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One hundred days and counting in Rockville Centre

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The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade is set to take place on March 24, and Dec. 14 marked the 100th day countdown to the parade.

This year the parade has chosen three charities to be the beneficiaries of the St. Patrick Day Parade Committee’s almost year-long fundraising endeavors. The three charities are: The Association for Children with Down Syndrome (“ACDS”), The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island and the Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities.

Located in Plainview, the Association for Children with Down Syndrome was established more than 40 years ago and serves approximately 700 individuals afflicted with Down Syndrome and other severe developmental disabilities.

The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, which opened in 1986 in New Hyde Park as the 100th of the more than 300 Ronald McDonald House programs around the world, has a mission to give shelter and comfort to the approximately 1,000 families with a seriously ill child in a local hospital it serves per year.

Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities, Inc. (“ECAD”) is a national non-profit organization incorporated in New York that primarily serves the East Coast through its mission of enabling people with disabilities to gain greater independence and mobility through the use of specially trained dogs.

For 16 years, Rockville Centre has hosted ‘The Parade That Cares and Shares.” During that time, 45 charities have benefited and $676,000 has been awarded from the money raised through a variety of fundraisers from September through March. Coming on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. is the annual Taste of Rockville Centre that is held in the St. Agnes Parish Center Local restaurants participate in this event every year and bring a sampling of their wonderful food as well as wine tastings from a number of different vintners.

On March 11, CJ’s Coffee House will once again host a spectacular breakfast fundraiser from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on March 23, the 16th annual Grand Marshal’s Dinner will take place at the Rockville Centre Links honoring this year’s Grand Marshal Kathleen Alcock, the owner and operator of Kathleen’s of Donegal on North Park Avenue.

To learn more about ‘The Parade That Cares and Shares” you can visit http://rvcstpatrick.com. Purchase its Shamrock Steps for $2 each, to mark the number of steps down the parade route or participate in its 50/50 raffle which is drawn on the night of the Grand Marshal’s Dinner.

Donations are always accepted. They can be sent to Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day Committee, 265 Sunrise Highway, Suite 1-350, Rockville Centre, NY 11570. At this time of year, organizers also have parade merchandise which make great stocking stuffers. For shirts, coasters, glasses, etc., contact Kevin O’Brien at ioth@msn.com. All proceeds from merchandise sales help this year’s charities.