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About Us: 

Our daughter Emily is one of thousands of children with special needs living on Long Island.  Since her birth in 1996 she has required special assistance in all areas of daily activities.  She began Early Intervention at the age of one and continues to attend schools for developmentally disabled children.  In 1999 she began attending The Hagedorn Little Village School, Jack Joel Center in Bellmore, NY.  This school has been a source of solace for us and for hundreds of other families with children of similar needs.  We came to think of the school as an extension of our family.  Little Village's goal is to enable each child to achieve his or her highest potential educationally, emotionally and socially.  This is accomplished by combining educational and supportive services for families and an ongoing educational/therapeutic program for the children. Little Village's school-based program and ancillary services provide support to over 500 families annually throughout Long Island.  The philosophy of the organization is to provide the finest educational and therapeutic services for infants and young children who have developmental disabilities.  These may include cognitive delays, emotional disturbances, autism, neurological, speech-language, orthopedic impairments and/or multiple handicaps. Education and therapeutic programs are designed to guide each child toward achieving his/her highest potential socially, educationally and emotionally.  

When the Bellmore School District notified the school that it needed to relocate, many parents joined in the hunt and ultimately the construction of the school at the former Massapequa General Hospital site in Seaford, NY.  It is a work in progress with many families continuing to make vital contributions to this fine school.  We too, looked for a special way to contribute to this effort.  The Carman Foundation for Children was established in 2000 for the sole purpose of raising the awareness in our community that there are many families affected by a child or children with disabilities.  Each of us in our own way, has found a way to make our child’s stay there a little more special and look for ways to make the experience for those who follow as special as ours has been.  In 2000 we organized a fundraiser that was fully embraced by the school.  The Sleepy Hollow Charity 5K Run/Walk was launched.  Through the generosity of so many people, we continue to host and enjoy a remarkable event.  Proceeds from this event are donated to the school to provide support for disabled children and their families.  

This year we’ve added HorseAbility, a therapeutic riding and hippotherapy program as a benefactor.  Located in Melville, NY this organization provides horseback instruction and therapy to disabled children and adults.  Emily began riding in 2005 as her special “after-school sport” as her disabilities barred her from traditional community programs. From her very first ride on a large, gentle horse named “Romeo”, a special connection was forged.  Responsibility, instruction, stamina and most of all – joy – all came together 

HorseAbility relies heavily on donations to maintain their programs; donations of horses, feed, volunteers and money.  Witnessing so many children mirror the joy Emily has from riding, we decided to help this program by including them in our 5K event.  Won’t you help, too? 

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