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Hanging with Javier and Gang on Long Island

October 24, 2008

After two days in New York City, Darius and the crew headed east to Long Island, where we met up with some friends of the cause.

Long Island is the home of Darius’s friend Javier. A lot of us stayed at Javier’s house as well as at his cousin Harry’s.

Javier was diagnosed with DMD a few years ago, and his parents Jennifer and Richie founded the non-profit Hope for Javier to combat the number-one genetic killer of children in the world. Hope for Javier works closely with Charley’s Fund, Darius Goes West’s beneficiary.

Our first day, Javier’s aunt Anastasia (to the right of Darius) took us to Sachem High School North. As we were walking in, there was a clatter in the halls: “Darius is here!” “Is he here?” “I think he’s here!”

When Darius walked out on-stage in front of a packed auditorium, the students gave him a HUGE ovation.

The school presented us with a check and students’ nickel-and-dime collection buckets. Major props to all the teachers, parents and students who helped put it together and who made our Long Island visit a great success.

They even coordinated local press! Thanks, Jen Pav, for hounding the media!

After the assembly, Sachem North treated us to lunch, where students got a chance to hang out with the crew and Darius. (Darius is the one completely surrounded by admirers.)

That night, we made our way to the campus of SUNY-Stonybrook for a screening at the Staller Center for the Arts. Stan Kozin, Javier’s aquatics teacher, brought out dozens of guys he knows from rugby. Long Island showed us the love, and our hosts hooked us up with delicious “Grandma” pizza. Plus, the screening offered us more time to hang out with Javier and his crew.

Here, Collin debates a hide-and-seek call with Javier and friend.

After a night recuperating, Darius and crew dropped by Sachem High School East to visit with students at another huge assembly.

Between the two high schools, Sachem students raised more than $2,000 for the cause!

Here, Daniel celebrates the donation in a (size small) Sachem East t-shirt.

After our stop at Sachem East, Darius, Javier and crew headed to Harbor Country Day School. At Harbor, Javier’s cousin Harry is a student.

Harbor students and teachers told us about lessons they learned from the movie: like friendship, perseverance, and love. But they taught us a lot, too. Student Winston, for example, pointed out how circles recur in the movie, symbolizing the friendship and support Darius and the guys gave each other during the trip.

Also, Harry tried (in vain) to convince crew member John Hadden that Long Island is east of Georgia.

Harbor wouldn’t let us leave without showering us with gifts, including a beautiful scallop shell. The scallop shell is one of HCDS’s most important symbols, because it represents the journey, charity, and the beach.

After a whirlwind two days on Long Island, Javier and family treated us to a dinner party with friends and supporters at Javier’s grandparents’ breathtaking house on the Sound.

It was a great wrap-up to a fantastic two days with Javy and gang.

Thanks so much, Jennifer, Richie, Anastasia, Dave, Harry, Javier, Jen Pav, Stan, and everyone else who made our Long Island stay so memorable. We’ll be back, Long Island!

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9 Responses to “Hanging with Javier and Gang on Long Island”

  1. On October 25th, 2008, Tim Johnson said:

    You go, Harry!
    Head of the Harbor (home of Harbor Country Day School) is 10 degrees east of Athens:
    Head of the Harbor Longitude: -73.15833
    Athens Longitude: -83.378

    Know about it!

  2. On October 27th, 2008, Jen Pav said:

    The Long Islanders want to thank you guys who brought the spirit and all good things to us! Good luck, hope to see you all soon :) Jen

  3. On October 27th, 2008, Jen said:

    you gave us hope and raised awareness in such a positive way; we haven’t felt this amazing in a long time. we are having mad D withdrawal and are counting the days until we have you back with us this spring. safe travels and see y’all real soon. all our love, jen, rich, javier, stasia, dave, harry and every other person who was lucky enough to have met the crew!

  4. On October 29th, 2008, Allison said:


    Thanks so much for visiting the Sachem High Schools ! You are all considered a celebrity here at Sachem North! Many of the students went and bought DVD’s afterwards. We were all affected by the film in such a big way ! You really gave us such awareness on DMD.

    Thank You guys again for visiting us ! And we can’t wait until your next visit to Long Island !

    Good Luck with the rest of your trip !
    Sachem North

  5. On October 30th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Thank you guys so much for coming to the Sachem
    you guys have made a huge impact to the students.
    I am so glad that i was one of the lucky students who gto to spend time with you after the assembly at
    North. All of my friends were mad at me because i got to hang out with all of you and they didn’t. Thank you again for coming you realy made an impact on me!

    We hope to see you soon!
    Rachel =]
    -Sachem North

  6. On November 3rd, 2008, Kristen said:

    Thank you guys for comming to sachem schools.. you have definetly impact all of sachem. I wish you all luck in reaching your goal with DVDs and I hope they find a cure soon =D . I know you have definetly impact me!
    Thanks again for comming to my school
    Sachem East

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