Congratulations to Syosset runners Nick Lavacca, Patty Santella, Janet Healy, Alexa Morales and Bert Jablon, each of whom won an award in the inaugural James F. Rice Memorial 5K Run through the streets of Levittown on the morning of June 14.
Lavacca crossed the finish line at MacArthur High School in 20 minutes, 39 seconds, which earned him the third-place award in the 45-49 age group.
Santella finished in 22 minutes, 19 seconds to earn first-place honors among the women in that same 45-49 age group.
Healy earned the second-place award in the women’s 60-64 age group with a time of 25 minutes, 31 seconds.
The veteran Jablon crossed the finish line in 38 minutes, 28 seconds to take home the first-place award in the 85-89 age group.
The run was held in honor of James F. Rice, a longtime resident of Levittown who was well known to the community as a beloved history teacher for more than 40 years at the Levittown middle schools, and as an inspiring swimming coach at the Acorn Lane Pool. He also coached the MacArthur High School baseball teams, including their years as Nassau County Champions in 1981 and 1988.
All of the net proceeds of the run will benefit metastatic breast cancer and polycystic kidney disease research via the C.J. Rice Family Foundation Inc., a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation.
Among those who remember Rice fondly as a teacher is Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who was present at the run. Also on hand was Nassau County Legislator Norma Gonsalves. Dr. Bruce Kappel, a noted hematologist/medical oncologist associated with Medical Oncology Associates of Long Island, P.C. presented the awards.