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Democrat Photo by Lori Brown

FALLSBURG CHIEF OF Police Angel Lamboy, right, holds the check that SYDA Foundation board of trustees executive secretary Dermot Hurly, back left, presented to the Fallsburg School Resource Officer Program at Saturday’s event. Joining them are trustees Barbara Strauss, left, Shawn Wiles, center, and Robin Bedik.

Games Benefit
SRO Program

By Lori Brown
FALLSBURG — April 4, 2006 – Two benefit basketball games took place on Saturday afternoon at Fallsburg High School.
In the first contest, the Fallsburg Central School District coed team took on the SYDA Foundation coed team. The second benefit game featured the Town of Fallsburg Police Department team and the Fallsburg Central School men’s team.
Players from all of the teams did a stellar job as they helped raise money to support Fallsburg’s School Resource Officer (SRO) Program. Officers Ed Liotard and Jason Berger are involved with this program.
“Fallsburg is one of the first schools to have this program,” said Liotard, who has been an SRO for the past four years and works in the Fallsburg middle and high schools.
He also said that “other schools have looked at our program.”
Liotard explained that this program began because of Fallsburg PD Detective Sgt. Simmie Williams.
“The reason why we have two SROs is because of all the hard work from past Chief of Police Brent Lawrence,” Liotard said.
He added that what was known as the department’s Project Charlie was turned into the SRO program.
The SRO program is designed to help all of the youngsters in the Fallsburg Central School District. The SRO program works in conjunction with the SADD and DARE programs. In addition, the SRO program promotes community awareness and hosts mock trials.
Liotard said they have community programs in place for the kids – not for disciplinary reasons, but so that kids have a resource.
Berger works with students in kindergarten through sixth grade and runs the DARE Program. He also helps the children become familiar with the police and shows the kids that officers are there to help.
“Everyone has put out a lot of energy to make today a success,” said Larry Schafman, who is the Director of Special Programs and Public Relations at Fallsburg Central School.
Dermot Hurly, who is the executive secretary for the board of trustees with the SYDA Foundation, donated $13,989 to the Fallsburg SRO Program. With that generous donation and the ticket sales for the games, a total of $15,000 was raised for the SRO program.
In November 2004, the SYDA Foundation and the Fallsburg Central School held a volleyball benefit and raised about $12,000.
The Fallsburg SRO program is also looking into receiving grants. The school district has contacted New York State Senator John Bonacic and New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to seek their support for such grants as Schafman and other Fallsburg Central School officials want to continue and sustain this program for the children.
After a very competitive game between the Fallsburg Comets coed team and the SYDA Foundation coed team, Fallsburg prevailed by a score of 52-43. Even though the SYDA Foundation basketball players did not come out on top, they were still winners in the eyes of the Fallsburg players thanks to their gracious donation.
Members of the victorious Comets team included: Aaron Bertholf, Margaret Coombe, Ed D’Andrea, Pete Dworetsky, Darren Kenney, Jeremy Levner, Brian Miros, Tara Strauss, Albert White and Lionel White.
Members of the SYDA Foundation coed team included: Rupali Bhargowa, Arjun Bhatt, Ken Braziller, Gilles Brodeur, Joel Kushnick, Meera Laube, Chiyumi Naito, Ann Nastarowicz, David Ny, Sanjeev Srivastava, Avi Szapiro and Leonard Wolochin.
Naito and Ny each scored eight points to lead the SYDA Foundation. For the Fallsburg Comets coed team, Levner led the way with 19 points.
Liotard served as one of the referees for the contest.
During the second game, the male members of the Fallsburg Comets squad took on the Town of Fallsburg Police team. The game ended in a 62-62 tie.
“Everybody wins – the children benefit and [so does] the Town of Fallsburg,” Schafman said.
Members of the Fallsburg PD team included: Jason Berger, Lamar Jackson, Brent Lawrence, Ed Liotard, Eric Patton, Matt Robinson, Adam Smith, Simmie Williams and Will Young.
Halftime activities during the first game featured the debut of a band consisting of Brenden Cline, Zach Gibson and Derek Leventritt. Cline and Leventritt are both students at Fallsburg Central School, while Gibson is a student at Monticello Central School. The trio, who did a wonderful job of entertaining the audience, performed again at the second game’s intermission.
Throughout the afternoon, members of Fallsburg’s senior class sold refreshments to raise money.

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