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Good News: Fundraisers, Blue Angels, Guardian Angels

Some stories put a smile on your face. Here's our wrap-up from around Long Island.

Performers at a benefit concert for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan, in The Philippines raised more than $25,000 for relief efforts. Credit: Vivian Moy
Performers at a benefit concert for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan, in The Philippines raised more than $25,000 for relief efforts. Credit: Vivian Moy

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.

North Shore Benefit Concert Raises $25K for Typhoon Victims

Organizers say a benefit concert for victims of Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan, in The Philippines raised more than $25,000 for relief efforts.

The event was quickly put together just weeks after nearly 15 million people were affected by Yolanda, with 4 million left homeless, organizers say. There are 5,759 Filipinos confirmed dead, and another 1,779 still missing, according to the organizers, who noted that the typhoon hit the poorest and most vulnerable people the hardest, leaving many children orphans.

“You could not have hit more of a weak spot,” Aidan McCormack, the event’s master of ceremonies, told the audience. 

Long Island Has Sign of Spring: Blue Angels in Town

A missing piece from last spring's Bethpage Federal Air Show  at Jones Beach flew into Republic Airport with an early Christmas gift. Lt. Commander Michael Cheng, Blue Angels events coordinator, and Lt. Ryan Chamberlain arrived at Farmingdale for an initial planning session with airport officials for the show set for Memorial Day, 2014. The visit of the precision flying squadron heralds the return to Long Island of the Blue Angels next Memorial Day weekend.

Commack Soldier Saves Lives in Taliban Attack in Afghanistan

A Commack man is one of six members of the New York Air National Guard, known as the Guardian Angels, recently awarded a Bronze Star for valor.

The airmen flew two helicopters into an intense ground battle with Taliban forces in Kandahar Afghanistan last December. According the Air National Guard, Commack resident Sgt. Christopher Peterson, along with his team, treated three badly wounded Americans and one Afghan after the Taliban ambushed an Army patrol.

Coast Guard Rescues Fisherman Found Floating Off Montauk Point 

The Coast Guard rescued a commercial fisherman from the water about six miles from where his boat capsized off Montauk Point on Saturday.

East Hampton Town police received a report and forwarded it to a communications watchstander from Coast Guard Station Montauk at about 4 p.m. A 47-foot motor life boat rescue crew from Station Montauk diverted from training to the location and recovered a 52-year-old Montauk man from a life raft about 200 yards east of the lighthouse at 4:16 p.m., according to Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta Disco.

St. James Chef to Compete in Food Network Finale

A Saint James chef will be competing to win his dream of owning his own restaurant in a Food Network's finale next Sunday. 

Adam Goldgell has survived the odds beating 5 of the other 8 contestants on the Food Network's new series "Restaurant Express," hosted by the famous chef Robert Irvine. In episode 7, which aired this past Sunday, he secured himself the top spot the finale against one of two home chefs. 

Goldgell, currently executive chef of The Reel in East Rockaway, said he will be hosting a viewing party at the restaurant to watch the finale with friends, family and Food Network fans. 

Lynbrook HS Music Department Fundraiser Helps Island Harvest

Lynbrook High School music students have found a clever way to help Island Harvest through their annual school fundraiser.

To help defray the cost of a band trip to Boston and the orchestra’s “Electrify Your Strings” concert with Mark Wood, students ran a fruit sale fundraiser. Following a tradition they started last year, they made arrangements to offer their supporters the opportunity to buy a box of fruit to donate to Island Harvest. 

Through their efforts they were able to donate more than 1,000 pounds of fruit to Island Harvest, providing fresh fruit for hungry residents of Long Island. 

Glen Cove HS Grad Paints Mural for Brooklyn Children's Museum

Evan Goodman, a 2008 Glen Cove High School graduate, has been commissioned to draw a playful mural at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. 

Evan graduated valedictorian from the School of Visual Arts' School of Illustration last year. The museum reached out to him to create a whimsical illustrated mural that will be up for 3 years as a museum renovation goes on behind it. 

More than 800 Toys Collected for Children in Need

More than 600 runners ran through Patchogue Village Sunday in the Patchogue Kiwanis Santa's 5K Toy Trot.

This year's race collected 800 toys that will be given to the children of families in need. According to an announcement from the Patchogue Kiwanis, one volunteer at the race came from as far away as Russia. 

Missing Coram Man Found Unharmed

Just an hour after Suffolk County Police issued a Silver Alert for a missing Coram man, police now say that Earlston Burrows has been found unharmed. 

Burrows, 82, who recently had lung surgery, had been missing since Tuesday morning after driving away from his home. 

Police said Burrows was found on Long Island, but they did not specify when or where he was located. 

Grand Avenue Students Raise More Than $7,000 to Fight Heart Disease

Grand Avenue Middle School students in Merrick recently took part in Jump Rope for Heart, in which they raised $7,495.72 for the American Heart Association.

The Jump Rope for Heart program is a two-week unit in physical education classes in which students participate in a variety of jump rope activities. While participating, students volunteer to collect money from friends and family.

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