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A Voice For People With Disabilities

April 2023

Save Our Services “SOS” Rally at CSI Advocated for Disability Services

Disability advocates gathered for a Save Our Services “SOS” Rally at the College of Staten Island on Friday, March 10. The location marks the beginning of the Willowbrook Mile, commemorating the site’s days as an institution serving people with disabilities. More than 100 people with disabilities, parents, direct service personnel, advocates and other supporters attended …

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Emma’s Place Vigil for Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Emma’s Place, Staten Island’s grief and loss center, held a vigil by candlelight for Children’s Grief Awareness Day on November 17, 2022.  The center is a safe place for those who have suffered loss. Anthony DiCostanzo tells us that the event, “We offered our condolences to children who’s parents had passed away.”  According to Gregory …

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Glenn Mazzola, 50, quiet and gentle, enjoyed the company of family and friends

Glenn Mazzola was a man of few words with an easy laugh. With dark brushy eyebrows over soft brown eyes, Glenn’s serious expression was completely transformed when he smiled. Although he maintained a quiet presence, he was ready to join in to the activity at hand.  “My brother Glenn was a kind and gentle person …

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Cosmo Caminiti, 77, was self-reliant good guy who loved the old songs

Cosmo Caminiti was known for his independence and nice guy approach to life, along with his keen knowledge of the American Songbook and a nearly legendary bottle and can collecting route. Kevin Stiland can still hear Cosmo’s signature response. “Beautiful, beautiful.” Cosmo was part of the Leisure Group that Stiland ran at Lifestyles for the …

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Amir Samaan, 39, a caring jokester loved to work and play

For someone who treasured his routines, Amir Samaan had a lot of tolerance for disruption, especially if it was his own good-humored mischief creating the havoc.  Seemingly everyone had a good time with Amir – his family, everyone at Lifestyles for the Disabled and at his Mount Loretto group residence, even the clergy at Archangel …

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Tanasia Alamo, 25, had a gift for therapeutic hugs and a passion for pro wrestling

Sheila Alamo has a fond memory of her infant daughter Tanasia locking eyes with her and smiling. “She stared at me intently and smiled,” said Ms. Alamo. “Almost like ‘Mommy, I’m going to be ok.’ It was comforting.” Known for her hugs and unconditional love from the moment she met you, Tanasia, with smiling light …

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Thoughtful and gregarious, Sal DiBenedetto, 59, wanted everyone to have a good time

Wherever he went, Sal DiBenedetto had a good time. And having a good time for Sal meant making sure that everyone else was having a good time too. Stocky and bespectacled with a neat white beard, he was a powerhouse of energy. His gravelly voice was a familiar sound wherever he was, whether singing or …

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