Former gridiron pals help out in Breezy

November 28, 2012 Editorial Staff
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Facebook brought together thousands of alumni from a Bay Ridge-based football organization to do what they were taught and “give back to the community.”

Three hundred and fifty members of the Knute Rockne Alumni Association, who used to play football together during their youth, are currently volunteering their time and effort at one of the hardest hit areas in New York: Breezy Point, where 100 homes went up in flames, 2,800 homes were condemned and many residents lost everything they had.

Whether they are contributing with funds or ripping walls and pumping water out of basements, everyone is doing their part.

“There wasn’t a house that wasn’t hit,” said Mickey Lynch, who played with the league from the age of five until he was 18 and went away to college.

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The league was created in 1961, and lasted for over 30 years, till 1996, with many of its members from Breezy Point, Rockaway and Staten Island. Former Brooklyn residents have come from as far as Boston to help in the clean-up efforts.

“They need our help,” Lynch exclaimed.

As of now, 50 to 60 volunteers are helping out in the zone, removing wet appliances, ripping out wrecked floors, pulling out insulation from the walls, and generally “getting [their] hands dirty.”

When asked about the current conditions of the area, Lynch said, “[It’s] still in the demolition stage, the removal and cleaning up of appliances. Sea water got into these homes, into the bathroom toilet. All junk; everything has to ripped out; the refrigerator has to been thrown out,” creating piles of up to six feet high of ruined things.

“A major undertaking that will take months,” added Lynch.

The organization is seeking volunteers who will lend a hand.“[If] people can’t afford to give to the fund, please come down– there are so many things that can be done; all levels of skills [are needed].

“[It’s] a big job,” he continued, “With the winter coming, we got to clean up before the snowfall.”

The league has so far donated $5,000 that was previously raised in a golf outing, saying that the money originally came from people from Breezy Point. While they were in the midst of figuring out the parameters of how they were going to give away the money, the storm came.

“[Let’s] send it back to Breezy,” concluded Lynch.

The group is planning several events to raise money for the clean-up effort. They are also urging people to donate gently used furniture, appliances, clothing, heaters and non-perishable items which can be brought to 95 Reid Avenue, Breezy Point, from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For monetary donations, visit www.wepay.com/donations/ROCKNE; call Lynch at 781-771-6999 if you’re interested in volunteering your services.

Checks can be made to BAY RIDGE FOR BREEZY POINT, and sent to 9701 Shore Road, Brooklyn, New York 11209 Suite 5N.


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