By Stefanie Scotto '18
On Friday, Feb. 3 2017 Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy hosted the “Share the Love” event for the first time. Starting off as an English project, The “Share the Love” event raised money for four sick children in need. The original assignment was for students to write persuasive essays to businesses to donate money to sick children in need, and it took off from there.
The school decided to host a celebration for these kids, and the middle school classes were split up into four teams. The four teams represented four children who are currently battling illnesses such as lyme disease and leukemia. Each team had a booth and games to play to raise money for their child that they were representing. There were also raffles and a 50-50 to help raise money for the event.
One of the children that the event celebrated was 5-year-old Gianni Incandela. Incandela was diagnosed with a brain tumor and is blind in one eye. This has been hard on him, but he stays strong and keeps on smiling. At the event, Gianni danced on stage for everyone and called out raffle numbers. His smile made everyone smile, reminding everyone why they were there to celebrate.
There were many faces present at the “Share the Love” event; one being Senator Marty Golden. He spoke about how wonderful the event was and how the main priest at the parish, Father Vincent, was “setting this neighborhood on fire” with all of the good he was doing. Another face present was actor and Our Lady of Grace graduate, William DeMeo. He stayed for the event and signed autographs for anyone who asked. The event was filled way more than expected, showing the power of a good community.
By Amber Masood '19
On March 1, 2017, Ash Wednesday was held in the Fontbonne Hall Academy gym. Students and faculty members marked the sign of the cross, on a majority of the girls and faculty members. Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Advent season, where many of the Fontbonne community gave up all different types of luxuries as a form of penance.
Lent derives from the Anglo Saxon word ‘lencten’, which means spring. It lasts for a total of 40 days which represents the time Jesus, spent in the wilderness undergoing the temptation of Satan and beginning to prepare his ministry. The girls learned that Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.
“I feel Lent’s a time where I can truly reflect on myself,” said senior Emily Rassmann.
The tradition of choosing to give something up or to volunteering themselves to help others is something many of the girls in the school find important. When asked what they were giving up, a group of senior girls unanimously said, “junk food” with prom approaching very closely.
Christians older than 14 are to abstain from meat on all the Fridays of Lent. The members of the Fontbonne community, maintain the spirituality of the Lent season all year round. The way a majority of the girls and faculty members are dedicated to their faith is amazing.
By Rebecca Kaminski '18
On March 5, 2017, the Iheartradio Music Awards hosted by Ryan Seacrest took place in Los Angeles California. Famous recording artists such as Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes were in attendance. Presenters included Ansel Elgort, John Legend, Halsey and Daya. Other famous guests included Maddie Ziegler, Chloe Lukasiak and Kalani Hilliker from the cast of Dance Moms.
Katy Perry opened the show performing her new single “Chained to the Rhythm.” Other performances included Noah Cyrus with her song “Make Me Cry”, Ed Sheeran with his song “Shape of You”, and Bruno Mars with his song “That’s What I Like”. Some winners included The Chainsmokers with Best New Artist, Justin Bieber with Best Male Artist and Adele with Best Female Artist.
The artists or songs that get nominated for an award by Iheartradio are usually well known and are played on the radio constantly. They are very popular with teenagers and adolescents around the country including those who attend Fontbonne Hall Academy.
These artists make music that specifically appeals to the teenage and adolescent age group. “It was a very nice and entertaining show and I was inspired by the artists in attendance,” said Brianna Amato, a junior.
This award show appeals to teenagers because it features some of the most popular artists in the United States and their songs are usually well known by teenagers all across the United States and across the world.
By Falon Veccia '18
Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams, presented a New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Luna Park to warmly welcome 2017. The festivities were free and included live entertainment, sideshow performances, a firework show, and free rides and ice skating for the earlier part of the night.
Free rides and ice skating took place from 6 to 9 p.m.
Luna Park got crowded at around 9:30 p.m. and the DJ was pumping music from the Parachute Jump that could be heard over half a mile from the boardwalk.
“The first thing that caught my eye was the Parachute Jump that was lite up all different shades of blue and red”, said Falon Veccia, a guest who attended the bash. “I knew I would have a really fun time when I could hear the music all the way from Nathan's, blocks away from the Parachute Jump.”
Adjacent to the Parachute Jump was the DJ who stood on stage on the Boardwalk and West 19th street. The DJ would swap in and out with the Priceless Band. There were sideshow performances that had a fire eater and a sword eater.
At 11:30 p.m. DJ Gio continued raising the crowd’s enthusiasm with the greatest hits.. Five minutes to midnight the crowd grew even larger to watch the Parachute Jump light up in a way that would drop like the ball in Times Square.
At the very moment midnight struck fireworks became to brighten the night sky. “
It was certainly a sight to behold, especially being both near the Parachute Jump and the fireworks,” said Veccia.
The party didn’t just end at the end of singing the tradition “Auld Lang Syne” but continued until 12:30 a.m.
This New Year’s Eve party at Luna Park brought in the most people yet and is estimated to bring even more people next year.
By Arianna Trapani '18
On Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, Arianna Trapani and her friends, who attend Fontbonne Hall Academy, went bowling together in Chelsea Piers. The girls got together for a birthday of Fontbonne junior, Sarah Brower.
“We promised to make plans over the break, and i'm happy we all decided that day to be my birthday. I was able to spend my special day with girls I have so much fun with,” Brower explained.
The bus ride home was more fun than the ride going to the alley, according to some girls. They screamed their favorite songs, such as “Sweet Caroline,” and played games during the ride. Although they did not make many pins fall, they still had a great time.
“All of us were so bad at bowling we each had to put bumpers up because of how terrible we were.” junior, Natalie Negron, commented on her night with her friends.
Already planning the next get together, the girls were thinking about a karaoke night or laser tag as their next spot. They look forward to bonding more and spending more time with each other.
By Luciana Spata '18
On Dec. 29 2016, in Saugerties, NY there was a snow storm early in the morning to mid afternoon. 16-year-old Luciana Spata and 15-year-old Alexa Persico went out to get Dunkin Donuts with their family friend Ted Milan who is 75 years old. The roads were not yet plowed which mad driving dangerous. On the way back, there was an accident on the road.
Persico, Spata and Milan had to figure out the safest way to get home as the snow was still coming down. They ask the firefighter who was blocking the road and directing the traffic what the best way to get home was. He told them the directions and they make it home safely.
Milan was nervous to drive in weather like this due to the fact that he was not familiar with the roads. While in the car, the girls said they felt the breaks being pushed but the car still gliding across the ice covered roads. The car skidded three times. A trip that would take them 40 minutes took them an hour and a half.
“If it wasn’t for these two girls we would've never made it home,” said Milan, “they knew exactly how to act in an emergency and got us to where we had to go both ways safely.”
The accident was minor and no one was hurt. This accident resulted in people taking precautions when driving in the snow and the town to be more conscious of having to salt and plow the roads before the snow fall.
By Kaylene Ris '18
On Thursday Dec. 29, 2016, Kaylene Ris and her family went to Manhattan for the day. Kaylene, her mother Tara Ris, and sisters Devin and Fallon Ris drove to Stuyvesant town to visit John Simons, brother of Tara Ris. The family spent most of their day Times Square. They went to Ripley's Believe it or Not, Bryant Park and Petite Abeille.
“I really enjoyed all the history in the museum, it was really unexpected,” said Tara
Their original plan was to go to Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum, but decided to go to Ripley’s because of a Tussaud's two hour wait to get in. Ripley’s is a modern art museum that contains over 500 exhibits about strange facts, animals, customs and records.
Outside of the museum the group saw a man who worked there, perform by hammering a nail into his nose. Inside the museum are world records such as the tallest man, bearded woman and the largest collection of shrunken heads. The museum has many optical illusions and hands on activities.
“My favorite exhibit was the torture exhibit because it was crazy to see how some of the devices were used,” said Kaylene.
They left the museum and met their father, Clifford Ris, at Bryant Park Winter Village. Kaylene wanted to look at the Holiday shops, and Tara wanted to get a picture of the three girls by the tree.
The Ris’ took a cab back to Stuyvesant to have dinner with Simons and his fiance Andrea Pignatelli. They dined at Petite Abeille, a french restaurant on 17th street. The Ris’ left the city around 7:30 p.m. and drove their car home to Roxbury.
By Amber Masood '17
On Dec. 23, 2016 Amber Masood helped out at her father’s store, Dollar Blast located in Patchogue, N.Y. It has become a family tradition that everyone decorate the store the day before Christmas Eve and give back to someone during the Christmas season. Masood and her family, made a gift basket for Helen Russo, a customer who had been going through a rough time.
Russo lost her husband recently and her daughter was away on a business trip. It was her first Christmas alone. Russo is a retired teacher, she still has a growing passion for helping others succeed. She tutors Fizzah Masood, the youngest in the family for free if she comes along a subject she needs help in. Russo also helps out in churches by making donations even when her budget is tight. After watching the movie Pay It Forward, which talked about changing someone's world and in return asking them to pay it forward to someone else, Amber Masood thought of Russo and the impact she had made not only in her family but others in the community. So, she asked her father if they could return the favor by choosing to help her out this year, he loved the idea.
The Masood family made a basket for her filled with items that were more meaningful than how much they cost. Both Amber and Fizzah Masood had Russo as a teacher, so they made a scrapbook of pictures from when they were in her class along with side notes of their favorite memories with her, they also included her favorite coffee, a chickadee themed calendar because those were her favorite kinds of bird and it was also the pet name she gave her students, and lastly with the help of her daughter Dana Russo they got a hold of one of her wedding pictures and they framed it for her.
“This is one of the best presents I have received,” said Russo.
Each member of the Masood family, truly felt that giving back feels much better than receiving, and they plan on continuing this tradition for years to come.
By Rebecca Kaminski '18
Over Christmas break, Rebecca Kaminski and her family went to Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. Her family left for Florida on Christmas Night through John F. Kennedy airport and returned on New Year’s Eve through Orlando international airport.
They stayed at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort which had recently opened up this past Summer. The hotel was a very luxurious resort that has a restaurant, a bar, a pool, a gym, a game room, waterfalls and transportation to city walk.
There were two parks in Universal Orlando which were Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The Kaminski’s spent 2 days in each park and were able to get to every ride at least once. A lot of the rides in both parks were 3D and it felt like you were actually taking part in the ride. “The 3D effect was really cool and it was something I had never seen before," said Rebecca Kaminski.
In Universal Studios, there was a little Macy's Christmas Parade that would feature all of the main characters of Universal such as the Simpsons, Spongebob SquarePants, transformers and many more.
Islands of Adventure had more rides than Universal Studios but there was a fair share of the 3D rides. The Kaminski’s favorite part of Universal was the Harry Potter world that was both in Universal Studios and in Islands of Adventure. In Universal Studios, there was Diagon Alley which featured a whole lot of stores and the Escape of Gringotts ride. In Islands of Adventure, there was Hogsmeade which also featured a lot of shops. Hogsmeade had more rides including the Dragon Challenge and the Forbidden Journey.
The last day of their trip was spent in City Walk walking around and going into shops. They also saw a movie that had recently came out called Why Him which they all found to be very funny. After they saw the movie, they went to Margaritaville to have dinner.
The time that was not spent at the parks or City Walk was spent at the pool which had it’s own bar, water slide and hot tub. The pool was very warm and it was very easy to jump right in according to the family.
On New Year’s Eve, the Kaminski family went to Orlando International airport to return home to New York. Although it was very sad to leave Florida, they said that it still felt good to be home.
By Maria Hatziminadakis '18
On December 30, 2016 Marissa Devito, Espie Hatziminadakis, Maria Hatziminadakis, and Kristina Zloklikovits went to Aviator for an Ice Skating lesson taught by Zloklikovits.
“At first it was very difficult, it's like trying to walk for the first time, but Kristina kept pushing us. Kristina often told us different motions to get use to the ice, and eventually I picked up the motions. Even though, I fell when I finally let go of the bar, I got complimented for working so hard and doing a good job,” said DeVito.
Zloklikovits taught the girls beginner motions and technique to help them get through their first time bringing on the Ice.
“As one always says “Practice makes perfect”, but the girls definitely improved and I’m really proud of them” said Zloklikovits.
Maria, DeVito, and Espie were inspired by a Japanese animation called Yuri!!! on Ice, which is actually very popular in Japan and especially the United States. Yuri!!! on Ice is an anime expressing the struggles of figure skater Yuri Katsuki and his coach Victor Nikiforov.
"Taking inspiration from one of my favorite characters, who is an accomplished Russian men's figure skater, Viktor Nikiforov, I knew I wanted to try skating. I have known for quite some time that it is something I wanted to try. I admire the gracefulness and tranquility of being on ice" said Devito.
The anime inspired the girls to learn how to skate and at the end of the day they decided to relax and hang out in the arcade. The girls managed to get a picture posing as if they were Yuri Katsuki, Victor Nikiforov, and other skaters from Yuri!!! on Ice.