This year Mr. Tussie conducted his annual "Walk for a Cause" event to support ACDS - the Association for Children with Down Syndrome. The event also served to unite the school community and to bring awareness to Down Syndrome. Hicksville Middle School staff and students participated in the walk and raised $1000.00 for ACDS. Nearly the entire student body participated, and lessons were geared towards awareness prior to the event. Many of the staff supported the cause through donations and participation.
Mr. Tussie entered the middle school event in the W20 Foundation's Team Up 4 Community Program's "LI Holiday Heroes Community Service Challenge”. Thousands of Long Islanders viewed the middle school video and voted in support of this endeavor, earning the middle school second place and a $1500 grant.
Team Up 4 Community is an organization founded by former New York Islander Steve Webb. By showcasing community service, TU4C fosters young peoples’ senses of civic engagement and community and helps them achieve their educational, developmental and social goals. As a result, communities are strengthened. Community service ultimately helps impact the areas we live in by creating a sense of pride and duty to return to society some of the benefits that society has given to the volunteer
When talking about the event and his efforts, Mr. Tussie commented, "I have been involved in bringing awareness to various causes such as breast cancer, autism, and cystic fibrosis for the past six years. I like to highlight a cause which does not necessarily get a lot of attention. In this case, I have a family member with Down Syndrome and two of my co-workers have children with Down Syndrome so it was an opportunity to raise money and awareness for a cause which so personally impacts the Hicksville Middle School family." He added, "Anytime you win it feels great. But this isn't as much about winning as much as it's about being recognized for the collective effort of Hicksville Middle School.”