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Friday, April 18, 2014

Student Columnist
A student's call for help
East Rockaway High School junior talks about how Hurricane Sandy devastated his high school
Courtesy East Rockaway Schools
Damian Amiruddin

My name is Damian Amiruddin and I am a junior at East Rockaway High School.

East Rockaway has two elementary schools and one junior/senior high school. We are a small, tight knit community that experienced devastation on October 29, 2012 when East Rockaway was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. At least 450 students in my small school district have been displaced, including me. Many of us don’t know if and when we may be able to rebuild and go home again. Along with most of the town being devastated by the storm, the high school was also hit hard by flood waters. The building has been closed while repairs are being made. The junior high and senior high students are being bussed to two different elementary schools in another town.

It has been a difficult transition, but I feel that we are getting better as the days go by. The administration has done a great job finding us schools where we could still be together and allowing us the opportunity to continue with our sports programs.
My mother always tells the story of how as soon as I was able to stand up, I had a baseball bat in my hand. I grew up playing baseball in East Rockaway, first tee ball then Little League. I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to make the junior high team, then the JV team and now The Varsity team. It saddens me to think that we don’t have a home field to play on or practice on this year because of the damage it sustained from the hurricane.

My earliest childhood memory was going to the high school to watch the baseball games and I have had the privilege of being able to play on the high school field for the last two years. I don’t know about all the red tape with insurance companies — all I know is that we need some sense of normalcy, and having our home field back would be a great first step. I am worried that I may have to spend my senior year and last season of high school baseball traveling again because we have no home field. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for the players graduating this year. 

I am writing to you today to ask you for help in rebuilding our field. Please help us rebuild the Rock! Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your consideration. Pease feel free to contact me or the athletic director for our school, Dom Vulpis (dvulpis@eastrockawayschools.org).


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