Commack Car Wash For A Cause

Filed under: Around Town,Commack School District,News |


Commack students volunteered their time and talent to help a non-profit organization, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), by organizing and coordinating a car wash, held at Sunshine Physical Therapy in Commack. CAF provides opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.

The students found out about CAF when they heard an inspiring speaker, Denise Castelli, describe her life and how an injury led to the amputation of her foot. CAF is helping her achieve her goal to perform in the Malibu triathlon in September.

Ms. Castelli, a former collegiate softball player at the University of New Haven. During one of the final games of the season, “I took off from first base on a steal, headed for second and broke my leg. I can still remember
hearing the snap and the instant pain that I felt,” Denise recalled. Unfortunately, infection set in, and after 18 months battling the infection and having numerous surgeries, her right leg was amputated below the knee. That was in November of 2009. “My prosthetist had heard about a one-day running/mobility clinic held by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. With nowhere else to turn and very little confidence under my belt, I went. That day changed my life. My eyes were opened to an entire world of people who were not only amputees,
but also athletes in every sense of the word. From that day on, I was determined to not let this amputation
beat me. I had to find a way to not just survive, but thrive.”

After a grueling morning of the SAT, the students washed cars and collected donations over the next several weeks totaling $400 that will go to CAF. Event leader Cody Olsen was assisted by Matthew Sandberg, and volunteers Paul Maline, Steve Marino, Joey Spencer, Sarah Lamorte, Carly Joos, Venise Mule-Glass of Sunshine Physical Therapy, and Anthony Garcia.

Story & photo by Brenda Lentsch

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