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City Children Celebrate Summer at Farmingdale Lanes

The Fresh Air Fund host families and children enjoyed a night out at Farmingdale Lanes.

Seventeen volunteer families and 32 children from the Fresh Air Fund organization took over Farmingdale Lanes Friday night after receiving a donation of complimentary games. 

The Fresh Air Fund works towards helping city children connect with suburban families during the summer months. Local volunteer leader of two years, Jaqueline Shapiro, said the event proved positive for all children and adults involved.

"Everybody loves bowling. When I go watch a soccer game, I can't do it, I can't play and here, we can all play together. It has been a fabulous, fun, free, event for all of us," she said.

Plainview's Linda Sandler Brieloff said she originally became involved in the organization and Christina, 10, after she won a free week of summer camp and didn't know a child to give it to. Two years later, the Plainview native said Christina is still a big part of her life.

"I took her for a week during Christmas time and one week during Easter. She becomes part of your family and it gets them away from the inner city," she said. 

Sandler-Brieloff said volunteering her time with Christina has not only positively influenced the child's life, but hers as well.

"That's the hard thing to get, the hosts. They think its so much hard work and really its not. It is a pleasure. What i like best about the program is you're helping a child one on one. You get immediate gratification, they get immediate gratification. It is s a wonderful program," she said.

Long Beach residents, Jim and Marlene Hardy enjoyed their experience with now nine-year-old Jordan so much that they decided to double their load, hosting two children from the program during the summer months.

"We started with Jordan and when that went so well the first year we realized that we got to have another kid too. We said, we have got to have a girl too to balance it out," said Jim. 

"I think its great for my kids. I know they love it because they want to come back every year. I talk to their mothers and they tell me about what a great time they have had," said Marlene.

Mother and host, Dina Leiser, summed up her experience saying, "I only thought it was going to be a gift for the city child, but is such a gift for my son."

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