We make flyling a breeze


Nearly 2,000 Hit the Runway to Raise Funds for Long Island 9-1-1 Veterans

Supervisor Nolan Applauds Record-Breaking Effort

Ronkonkoma, NY (6/4/11) - Nearly 2,000 runners and walkers participated in the second annual Long Island MacArthur Airport 5K Run for Veterans, which kicked off the five-race Sayville Summer Series.  Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan and Deputy Supervisor Gene Parrington participated in the race, as did Town Councilwoman Trish Bergen-Weichbrodt.  Suffolk County Presiding Officer William Lindsay and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko also joined Islip officials.  Commissioner of Aviation Teresa Rizzuto personally greeted each and every participant as they crossed the finish line.  Supervisor Nolan said, “With the help of our many generous sponsors and 40% more participants than last year, when all is said and done, we hope to raise at least $60,000 for Long Island 9-1-1 Veterans, an organization that assists veterans suffering from PTSD, combat injuries and economic hardship.” The run was organized by the Islip Lodge of the New York State Fraternal Order of Police in collaboration with the Town.

Nolan also noted that both small and large businesses supported to the race, including the Sayville Running Company, sponsor of the Sayville Summer Series; BAE Systems, a major Long Island defense industry contractor; and NBTY Helping Hands, the charitable arm of Nature’s Bounty, which is headquartered in Islip Town.  Other major sponsors included several airport “stakeholders” - companies located on airport grounds, including Southwest Airlines, Excelaire, Mid Island Air, Sheltair Aviation, the MacArthur Holiday Inn, HMS Host, Paradies Shops, the Army National Guard, Heritage Flight Academy, A&P Aircraft, Enterprise Car Rental, Airway, and November Romeo.

Race day was also the first anniversary of the death of Army First Lieutenant Joseph Theinert, who lost his life in Afghanistan last June.   To honor his memory, his mother Chrystyna Kestler, brother Billy, and other family members participated in the run.  This year’s run was dedicated to Steve Clark, a Suffolk County police officer and 33-year Navy veteran and founder of Long Island 9-1-1 Veterans, who died in 2010 just before Christmas.  All branches of the United States Armed Forces were present in the run, including a team from the ARNG Aviation Support Facility located at MacArthur Airport.  

The Sayville Summer Series includes three other charitable runs in June and one in early August: Keith Nintzel Memorial 5K (June 11); Shwachman-Diamond Dash for the Cure 5K (June 18); Race to Cure Cystic Fibrosis 4-Mile Run (June 24) and Sayville Summerfest Honorable John Cohalan 4-Mile Run (Aug. 6). According to Nolan, “We are honored that the Town’s 5K Run at MacArthur Airport was the kickoff to this great series of runs for charity.”