Cooperative Spirit Leads to Big Smiles

Mr. Toby Elmore shows a student the proper way to assemble the pedals.
Mr. Toby Elmore shows a student the proper way to assemble the pedals.
Mr. Anthony Fauci and his student work on the finishing touches.
Mr. Anthony Fauci and his student work on the finishing touches.
Mr. Ken Ferguson (lower left), of the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation, gets some truly heartfelt responses when he asked what it meant to our students to build a bike for someone else.
Mr. Ken Ferguson (lower left), of the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation, gets some truly heartfelt responses when he asked what it meant to our students to build a bike for someone else.
Mr. Eric Hernandez, (with microphone and Jets Jersey) is a special adviser to the foundation.  Here he gets a big response when he tells our students that the bikes they built are theirs to take home.
Mr. Eric Hernandez, (with microphone and Jets Jersey) is a special adviser to the foundation. Here he gets a big response when he tells our students that the bikes they built are theirs to take home.
The Fergusons with Maplewood Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia after an amazing morning meant to help motivate and empower youngsters to positively interact with peers and adults in a unique program where, working with mentoring adults, build a bike.
The Fergusons with Maplewood Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia after an amazing morning meant to help motivate and empower youngsters to positively interact with peers and adults in a unique program where, working with mentoring adults, build a bike.

This past Saturday morning, the Maplewood cafeteria was a buzz of activity as carefully selected students and family members participated in a special ‘Build-A-Bike’ program. Maplewood’s staff members, as well as Principal Dr. Vito D’Elia and Mr. Ken Ferguson of the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation greeted the families as they made their way to their own Build-A-Bike station.  Mr. Fergusons' son, D’Brickashaw, is an elite offensive tackle in the NFL, and a starting player for the NY Jets.

“Brick” as he is called by friends, family, and players, and his foundation partnered with Maplewood Intermediate School and the South Huntington School District to share their mission to help motivate and empower youngsters to positively interact with peers and adults in a unique program where, working with mentoring adults, build a bike.

The youngsters were doing this under the guise that the bike would be donated to other children, but to their delight, learned after they had built their bikes, that they were theirs to keep.

Suffolk County’s finest had a representative on hand to review bike riding safety tips and demonstrated how to properly fit the bike helmets that each youngster received. The completed bikes went through a safety inspection ensuring they were all properly assembled and ready to ride.  There was a wonderful cooperative spirit in the air around Maplewood as our South Huntington students learned about the various tools they were using, following directions, and sharing responsibilities with Maplewood’s mentoring staff to get their project completed. “The reason why this event was a major success is because of your participation,” said Dr. D’Elia in thanking his volunteers.  “Watching the students work with you in putting their bicycle together was priceless.”

Dr. D’Elia would like to thank his staff and the Ferguson family for their generosity in selecting Maplewood Intermediate School as their Long Island destination for the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation Build-A-Bike program.

A special thanks to our incredible volunteers: Melanie Tietjen, Chastity Patino, Maria Garafalo, Dermot O’Connor, Toby Elmore, Denise Ortiz, Jessica Gaitan, Lisa Hatton, Dan Campbell, Suzzanne Ciccarelli, Gail Shapiro, Sheila Manner, Danielle Shadler/Jill Belz, Mary Gross, Kristen Cuozzo, Abby Dulberg, Dana Rubino, Tony Visslailli, Anthony Fauci, and Denise Elmore.

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