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Kids Times

From left, Claire DeVaney, Sonya Russo, Aviva Hellman, and Eileen Huntsman. Photo courtesy of New York Dance Theatre

Local young dancers will share the stage with New York City Ballet stars Indiana Woodward and Daniel Ulbricht in New York Dance Theatre’s 40th season of “The Nutcracker” at Hofstra University, 1000 Hempsteak Turnpike, Hempstead on Dec. 17 and 18 with performances at noon and 5 p.m. Woodward will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Ulbricht will perform as her Cavalier. 

The young dancers, students at the Ohman School of Ballet in Commack, will perform multiple roles in the iconic holiday story ballet including children in the Party Scene, Toy Soldiers and Mice in the Battle Scene, Snowflakes, Angels, and various confections in the Land of Sweets.

Aviva Hellman, a seventh grader at West Hollow Middle School in Dix Hills and Sonya Russo, a sixth grader at Nesaquake Middle School in St. James, play the central role of “Clara” each in two of the four performances. Claire DeVaney, a seventh grader at Commack Middle School, and Eileen Huntsman, a sixth grader at East Northport Middle School, share the pivotal role of Clara’s brother “Fritz,” who breaks Clara’s Nutcracker and sets the plot in motion, each in two of the four performances.

This year’s cast also includes Chloe Cantillo, Anna Clemente, Elysena DeStefano, Brynn Farino, Anna Gross, Isabel Gross, Sofia Gross, Marilyn Ihasz, Emily Kern, Emma Martir, Ava Napolitano, Alyssa Tavares, Sara Tobia, Nina Van Zandt, Vivienne Vasquez, and Madison Wagner of Commack; Chloe Cheng, Esther Cheng, Mikaela Gluck, Emma Grabelsky, Galina Hellman, Ariel Kerley, Holly Lochridge, Elizabeth Pau, Carina San Jose, Adrianna Stucchio of Dix Hills; Olivia Deng of Melville; Clio Sun and Seraphina Moger of Greenlawn; Charlotte Stratton of Huntington; Addison Candelaria, Grace Galgano, and Kayla Kuprian of East Northport; Elodie Hennessy and Violet Hennessy of Centerport; Magdalen Schaefer of Kings Park; Sophia Ferro of Setauket; Olivia Wu of Stony Brook; and Mary Calefato, Laila DarConte, Chloe Foster, Molly Haft, Samara Kolodny, Evelyn McCaughey, and Amelia Grace Novellino of Smithtown.

With the elegant Christmas Party Scene, the drama of the magical growing Christmas Tree, the Battle of the Toy Soldiers and Giant Mice, the live Snow Storm, and the brilliant dancing in the Land of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” appeals to all ages. In all, a cast of 80 children, pre-professional and professional dancers will bring this classic ballet to life on the stage of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse.

Tickets are $42, $32 seniors and children 12 and under plus $3 fee, available at www.ohmanballet.org or by calling 631-462-0964.

Photo from Apex Gymnastics

Perfect score

Congratulations to the 2022 Level 4 Downstate Champions from Apex Gymnastics located in St. James, owned by Robert Wing.

The Level 4 team is coached by Erin Nicholson and Kayla Smith. The Meet was May 7 and was held at SUSA Smithtown. A special congratulations to their two individual Champs Chloe Young (1st Place Floor) and Drew Varrichio (1st place Uneven bars). 

Pictured: Alexa Arnold, Angelina Calabrese, Maleeya Cohen, Sophia Frederick, Caroline Hunt, Mia Ruby Judex, Anna Longo, Hayden Rose Smith, Kayla Sozio, Ellie Sturm, Dylan Taliercio, Shelby Tappin, Reagan Tucci, Drew Varrichio and Chloe Young.

Sarah Strent with her CTeen Female Leader of the Year award. Photo from The Chai Center

Sarah Strent, 17, a senior at Commack High School and a resident of Commack, was recently named CTeen Female Leader of the Year at the CTeen International Shabbaton, an annual event where thousands of Jewish teens gather in New York City. She was chosen by her peers from among 3,000 leaders worldwide.

CTeen, comprised of teens from 37 countries with 625 chapters around the world, is the fastest growing Jewish teen network. Its mission is to inspire and facilitate teens who want to give back to their community and environment, with an emphasis on positive character development. 

Strent is a leader with the West Suffolk Chapter of CTeen, which is based at The Chai Center in Dix Hills. “We are so immensely proud of Sarah,” Rabbi Dovid Weinbaum, Youth Director at The Chai Center said. “Sarah has helped us on a local level create programs like cooking for needy families, packing gifts for children in hospitals and creating a bowl-a-thon for special needs kids and children with cancer. She became a regional leader helping to create programs for over 50 chapters in the New York and New Jersey area. In the last 18 months, Strent was named an international leader serving on the board of CTeen.”

The CTeen Network provides a nurturing environment fusing fun, friendship, humanitarian outreach, mitzvah observance, and engaging Torah study. The CTeen Network believes in the power of youth and transforming the teen years into a time of purpose and self-discovery. The goal is to turn youth into leaders.

Over 300 children and their families shuffled into Emma S. Clark Memorial Library in Setauket during the school winter recess, Feb. 20, to enjoy the library’s 8th annual Take Your Child to the Library Day. Visitors enjoyed carnival games, face painting, temporary tattoos, balloon sculpting, crafts and more.  

Photos courtesy of Emma Clark Library

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Girl Scout Troop 1781 donated a dozen stuffed Fire Truck Dalmatians to the Smithtown Fire Department on Dec. 28. The stuffed animals were purchased with funds raised during the troop’s fall nut and candy sale and will be used on the ambulances when treating young children. 

“Thank you Troop 1781! There’s nothing like receiving support for the community we care so much about!” said Chief Kevin Fitzpatrick. 

Pictured from left, Assistant Chief Patrick Diecidue, Girl Scouts Kate Hebron, Nadia Tomitz, Brianna Lynch, Sarah Johanson and Chief Fitzpatrick. Not pictured, Girl Scout Aubrey Horel.

Photos by Laura Johnson

Photo courtesy of Leg. Spencer’s office

Legislator William Spencer made a special visit to Cold Spring Harbor’s Goose Hill Primary School on June 24 to present first-grade student, Sloane Yormack, with a proclamation recognizing her as the first-place winner for the 18th Legislative District in Suffolk County’s 2019 Be Pool Smart poster contest.

With drowning being the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths of children between the ages of 1 and 14 nationwide, and the third leading cause of injury-related deaths of children in New York, the Suffolk County Legislature conducts an annual Be Pool Smart public education campaign. 

Students are invited to participate in a poster contest to express their interpretation of what can be done to protect children and families against accidental pool drownings.

With nearly 200 posters submitted from the 18th Legislative District this year, Sloane’s artwork, depicting pool smart swimmers, was selected as the winning poster for the district. 

Pictured with Sloane, above, from left, principal of Goose Hill Primary School, Lynn Herschlein; PE teacher Rory Malone; first-grade teacher Michelle Riggles; dad David Yormack; mom Amy Yormack; and Leg. Spencer.

Comsewogue Public Library in Port Jefferson Station celebrated Coffee With a Cop Day on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Officers from the Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct — in top photo from left, Deputy Inspector Alexander Crawford, Commanding Officer Patrick Reilly and Officer Casey Berry — met with community members to chat over coffee and learn more about the police and each other. It was a huge success with patrons of all ages. The event concluded with Berry reading to the kids and parents the book titled “Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving!” by Patricia Hubbell.