughter. And now he looks forward to having her cheer him on at the Suffolk Half Marathon.

The Suffolk Marathon has a distinctly planned route that was designed to showcase and drive tourism toward downtowns along the Great South Bay. The race will begin and end at Heckscher State Park in East Islip with a Taste of Long Island Festival, featuring local craft breweries, award-winning wines and local food. Suffolk County has partnered with New York State to host this inaugural event. The festival will also feature live musical entertainment.

“The Suffolk County Marathon is a mechanism to highlight the incredible communities, natural resources and businesses we have here in Suffolk County,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who is also running the marathon.

For some race participants, the Suffolk Marathon is their first full marathon, while other registrants have been competing in marathons, tough races and triathlons for years. Runners from around Long Island and beyond are participating, including wheelchair and hand cycle competitors, veterans and supporters of veterans, as well as many others eager to enjoy Suffolk’s natural beauty and participate in the inaugural race.

North Shore-LIJ Health System has been named as a presenting sponsor.

The Suffolk Marathon is part of the veterans series of races that began May 23.

Veterans and residents who run or volunteer in all of the six races of the 2015 Suffolk County Veterans Running Series will receive a special commemorative challenge coin. Those who run or volunteer in a majority of the races in the running series will receive a commemorative participation medal.

The marathon is managed by the Greater Long Island Running Club at:

To learn more about the Suffolk Marathon or to register, visit

Thursday Soccer Evaluations

futbolista_soccer_player_clip_art_15800The Great Neck Soccer Club has been showcasing competitive boys and girls travel soccer teams [Read more…]

Great Neck Spirits Basketball

Spirits_052715AOn Friday May 15, the Great Neck Spirits wrapped up their 21st season with a night of fun and bowling. [Read more…]

Bears Hockey Awards

HockeyAwards_051315B (1)The Bears Hockey program celebrated the end of a great season at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink [Read more…]

They’ll Run on Sunday

From Nicole Unger, who’s been a top finisher in her age (25-29) category in local races, [Read more…]

Merchant Marine A Top Athlete

TennisAthlete_042215ARecently, the Landmark Conference announced its Athletes of the Week and (Kings Point United States Merchant Marine Academy) USMMA sophomore James Hicks (Haddon Heights, N.J.) earned the honor for men’s tennis. This is the second time in his career that Hicks was named the Athlete of the Week, as he also got the accolade back on March 31, 2014, during his freshman campaign.

Hicks was a perfect 3-0 at the #2 spot in singles action in the Mariners’ three Landmark Conference matches this past week. He defeated Drew’s Tommy Butschi, 6-3, 6-7 (8), 6-2, on Wednesday. On Saturday, Hicks handed Juniata’s Matyas Kohout his first conference loss in a three-set thriller 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (12-10). He wrapped up his perfect singles week with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout victory over Susquehanna’s Matthew Weller.

In doubles action, Hicks was 2-1 with freshman partner Jake McDonough (Wilmington, N.C.). His only loss was a close 8-5 decision vs. Juniata on Saturday. The duo defeated Drew’s #1 doubles flight, 8-3, on Wednesday and Susquehanna’s #1 doubles on Sunday, 8-1. Hicks is on a seven-match singles winning streak and his overall record is 7-2. In doubles, he and McDonough are 5-4.

Up next, the USMMA tennis team is expected to host non-conference opponents Lehman and St. Joseph’s of Brooklyn next week.

Basketball Tryouts in May

TryOuts_042215ASaint Aloysius C.Y.O tryouts for boys and girls basketball travel teams for the 2015/2016 winter basketball season is here. The teams play in the C.Y.O. of Nassua/Suffolk League. Tryouts are open to all residents of Great Neck. All grades are as of Sept. 1, 2015.

Boys tryouts for the following grades are at Saint Aloysius school gym: fourth grade, Saturday, May 9, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; fifth grade boys, Saturday. May 9, 2 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; sixth grade, Saturday, May 9, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Boys tryouts for the following grades are at South Middle School gym 2: seventh grade, Tuesday April 28, 7  to 9 p.m.; eighth grade, Wednesday, April 29, 7  to 9 p.m.

Girls tryouts for the following grades are at Saint Aloysius school gym: fourth grade, Saturday, April 25, 9  to 10:30 a.m.; fifth grade. Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; sixth grade, Saturday, April 25, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Girls tryouts for the following grades are at South Middle School gym 2: seventh grade, Thursday, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m.; eighth grade, Tuesday, May 5, 7 to 9 p.m.

Saint Aloysius school gym is located at 5 Breur Ave., in Great Neck.

South Middle School gym 2 is located at 349 Lakeville Road,. in Great Neck.

For additional information call Sal Bonavolonta at 516-829-9574 or email at If you are unable to make the tryout for your grade please contact the league for an alternate date to try out.

Bruins Win Hockey Tourney


The Bantams, from left: Cullen O’Hara, Zach Biren, John McNeely, Mitch Gellert and Daniel Eilon; and back row, Chris Byrne, head coach; Chris Rosa; Chase Friedman; Sam Levitan; Ethan Zeltser; Justin Chavez; Zhijian Long; Christopher Byrne; Chris Barbera; Jospeh Contino and Rich Rosa, manager/assistant coach.

The Great Neck Bruins Bantams ice hockey team arrived at the St. Patrick’s Day tournament in Hershey, Pa. looking to build on a strong season. The weekend ended with the Bruins winning two shut-out games over Aviator and Brewster of the LIAHL.

The opening game against the Ashburn, VA Selects team was a back and forth shootout for two periods with Mitch Gellert playing solid in goal for Great Neck, keeping the opponents scoreless into the third period. Then teammate Sam Levitan blasted a Dan Harchut face-off pass to score a short-handed goal to break the tie and take the lead. Unfortunately, Great Neck could not manage to hold off the Selects power play, which evened the score about 45 seconds later. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

In game two against a tough Atlantic City Sharks team it was clear that Great Neck were finding opportunities after the low scoring first game. Mitch Gellert turned in another stellar performance in goal and goals scored by Co-Captain Justin Chavez and Christopher Byrne put the Bantams ahead 2-0. But, the Bruins soon took too many penalties which limited their scoring opportunities and allowed the Sharks to climb back into the game to secure a 2-2 tie.

Great Neck came to game three determined to play well enough to earn enough points to advance to the final tournament bracket and finish the season strong. However, the Bruins quickly fell behind a fast, strong and large Binghamton squad 3-0. Justin Chavez and Great Neck’s own, Ethan Zeltser, had enough. They took charge and returned the favor by scoring three successive goals, cutting the lead to one with only minutes to play in the second period. This turned the momentum in the Bruins favor. Period three became a back and forth affair with Gellert making numerous saves with some dazzling stops that clearly demoralized the opposition. Unfortunately, a major penalty to Great Neck forced a shift in the player deployment and set the stage for a devastating 3-0 run by Binghamton.

Despite the setback in game three however, the Bruins were seeded in the Final bracket based on overall points in their division and the only thing standing in their way of the Gold Cup was a solid group of players from the Montclair Blues. Unfortunately for the Blues, the Bantams were ready to go from the drop of the puck. Chase Friedman and Christopher Byrne combined to strike the first blow. Justin Chavez and Joseph Contino each scored to add to the lead and Great Neck led 3-1 after the first period. In the second period John McNeely and Cullen O’Hara scored on a nifty pass play. Great Neck now led 4-1.

Having had leads and coming close to winning in all three third periods earlier in the tournament, the Bruins were determined not to let up in this match. Ethan Zeltser made sure of that when he took a pass from Christopher Byrne and neatly back-handed a shot over the Montclair goalie’s glove to make the score 5-1 and secure an insurmountable lead for Great Neck.

The Gold Cup belonged to the Bruins and a long season ended on an appropriately high note.

While many of the players from this team are returning next season, there will be tryouts for open positions on Tuesday, April 21 and 28 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. and Thursday, April 23 from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink in Great Neck. For further information contact Fred Ondris at or 516-487-2976.



Schneiders Run Again

April promises to be both busy and exhilarating for Great Neck’s internationally known marathon family, the Schneiders.

Robyn and Allan Schneider will be returning to Boston on the 20th where their twin 24-year-old sons, Alex and Jamie, who were diagnosed with severe autism when they were infants, will compete in their fourth Boston Marathon and 10th marathon overall.

Robyn’s book Silent Running: Our Family’s Journey to the Finish Line with Autism (Triumph Books, 2015) launches on Thursday, April 9, with a 7 p.m. book signing and reading at Barnes & Noble in Manhasset.

The Marathon and the family’s preparation for it, along with Robyn’s first of many planned appearances to promote her memoir, coincide with World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) and National Autism Awareness Month.

Despite the unusually bad winter, the Schneiders are ready for Boston. “We got all of our training in,” said Robyn. “It was difficult but we managed. We did our best in finding places that were clear and safe to run and rarely missed a training day.”

The publication of the book, which was written with Kate Hopper, fulfills a longtime goal for Robyn.

“I feel that we have a very unique story,” she said. “I wanted to write the book to share my story…to inspire other people, to offer some hope and strength, not only to those living with autism or special needs but also really to anyone that’s facing any type of adversity in their lives.”

The Schneiders’ story has previously been told on national TV and in many newspapers and magazines.

Her husband Allan, who will run along side Jamie as usual in Boston, has lived with multiple sclerosis for many years. Jamie is a leisurely runner while his brother is a competitive runner whose fastest marathon time was 3:14 in the New York City Marathon two years ago. Alex, who runs with his trainers, ran a 3:26:58 last year in Boston.

Robyn is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancer free for six years. Running is a passion for her, too, and she hopes to compete in her first half marathon sometime this year. “That’s my goal,” she said. “It’s on my radar.”

Silent Running vividly and painstakingly not only describes Robyn and Allan’s struggles in coming to grips with their sons’ autism and discovering the optimum way of raising Alex and Jamie, but also their own health issues.

“I just wanted to show what we’ve gone through in 24 years of raising twin boys with autism,” Robyn said when she was asked about her motivation in writing the book.

“The process of actually writing the memoir was just so emotional for me and difficult,” she admitted. “But it was also joyful. It was really cathartic for me, just to go through the emotions and the pains and the tearful moments, the joyful moments. It was just a wonderful experience for me going through that whole process. And it just allowed me to share my inner emotions.”

“Putting that down in words gave me a sense of peace and satisfaction.”

She also gives credit to her husband for helping with the book. Speaking of Allan who she’s been married to for over 30 years, she says, “After all, even though I’m telling the story, this is our lives. He’s my partner and he had quite a lot to do with many aspects of the book and especially when the boys were first diagnosed.”

Adds Allan, “If people are able to get something out of Silent Running that will help them, even if it is from our mistakes, then that will be satisfying to me”.

Also described in Silent Running, is the family’s search for appropriate schooling for the boys. The Schneiders actually wound up starting a school (The Eden II Genesis School for Children) with parents of children with autism in Plainview in 1995.

Alex currently attends the day program at Genesis, now located in East Meadow, and Jamie is in a self-direction program with the support of Genesis.

All photos below are courtesy of the Schneider Family.



Alex at the finish line at last year’s Boston Marathon with trainers Matt Connors on his right and Stephen Dalton on his left


Jamie at last year’s Boston Marathon flanked by his father and trainer Katie Raab-Reed


(Left to Right) Allan Schneider, Jamie Schneider, Alex Schneider and Robyn Schneider