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Can You Escape This Room in 60 Minutes?

Players trapped inside a dark, mysterious room uncover strange objects and hidden messages that might contain the clues to help them escape—but will they make it out in time?

The heart-pounding challenge is what draws countless players to Puzzle Break, America’s first “escape room” experience, located right here on Long Island. Escape artists seeking to test their mental might can choose from one of four different challenges to see if they have what it takes.

“‘Escape the Lost Temple’ is perfect for ages 8 and up and great for birthday parties, team-building events and even just a night out with friends or family,” says Maria Reyes, the general manager of Puzzle Break Long Island. “When you come and play, you’re  going to love being transported into the world that we’ve created as your group races against the clock to locate and replace the goddess’s stolen artifact, break the curse
and ‘Escape the Lost Temple.’”

“Escape The Lost Temple,” one of the more exciting challenges, features cool special effects that transport challengers into another world. What sets it apart from the rest is that the story, the hieroglyphics and most everything that the team will uncover while trying to escape is true to historical form. It is based on Etruscan history and is historically accurate.

Besides being a fun night out, the games also serve as an excellent team-building activity for the next corporate, off-site, or private event, or for team gathering. Teams of adventurers will join forces to find hidden clues, solve puzzles, and unravel a mystery before the 60 minutes run out.

There is no age limit. Contestants can bring their 80-year-old grandmother or their 8-year-old nephew and still have a blast. There are also in-room game masters in all of the games to provide hints if asked, and to ensure that everyone is having fun and understands what’s going on.

Puzzle Break also offers three other challenges: “Escape from 20,000 Leagues,” “The Grimm Escape,” and “Escape the Midnight Carnival.” Each can include up to 10 to 12 players.

Tickets are $30 per person. Puzzle Break Long Island is located at 180 Michael Dr., Syosset. For more information, reach them at 516-307-0888 or puzzlebreakli.com.

Spring Peepers: A Frog’s Sound of Season’s Change

By Jungle Bob

Ahhhh Spring! The thought of spring conjures up many sights, smells and sounds.

After a long, hard winter, that red, red robin is a sight for frozen eyes to many and a sign of things to come for all. The beautiful colors of crocus’ plants emerging from the remnants of the last snowfall we know will be followed by a kaleidoscope of gorgeous spring flowers and the smell of spring is suddenly in the air!

But for me, it is the shrill call of the Spring Peeper, a tiny little frog native to Long Island that tells me for sure spring has arrived. Many within earshot would think these sounds were made from an insect or perhaps the latest electronic gadget, not some kind of tiny amphibian.

Adventurous types may walk toward the noise to investigate what is causing all that chattering, only to be thwarted every time, as the peeper is secretive, well camouflaged and when “danger “ appears, it goes quiet, only to start again as soon as you walk away. Suffice to say, peepers are heard but seldom seen.

At less than an inch in size, these little amphibians can really turn up the volume as any of you who live near a wetland or small pond can attest. The decibel level of a group of frogs can be almost deafening at night. After a spring shower and right at dusk the chorus amps up considerably.

This truly is nature calling as the sounds are actually mating calls emitted only by male frogs, who fill up their vocal sacs with air, like little balloons and then push it through their vocal chords to obtain the amazing pitch we hear each spring. The bigger the voice sac, the louder the sound and the more a male frog has a chance at a spring romance.

Those nor’easters will hopefully be well behind us when the peeping begins this year. So a take a walk on the wild side one evening and see if you can hear that spring has arrived!

Click here to go to our website at to hear the chorus

Nonprofit Conference Gives Charities Tips to Navigate Rough Patches

From left: Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings, Investors Bank Community Development Officer Jennifer Smith and Ed Henry, President And CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Hundreds of attendees in the nonprofit sector will be on hand to hear from experts and network during the ninth annual Investors Bank Not-For-Profit Conference on Long Island next month.

Titled “How To Manage In Turbulent Times,” the event will feature Keynote Speaker Ed Henry, President And CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, who will discuss competitive pressures and a global economy.

“Providing resources for nonprofit organizations is a large part of who we are as a bank,” says Jennifer Smith, the Community Development Officer at Investors Bank. “The conference is an opportunity for us to reach out to community organizations within the bank’s footprint in New York and New Jersey and help with networking opportunities and access to experts in fundraising, development and nonprofit tax law.”

The goal for this year’s Investors’ Bank Conference is to motivate and inspire not-for profit professionals as they work together to help their clients amid the continuing trend of increased demand and decreased donations that makes their work so difficult and critical.

“The conferences have both grown in size and the programs have evolved as well,” Smith says. “Raising funds just gets harder every year. Social media has also dramatically changed how nonprofits reach out to potential volunteers and donors. We’ve tried to incorporate these changes into our programming.”

The speakers will provide guidance and case studies on how nonprofits can think strategically about what is central to achieving their vision.

“We want to thank the Long Island Press and Queens Courier, as well as the Queens Chamber of Commerce, for your help with planning this free resource for nonprofits in Long Island and Queens.”

The Investors Bank Not-for-profit Conference will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Apr. 11 at The Inn at New Hyde Park, which is located at 214 Jericho Tpke. In New Hyde Park. The event is free of charge but registration is required. To register, visit: myinvestorsbank.com/nynfp or contact Jennifer L. Smith at 718-330-3830 or jlsmith@ investorsbank.com

From left to right: David Rottkamp, Terrie Magro, Eric Alexander and Rhonda Klch.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
8:30 am – 9:30 am: Registration and breakfast
9:30 am – 9:45 am: Opening remarks from Investors Bank
9:45 am – 10:15 am: Keynote presentation from Ed Henry
10:15 am – 10:30 am: Q&A
10:30 am – 10:45 am: Break
10:45 am – 11:30 am: Panel Discussion with Rhoda Klch of First Equity, Terrie Margo
of The Magro Foundation and Eric Alexandar of Vision Long Island
11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Expert Session: Tax Reform with David Rottkamp of Grassi & Co.
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm: Closing Remarks and Raffle

More speakers to be announced

Alure Home Improvements Will Deliver a Truly Alluring Kitchen for Your Home

Watching all those home improvement shows on television may tempt you to take out the sledgehammer and start ripping down walls and cabinets in your own kitchen.

No need to act on impulse. Leave it to the pros. Alure Home Improvements, a design/build firm that has been an industry leader since 1946, in kitchens, baths, and other types of home improvement projects, does all the work for you. The company, which has been the recipients of numerous awards over the years, provides lots of  personal service to ensure clients have a stress-free and pleasant experience and, in the end, a gorgeous kitchen they love.

“We are a one-stop shop,” says Certified Kitchen Designer Patricia Nicolini, who has been with Alure for the past 19 years. “Alure takes full control of the project, so people don’t have to worry about hiring different trades and coordinating the project. This takes away a lot of the fear and puts the clients at ease.”

To get started, the homeowners answer a series of questions that identify their style, taste, and budget. Some of the questions include: How do they entertain? Who does most of the cooking? Are they right-handed or left-handed? Are they attracted to warmer tones or cooler tones? Do they like ornate decor or more streamlined accents?

Based on the responses, Alure comes up with a plan of action.

“All the information we find out allows us to design a kitchen that is specific to their clients’ needs. It won’t be a cookie-cutter kitchen,” says Nicolini, who explains that each client has a designer they work with and a project manager to oversee everything. “For example, if we have a client who always does the holidays in their home, we may recommend a redesign that includes a double oven and an extended island that features more counter and pantry space.”

With new developments taking place in kitchen design daily, Alure stays on top of what’s on-trend and has its team of professionals continually taking courses, so they can continue to deliver outstanding results.

To book your next kitchen consultation contact Alure Home Improvements at 516-296-7777 or visit alure.com.

Manhasset Dental Arts: A Leader in Modern Dentistry

These days, Dr. Michael Abrams is running on pure adrenaline. Specializing in both orthodontics and periodontics, this dually trained dentist is a double threat. Since he opened Manhasset Dental Arts, a new state-of-the-art facility, with his sister-in-law, Dr. Elizabeth Abrams, also a dentist specializing in general and cosmetic dentistry (dental trauma too, especially in children), he hasn’t gotten very much rest.  Nevertheless, he is enjoying the rush of delivering healthy smiles his patients love.

“I haven’t slept since 2016,” laughs Dr. Abrams, who had just returned from a dental trip in California and was back in his office hours later treating patients with his friendly and down- to-earth demeanor.

Since Manhasset Dental Arts opened its doors seven months ago, Dr. Abrams and his team have been getting high marks for the personal attention and care they give each patient. Their modern office, professional staff and state-of-the-art technology has made a scary trip to the dentist for some, a pain-free and even pleasant experience. One female patient described the treatment as five-star. She even loved some of the
perks.

“I got to watch YouTube and music videos while they worked on my teeth,” the patient said. “Even their water system is purified alkaline water. It was like my mouth was having a spa treatment during my cleaning. It’s unlike any other dental office I have ever gone to.”

Dr. Abrams also lectures nationally with the Greater New York Dental Meeting, and is a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and NYU. Teaching and inspiring residents about a field he is so passionate about, he says, is always a thrill.

Question: What excites you about dentistry?

Answer: The interdisciplinary connection between periodontics and orthodontics, along with other branches of general and specialized dentistry.

Q: Can you tell us some of the common problems you see in your practice?

A: I see a lot of gingival recession due to misalignment of the teeth or even of the jaws, causing instability to the underlying foundational bone and gums. It’s so important to properly diagnose orthodontic issues, as this can lead to increased susceptibility to periodontal disease and cavities. I also see potential airway problems, as a result of misalignment.

Q: How has dentistry changed in the last decade?

A: Technology advances every day, and it’s our job to keep up so we can provide the most up-to-date and highest-quality level treatment for our patients. Some of these new developments are 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scans. We use these to evaluate for possible tooth root fractures, to aid in root canal treatment and implant dentistry. Dental impressions have also changed for the better. The gooey materials that were once used are now replaced with digital impression scans. We can also treat disease with minimally invasive lasers instead of traditional surgery. We even have custom braces that go on the back side of your teeth, so they are truly invisible.

Dr. Abrams resides in Manhattan, and Dr. Elizabeth Abrams lives in Manhasset with her husband and three children. Both are excited to be part of the Long Island community.

To book an appointment contact Manhasset Dental Arts, 16 Park Ave., Manhasset. 516-472-7575. manhassetdentalarts.com.

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care Hosting Hampton Bays Open House

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is hosting an open house at its recently opened Hampton Bays clinic at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The public is invited to come in, meet the staff, take tours of the facility and enjoy a presentation on Common Summer Ailments by Dr. Kasaji.

The center is located at 80 East Montauk Hwy. in Hampton Bays. For more information, visit gohealthuc.com

‘Alley Oop For Autism’ To Raise Awareness & Funds At Jericho High School

Alley Oop For Autism
"Alley Oop For Autism" features a "3-on-3" basketball tournament at Jericho High School on March 25, 2017 to raise awareness and much-needed funds about autism and nonprofit Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism!

Approximately 1,000 people from the greater Jericho/Syosset community will be attending and/or participating in the eleventh annual “Alley Oop For Autism” fundraiser at Jericho High School on Saturday, March 25th.

This extraordinary charity event features a “3-on-3” basketball tournament centered on raising awareness and much-needed funds for a rotating array of various organizations offering specialized education for children with autism.

This year, proceeds will benefit the Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism (FCA), a not-for-profit agency that provides programs and services to people with autism. The FCA is located in Garden City and offers services throughout Long Island.

“Alley Oop For Autism” was created by Justin Resnick when he was a Jericho High School student. He played on the Jericho High basketball team and also for Emory University. Today, Justin is an investment banker with Houlihan Lokey.

This annual event has raised almost $900,000 since its inception. In addition to the contributions by spectators and competitors, there is an impressive list of over 20 corporate and family sponsors. Sports celebs such as Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton have participated in past events. This year, Jay Bromley, a defensive tackle for the New York Giants and a former starter at Syracuse University, will be in attendance.

Alley Oop For Autism
Justin Resnick
Although Justin is the architect of “Alley Oop for Autism,” the event has become a family affair. Peter Resnick—Justin’s father and president of Interboro Insurance—is instrumental in securing event sponsors and in helping to promote the event. And Justin’s sister, Marissa, is another family member who has helped to grow “Alley Oop for Autism.” Similar to Justin, Marissa graduated from Jericho High School. She played basketball at Queens College, and today is a special education teacher.

Joel Levine, a partner at the law firm of Levine & Wiss and a good friend of Peter Resnick, has become instrumental in helping to expand “Alley Oop for Autism.” Joel and his wife Debbie are active supporters of the FCA. And their daughter Emily, who participates at the FCA, was the agency’s gala honoree in December 2016. Joel is a champion of events that raise both money and awareness for programs that support people with autism.

Matt Zebatto, Assistant Executive Director for Life’s WORC/Family Center For Autism, explains:

“The dynamics of this grassroots Jericho/Syosset effort is an excellent model for the way in which charity and giving can ignite and gain momentum to benefit many. Justin Resnick deserves recognition for the unique legacy he has provided through Jericho High School.”

Featured Photos: “Alley Oop For Autism” features a “3-on-3” basketball tournament at Jericho High School on March 25, 2017 to raise awareness and much-needed funds about autism and nonprofit Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism! (Photos: alleyoopforautism.org)

The eleventh annual “Alley Oop For Autism” fundraiser will be held at Jericho High School in Nassau County, located at 99 Cedar Swamp Road, just north of the Long Island Expressway, Northern State Parkway, Route 107 exit, on Saturday, March 25th, from noon to 6:30 p.m. For more information about “Alley Oop For Autism,” call 516-741-9000 x15000 or visit alleyoopforautism.org. For more about Life’s WORC Family Center for Autism, visit familycenterforautism.org.

Alure Home Improvements’ ’60 Second Fix:’ How To Clean Grout

Alure Home Improvements
Alure Home Improvements’ Chief Operating Officer Doug Cornwell teaches how to properly clean grout in a recent installment of its "60 Second Fix."
Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home Improvements

Who doesn’t want their bathroom to be sparkling clean? But as everybody knows, sometimes you have to deal with some nasty tile issues.

In this installment of Alure Home Improvements’ “60 Second Fix,” we’re going to show you how simple it is to make your tile look as good as new, thanks to a quick tip for cleaning grout from Doug Cornwell, Alure Home Improvements’ Chief Operating Officer.

Grout is the mortar or paste used for filling the gaps between floor and wall tiles. After a while, just like anything in your house, it gets pretty dirty.

But maintaining it doesn’t have to be so daunting.

Believe it or not, the preferred cleaning ingredient comes right out of your kitchen cabinet. That’s right: All you need is a bottle of white vinegar.

“If the tile and the grout are really dirty, then use it full-strength,” recommends Cornwell. “But if it’s not so bad, then you can cut it.”

You dilute the vinegar with some clean water, perhaps in proportions of three to one or two to one.

But Cornwell wants to warn you in case you’re skeptical. Don’t use bleach or any caustic chemicals to clean grout or tile. It’s dangerous for your lungs and your skin.

“White vinegar smells like Easter egg time!” says Cornwell, evoking memories of childhood. “The smell is acrid, but it’s not caustic!”

So the steps are very simple. Get a white rag, dip it in a cup filled with a little bit of the white vinegar and water solution—if that’s enough to cut through the grime—and go to work on the grout lines.

With the damp cloth, Cornwell simply rubs along the grout line between the tile squares, being methodical as he moves it back and forth, until the grout starts to come clean. Pressing the cloth into the grout gets the job done. You’ll be surprised by what a difference a little elbow grease can make.

Click here to learn more about Alure Home Improvements

If you intend to clean the tile as well, you may find that a bigger tool may be called for to make it easier to handle. Cornwell suggests you pour the vinegar solution into a pail and grab a mop. The same strategy applies. Swipe over the tiles with the mop and then let it dry.

So, in a nutshell, you just need white vinegar, clean water, and a clean white cloth. The result may put a smile on your face!

NYC Beer Week Feb. 24-March 5: Everything You Won’t Want to Miss

NYC Beer Week
Tap that. via NYC Beer Week.

The craft beer scene is exploding in New York City. It seems like every week there’s a new brewer in town and a new alehouse with 30 taps. The nonprofit New York City Brewers Guild, which started with just five member breweries a few years ago, has expanded to almost 30. They brew everything from single-batch beers to internationally-appreciated ales. All this diversity in the fermentation ecosystem is good news for us hop heads, but it’s easy to overlook some terrific beers. To stay on top of the burgeoning beer scene, head to the upcoming Eighth Annual NYC Beer Week.

From Feb. 24 until March 5, venues all over the city will be holding craft beer events, including parties, tastings, tap takeovers, and brewing demonstrations. We’ve highlighted the must-see feature events below, organized by the New York City Brewers Guild, with a sampling of other events to whet your palette. So let’s grab a pretzel necklace and check out what’s in store!

NYC Beer Week officially begins with a pop — many, to be exact. On Feb. 24 at 7 pm, bartenders all over New York City will be cracking open kegs for SimulTap, the official start of the merriment. And what’s flowing from those taps are the singular SMaSH brews. Fifteen brewers from the NYC area came up with their own unique brews, from Belgian Saisons to Imperial IPAs, using the Single State Malt and Single State Hop (SMaSH) sourced from upstate farms. Check out the full list of brewers and beers available at SimulTap and throughout the week.

Opening Bash Invitational
February 25, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (VIP: 5:30pm)
Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Brooklyn

The official kickoff party, the Opening Bash Invitational features over 45 domestic and international breweries with UNLIMITED TASTING. With just the price of admission, you’ll get to try some of the best beers in the world. There’s also a pop-up gastro garden to pair food and beer and fun surprises in store. General admission is just $55. VIP tickets, $70, get you in the door an hour early and free food all night. DD for the night? Just $12 gets you in (though no beer).

The NYC Fermentation Festival
February 25, 11am – 3:30pm
Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Brooklyn

Fermented foods have been with humanity ever since a farmer first left his wheat sitting out a little too long. 35,000 years later we are blessed with a huge selection of aged treats, from kimchi to Kombucha. These fermented foods will be celebrated at the first ever NYC Fermentation Festival. This family-friendly event will feature vendors sampling and selling fermented goods, seminars and demonstrations for the DIYer, fun educational events for kids, live music, representatives from NYC homebrewers and fermentation clubs, and more. And of course there will be beer! $20

When raising a glass just won’t do. via NYC Beer Week.

NYC Brewer’s Choice
March 1, 6pm – 9:30pm
Food Sciences Academy of LIU, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn

The premier event of the NYC Beer Week, NYC Brewer’s Choice is an evening of food and beer pairing brought to you by Beer Sessions Radio™, the Good Beer Seal, and the NYC Brewers Guild. Admission gets you access to over 40 specialty beers made just for this event and poured by the brewers themselves. On top of that are over a dozen chefs’ tables and vendors with cuisine from brisket to raw oysters. Get a full lineup of brewers and beer on the Eventbrite page. $80

The Second Annual Ruppert’s Cup Awards
March 4, 12pm – 3pm
Barcade, 388 Union Ave., Williamsburg

Beer Week ends with a big blowout where just one brewery will get bragging rights and the famed Ruppert’s Cup as recognition of being this NYC Beer Week’s Favorite New York State Brewery. Guild members will also honor the best bartender, best beer, best event, and more. Come cheer the winners while enjoying special collaboration beers, food trucks, and your favorite regional brewers amidst Pac Man and Galaga cabinets. Free admission — pay as you go with a portion of the proceeds going to the NYC Brewers Guild.

These are just the big-name events. NYC Beer Week has plenty more to offer, like classes, tastings, and tours at eclectic venues around the city. We’ve named some here to give you a taste of what’s ahead.

Beer Brewing Bootcamp
February 24, 6pm – 8pm
United By Blue, 245 Elizabeth St., Manhattan

Learn how to brew beer, try your hand at it, and taste some winter beer samples. (All proceeds benefit The NYC Brewers Guild & Just Food.) $45

NY Beer Week Kickoff at Coney Island Brewery
February 26, 12pm – 6pm
Coney Island Brewery, 1904 Surf Ave., Coney Island

Tour and taste new beers before they hit the market (and some brewery-only brews) at Brooklyn’s surf suds purveyor’s headquarters. $10

Homebrew Jamboree with Joshua Bernstein
February 26, 12pm – 3pm
Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th St., Manhattan

Taste beers from 16 homebrewers, curated by beer journalist Joshua Bernstein, paired with food from the kitchen at Jimmy’s No. 43. $35

Grimm/Interboro/KCBC/Other Half/Pipeworks
February 26, 12pm – 12am
The Well – 272 Meserole St., East Williamsburg

Some of Brooklyn’s newest and coolest breweries gather together to celebrate beer and talk brewing on a panel discussion. Keep an eye out for the tap list. Free admission.

Other Half, Industrial Arts, Threes
February 28, 3pm-4am
Blind Tiger – 281 Bleecker St., Manhattan

Three NYC breweries showcase their beers at this this homey West Village craft beer bar. Free admission.

Transmitter Brewing & Cheese Pairing Class
March 3, 7pm – 8:30pm
The Wine Lab, 1000 Dean St., Brooklyn

Anthony Accardi, owner and brewer of Transmitter Brewing, will show you the wonderful world of beer and cheese pairing — with plenty tastings of both. Surprise beers and cheeses might just make an appearance. $55

NYC Beer Week runs from February 24 until March 5 at venues throughout the city. See full list on the NYC Beer Week website and download their app (iPhone and Android), with schedules, beer trail guides, and more.

NYC Beer Week

Related: Long Island Craft Beer Guide

Nominations Open For Kings of Long Island Awards & Networking Event

Kings Of Long Island
Nominations are open for Star Network's 'Kings of Long Island' Awards & Networking Event at Leonard's Palazzo in Great Neck on April 6!
Kings Of Long Island
Nominations are open for Star Network’s ‘Kings of Long Island’ Awards & Networking Event at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck on April 6!

Do you know a ‘King?’

Do you know a top businessman on Long Island? Nominate them today for Star Network’s Kings of Long Island Awards and Networking event!

Join us on Thursday, April 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Leonard’s Palazzo (located at 555 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck) as we honor some of the top businessmen from Suffolk and Nassau counties for the work they do in their professions and their communities.

The event will include a cocktail hour for honorees and their guests, a business expo, dinner and award ceremony. Raffles will be sold throughout the night with the proceeds to benefit local charities.

Nominations are open for this incredible event. To nominate a King, visit starnetwork.com/nominate.

The Star Network, a division of Schneps Communications, brings the most powerful and active members of the community into one room through many targeted events. These provide face-to-face networking, as well as business building and branding opportunities.

Schneps Communications is also the proud owner of the Bethpage Best of Long Island contest. Nominations are now open.

For information on sponsorship opportunities, call Amy 718-224-5863, ext. 201, or email aamato@starnetwork.com