Samantha Specht: Co-Founder, ReesSpecht Life

first_imgOn Oct. 27, Superstorm Sandy turned toward the Florida coast. She took a breath and weakened, but soon intensified into a storm that no one in her path will ever forget. As the hurricane approached, Nassau and Suffolk county officials declared a state of emergency on Long Island.In Sound Beach on the North Shore, Rich and Samantha Specht, along with their three children—Abigail, 8, Lorelei, 6, and Richie, 22 months—were preparing for the storm. Samantha and the girls went to the store while Rich and his toddler son stayed home. Rich’s friend from childhood and godfather of Richie was also there to help Rich get the house and yard ready before the storm hit.The lawn furniture had to be stored, so Rich asked his friend to keep an eye on Richie while he moved the furniture into the garage. Rich was only gone for a few minutes, and when he went back inside the house, he asked his friend where his son was.“I thought he was with you,” he replied. Those six words immediately sank deep into Rich’s heart. Both men raced outside to look for the toddler. Richie had been told that the backyard pond was off limits, but Samantha says he was always a curious little boy.“They found him face down in the pond,” Samantha says, with tears streaming down her cheeks.Rich began performing CPR. The paramedics arrived minutes later and valiantly tried to restart Richie’s heart while they were en route to the hospital, and continued for another half hour after arrival. But it was too late.Samantha was still at the store when the hospital called. In a haze, she thought they were referring to her husband, and didn’t realize that her son had passed away until she got to the hospital.On Oct. 28, with Sandy barreling up the East Coast, people in parts of New York City were evacuated and transportation in the region ground to a halt.Still in shock, the Spechts had to begin preparations for their son’s funeral. By the next afternoon they were without electrical power or telephone service, and didn’t get it restored until 11 days later.“We had to drive to the post office and sit in the parking lot to get a signal to make phone calls,” Samantha says. “People couldn’t contact us or fly into New York.”On Nov. 1, Richard Edwin-Ehmer Specht was laid to rest. He was named after his father, his great-uncle Edwin, and Samantha’s maiden name, Ehmer.“I didn’t want him to be known as Little Richie,” Samantha says, “so my mother suggested that we call him Rees, and we did, just her and I.”Richie would soon become known as ReesSpecht. Rich found solace in putting his thoughts about his son’s death into words. Then, Samantha says, the idea of memorializing their son took root.“Rees always wanted to make people happy,” she says.Rallying around the family were their friends, family and the faculty and students at the Smithtown schools where the Specht’s work. Samantha teaches German at Smithtown East High School and Rich is a science teacher at Great Hollow Middle School.The outpouring of love and support helped get them through each day.A local company, Kelly Brothers Landscaping of Coram, was working in the area and contacted the Spechts after learning of the tragedy.“We didn’t know them but they heard about what happened and said they would like to do something for us,” she says. “They removed the pond. It was a constant reminder of what happened, and they just kept coming back.They planted thousands of plants in our entire yard, and they wouldn’t take anything in return.”Meals, movie tickets and gift certificates were given to the family by well-meaning friends and strangers.“Everyone was so unbelievably kind,” Samantha says. “There was no way we could repay them and the community.”To show their gratitude, they founded ReesSpecht Life in their son’s memory as a way to pay it forward.The night before Rees died, he was photographed wearing a Superman costume.“It’s our last good memory of him,” Samantha says.Adam Smith, a graphic designer and friend of the family, created a logo for the foundation using Rees’ Superman picture.ReesSpecht cards were printed and used for handouts, asking the recipient to “Help us help each other…. We all possess the ability to do something Super. Possession of this card is a solemn promise to pay it forward and perform random acts of kindness and be one of Rees’ Pieces.”“It’s therapeutic just to know that people are doing something in Rees’ name. That makes us so proud,” Samantha explains.“You might not know that a person is going through a hard time,” she adds. “If someone doesn’t know my story, they don’t know that I was hurt. People can mask their emotions, and paying it forward can make a tremendous difference. It doesn’t have to be monetary. The point is that you’re helping someone else.”Rich and Samantha recently began to fundraise for two scholarships that will be awarded to a Smithtown East and West High School senior. The Smithtown Teachers Association is holding the funds until the ReesSpecht Life organization gets its 501c3 designation approved.Meanwhile, Samantha says, they are doing their best to move forward.“We’re finding some peace,” she says. “We can’t just sit and wallow. The reality of it is we have two little girls [to raise]. We are grieving as a family, but we have to do something for them.”Remembering their little boy as someone who liked to make others happy is a way for the Spechts to perpetuate their son’s memory and ReesSpecht Life.[colored_box color=”blue”]For more information or to contact the Spechts, email: reesspechtlife@yahoo.com or visit www.facebook.com/reesspechtlife.[/colored_box][colored_box color=”grey”]In every issue of the Long Island Press and our sister publication, Milieu Magazine, the Fortune 52 column brings you stories of dynamic women who have made a significant and unique contribution to Long Island. To acknowledge their success, Beverly hosts tri-annual networking events that are attended by hundreds of LI business professionals, non- profit leaders and entrepreneurs. If you are interested in knowing more about the Fortune 52, or know a super woman who deserves good Fortune – and a profile – email Beverly at bfortune@longislandpress.com.[/colored_box] Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York last_img read more

Lack of sexual health information for men is the main problem -Professor Green

first_img Sharing is caring! Share 14 Views   no discussions Share Sharecenter_img Tweet LocalNews Lack of sexual health information for men is the main problem -Professor Green by: – October 21, 2011 Image via: menhealthtips.comThe lack of information for men about sexual health has been highlighted as one of the main problems affecting the male population.Dominican Professor, Laura Serrant-Green, made the remarks while delivering a Public Lecture on the topic “Men’s Sexual Health: an Essential Part of their Mental Health” at the UWI Open Campus last night.She says men are at a disadvantage in maintaining proper sexual health.“The essential elements of good sexual health are equitable relationships. It includes sexual fulfillment -in whatever way you want it to be-and it also includes access to information so that you can avoid the risk of unintended pregnancy, illness or disease. We all have a right under the world health organization to have access to equal information. Where is the information for men?” she questioned.According to her, there is no information for men.“If we were in a situation where we had laws and status and policies which said men’s health is as important as women’s health, if we had promotional advertisements on the television I would say that there are things in place but doctors are not giving the information. But they don’t exists,” she said.Professor Serrant-Green believes that women are given the priority over men and that must change. The lecture was the Dominica Nurses Association as a method of educating citizens of Dominica on their health. This is in keeping with its belief that the health of a nation is a major contribution to its social, economic and educational growth and development.Professor Serrant-Green who was this year’s feature speaker at the Dominica State College’s 9th Commencement Ceremony is one of only 10 black professors in the United Kingdom. She is a nurse by profession and is of Dominican parentage, her parents being from St. Joseph.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Decathlon king Ashton Eaton announces retirement

first_imgAMERICAN decathlete Ashton Eaton, who won gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, has retired from athletics.Two-time Olympic decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton has announced his retirement from competitive action with immediate effect.Eaton defended his Olympic title in Rio last year, breaking his own world record in the process, having first claimed decathlon gold at London 2012.The 30-year-old was also prolific at the World Championships, bursting onto the international scene in 2011 when he won silver behind United States teammate Trey Hardee.Eaton beat Hardee by 198 points in the London Games, before going on to seal back-to-back World titles in Moscow and Beijing.With a glittering career behind him Eaton has opted to step away from athletics, saying: “Frankly there isn’t much more I want to do in sport.“I gave the most physically robust years of my life to the discovery and pursuit of my limits in this domain. Did I reach them? Truthfully, I’m not sure anyone really does.“It seems like we tend to run out of time or will before we run out of potential. That makes humanity limitless then, as far as I’m concerned. And I think that’s inspiring.”His wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton also announced her retirement and steps away from a career in the heptathlon, having claimed bronze in Rio, adding to silver medals in the Moscow and Beijing World Championships.“Crossing the 800m finish line in Rio I didn’t have this feeling,” she said.“I was mentally exhausted. I have never been so thankful to be finished something in my life. I felt like I never wanted to do another heptathlon again.“I gave the last 4 years everything I could. I put my life on hold. Track and field was the priority before everything else: my family, my friends, my marriage, my future. This is something I chose to do and I don’t regret it for a second. It made me happy to pursue something I was so passionate about.“I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to, because I know I can’t advance any further in the sport. I’ve given it all I can and I refuse to come back and half-ace it because I love and respect this event and sport too much.” (Sportsmax)last_img read more

Winter Weather Advisory from midday Friday to Saturday morning for majority of listening area

first_img* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Snowfall and patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility and create slick, snow-covered roads. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute. IAZ007-017-025>028-036>039-046>050-057>062-070>074-081-082-092- 171815- /O.NEW.KDMX.WW.Y.0004.190118T1800Z-190119T1200Z/ Worth-Cerro Gordo-Wright-Franklin-Butler-Bremer-Hamilton-Hardin- Grundy-Black Hawk-Greene-Boone-Story-Marshall-Tama-Audubon- Guthrie-Dallas-Polk-Jasper-Poweshiek-Cass-Adair-Madison-Warren- Marion-Adams-Union-Taylor- Including the cities of Northwood, Manly, Mason City, Clear Lake, Eagle Grove, Clarion, Belmond, Hampton, Parkersburg, Clarksville, Shell Rock, Greene, Aplington, Allison, Dumont, Waverly, Webster City, Iowa Falls, Eldora, Ackley, Grundy Center, Reinbeck, Conrad, Dike, Wellsburg, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Jefferson, Boone, Ames, Marshalltown, Tama, Toledo, Traer, Dysart, Gladbrook, Audubon, Exira, Guthrie Center, Panora, Bayard, Casey, Perry, Waukee, Adel, Des Moines, Newton, Grinnell, Atlantic, Greenfield, Stuart, Adair, Fontanelle, Winterset, Earlham, Indianola, Norwalk, Carlisle, Pella, Knoxville, Corning, Creston, Bedford, Lenox, and New Market 415 AM CST Thu Jan 17 2019…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON FRIDAY TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY… …Patchy Freezing Drizzle and Areas Of Light Snow Creating Slick Conditions, Additionally Accumulating Snow and Blowing Snow Friday into Friday night… .A weather system passing across the state this morning is producing a variety of weather across Iowa. Over the north, light snow is falling. Across southern Iowa, the weather is a bit more messy. Patchy freezing drizzle is occurring along with areas of fog. Both are putting down a light glaze of ice on sidewalks, elevated surfaces and untreated roads. In addition, light snow is occurring in some areas also making some roads slick. The morning commute will be difficult especially on secondary roads and elevated surfaces. A second stronger system will impact the state Friday into Friday night bringing accumulating snow to the entire state of Iowa. Snow will spread across the state Friday morning into Friday afternoon and continue through the evening hours into early Saturday morning. Widespread moderate to locally heavy snow is expected. North to northeast winds will increase Friday afternoon through Friday night creating areas of blowing and drifting snow as well. There is the potential that some or much of the advisory area for Friday into Friday night may be upgraded to a warning at some point. Snowfall rates may be higher at times during the Friday afternoon commute which could lead to slick, snow-covered roads and reduced visibilities. * WHEN…From noon Friday to 6 AM CST Saturday. * WHERE…Southwest, central and northeast Iowa.center_img For more information from the National Weather Service visit https://www.weather.gov/desmoines * WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches expected, with locally higher amounts possible. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1. && $$last_img read more