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Little Neck parade group gives canes to veterans

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The members of the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Organization wanted to do a little something extra for Queens’ veterans this year.

Sure, the group already organizes and puts on one of the nation’s largest Memorial Day Parades, complete with an interfaith service, arts and essay contest for neighborhood schoolchildren and several fund-raisers, including this year’s golf outing and community awards brunch.

But now the parade group has reached out to a Little Neck native and arranged for the donation of 100 specially designed canes to be distributed to veterans throughout the borough.

Victor Mimoni of Douglaston, spokesman for the parade group, said “everyone who has seen this cane or used this cane loves it.”

The cane was invented by a doctor from Long Island and Arthur Greene, who grew up in Little Neck, and features a design that includes a lightweight, flexible rubber base which makes the cane easier to maneuver and handle. The cane was invented about 2 1/2 years ago and sells for about $40, Greene said.

Another advantageous feature of the special cane, Greene said, is that if it falls over, the person using it can bring it back upright by stepping on the base, thereby avoiding any bending over or stooping.

Jim Rodgers, chairman of the parade group, said donating the canes was the first step toward increasing the organization’s presence in the community.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “This is a home run.”

One of the group’s long-term goals is to become an organization that helps veterans year round by buying and donating durable medical goods, such as the canes, Rodgers said. Eventually the group wants to be able to purchase motorized wheelchairs for veterans in need.

Greene, who eventually moved to Stamford, Conn., said he did not hesitate to help the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade.

“There was no question,” said Greene of his donation to the parade group. “I just wanted to give something back.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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