Lindy Pride was on display Monday night at the when student athletes from nine schools were honored for their efforts at this year’s Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged.
The students honored on June 13 represented schools from across the , including Albany Avenue, Alleghany Avenue, E.W. Bower, , , and elementary schools, and the LMS.
That student, Rebecca Rama, has been attending the Games since 1999. Her mother, Mary Ellen Rama, was beaming with pride.
"It's wonderful to see my daughter happy and accomplish all she has," said Rama about her daughter. “[We've] come a long way for acceptance in the district, which is what we want for our kids...we all live in the same Earth together, and we all need to accept each other and help each other out."
Mary Ellen Rama is the Lindenhurst SEPTA president as well as the chairperson of the Lindenhurst Special Games Committee. She played host along with Dr. Hans Sebald, LMS administrative assistant for discipline and Special Games district coordinator. He welcomed everyone and expressed how proud he was of the students.
"It's an honor to give these awards to such strong and promising athletes,” Dr. Sebald said.
He then read a list of words that people involved with the Special Games used to describe the student athletes and the entire experience of participating in the Games, including: “rewarding, honorable, inspiring and total satisfaction.”
Following, the students who earned awards walked on stage and accepted them while their family and friends cheered. Their cheers were particularly poignant considering the Games – which ran June 2 to 4 this year – almost didn’t happen.
"We’re grateful that we were able to have the Games this year. They are something that these athletes will never forget," said Dr. Sebald.
The student athletes were accompanied by their buddies, who also accompanied them June 2. They’re fellow students who help the athletes in their training for the Games.
The buddies were equally excited and proud to be part of the awards ceremony. This year there were 55 buddies from the district.
Superintendent Richard Nathan, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Tymann, Board of Education Member Ed Langone and Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Louis Aiello, LMS Administrative Assistant for Discipline Pat Natale and Lindenhurst High School Athletes Robert Peck were also there to congratulate the student athletes.