The Thunderbolts 35th Anniversary Celebration – Ring of Honor Inductees

Achievements, Blog, Community, The Nassau Thunderbolts

Mary C Hodge:


Mary C. Hodge is truly one of a kind, hard-working , full of enthusiasm, high personal and professional standards, caring, determined and loved by all who know her! She created the idea of a team with Howie & Greg in September 1988 and approached then Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director at the time, Bob McGuire and Karen Geller-Hittleman with her proposal.

Mary helped formalize a team name & logo after meeting with Department Head of Leisure Services and Director of Adult Day Services & received approval to start this team.  She was instrumental in formalizing team rules /practice schedules and fund raisers such as the infamous “Pastabilities.” Mary guided the transition from Track and Field to Boccia in 1997 as athletes got older and we required a different type of sport as we were not as competitive in track/field anymore.

Mary helped host the World Boccia Championships in 1988 along with many staff from CP Nassau. She has traveled allover the world and was invited to meet President Obama at the White House. Amazing to report, Mary successfully planned for, and competed with the team, in 29 years of National competitions around the country – this includes- hotels/ flights/ planning travel across the country and all logistics on ground.  As we have learned air travel can be a huge challenge for individuals with disabilities, especially a team with so much equipment.

Barbara Seamon:


In the early 1990’s Barbara was the first woman to join the team competing in track and field. Barbar a was a great competitor and when the team decided to change to playing Boccia, Barbara stayed and played with the team for many years as its first woman Boccia player.

Barbara won many medals representing the team & agency in both sports and retired once she started working fulltime-it is the teams honor to induct Barbara in to the Nassau Thunderbolts Ring of Honor.


Greg Wittine:


On that same Saturday in 1988 that I reference with Howie – we all talked about a team logo. Greg recommended the logo that was on the front of the building on the red brick wall- it was a shield with a bolt running through the middle and it had the letters C & P on either side of the bolt- Greg then spelled on his spell board what about Thunderbolts – at the time there was no such word and the team’s name was born.

Greg was also one of the first athletes along with Howie that represented the team and agency at many track & field competitions & once we started to play Boccia – many Boccia tournaments winning many medals-it is the teams honor to induct Greg posthumously into the Nassau Thunderbolts Ring of Honor.

Howie Cohen:

On a Saturday in September 1988 Howie, myself and Greg decided we should make this sport group a team. We talked about a name and Howie suggested the Turtles- not very fast or competitive sounding we decided on the Thunderbolts (I will explain more when I talk about Greg). In 1988 we competed in track & field only. Howie was instrumental as one of the first athletes on the team to progress towards a serious, competitive (not just for fun) team.

Howie represented the team & agency in many track & field competitions and Boccia competitions. He won many medals in both and was one of the first athletes to compete Internationally in Boccia- it is the teams honor to induct Howie posthumously into the Nassau Thunderbolts Ring of Honor.

Ken Siderine:

Ken was one of the first field coaches – he worked very hard until the team merged to Boccia. Ken was then one of the first Boccia Coaches to travel Internationally with our athletes. Ken was also the first coach to volunteer to drive the athlete’s equipment and luggage across the country so the athletes do not need to worry about anything on their way to competition.  Ken was always a fantastic representative of the agency and team helping other athletes around the country -at one point he was the Boccia Throwing leading the country= it is the teams honor to induct Ken into the Nassau Thunderbolts Ring of Honor

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As part of our ongoing Legislative efforts, Assistant Executive Director Peter Dolan has reached out to Assemblyman Mike Durso throughout the year and visited with him in his local office in Massapequa Park.