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Going the distance

Skateboarder, new stamps feted in NY

Chad Caruso watches Frank Calabrese, manager of the Postal Service’s New York District 2, try his hand at the art of skateboarding.

An unusual event in West Babylon, NY, was part Art of the Skateboard stamp promotion, part local hero celebration.

Special guest Chad Caruso, a native of nearby Lindenhurst, NY, recently completed a 3,000-mile solo skateboarding trek from Venice Beach, CA, to Virginia Beach, VA, an achievement that made him a Guinness world record holder.

Amy Gibbs, a USPS strategic communications specialist who spoke at the event, drew many parallels between the worlds of sports and mail.

“Sports, like mail delivery, involves speed, persistence and global influence,” Gibbs said.

She pointed out that since 1981, the Postal Service has issued 92 sports-related stamps, in addition to 70 Olympics-themed stamps.

This “tribute to athleticism” makes sense because some letter carriers walk up to 14 miles a day, she said. “That is literally doing more than half a marathon every single workday.”

Gibbs also saw parallels between the many connections Caruso made with locals across the nation to those made by postal workers with their customers, both binding communities together.

“These stamps were released on March 24, the same day that Chad embarked on his journey,” said Frank Calabrese, New York 2 District manager.

Calabrese pointed out that Caruso’s future mother-in-law, Donna Ryan, works at the West Babylon Post Office.

“We are truly honored to soon have Chad Caruso in the postal family, and we are truly honored that he has chosen to spend the morning with us.”

With that, Calabrese presented the skateboarder with framed artwork of the stamp.

Caruso and USPS have another connection in common: giving back. The skateboarder donated a portion of the funds he raised from his trek to Natural High, a youth addiction prevention program.