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Letter: A Note of Appreciation

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, a festive program on Farmingdale’s Village Green featured the holiday lighting of the Tri-centennial Tree. This blue spruce tree was planted following the Tri-centennial of Settlement commemoration of 1987, which noted the community’s 300th year since the arrival of first settler Thomas Powell in 1687. The historical society has been a proud co-sponsor of the event since it was first held in 1989.

Although the program took only a half-hour, many people cooperated to make this 22nd annual tree lighting possible. The members of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society join with the community in thanking them. They include:

* Village of Farmingdale Mayor George Starkie, the Village Board of Trustees, and the Village DPW under the leadership of Andy Fisch. The Mayor enthusiastically conducted the actual tree-lighting ceremony with the help of many eager youngsters. The DPW staff did an outstanding job of decorating the tree despite harsh late November weather.

*The Village of Farmingdale Beautification Committee, led by Deputy Mayor Pat Christiansen, who decorated the Village Green and Gazebo so beautifully, in addition to numerous other Village areas, resulting in a scene evocative of a Norman Rockwell painting.

*The Fine Arts and Audio-Visual Departments of the Farmingdale Public Schools, including the respective directors Rita Padden and Barbara Pandolfo; music lead teacher Ed Kozlowski; and audio visual technician Jeff Pritzker, who set up and manned the public address system.

*Joan Drewes, director of the fourth and fifth grade chorus of Saltzman East Memorial School, and her chorus members for their beautiful performance.

*The Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the South Shore Brass Ensemble, a highly talented group which has provided an instrumental sparkle to all 22 tree-lightings over the years.

*Brad DeMilo, director of the Farmingdale Pops, who “emceed” the program in his inimitable and engaging manner, and who played a vital role in planning and developing the program.

*JoAnne Bihary, hospitality chair of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society, who took on a new role this year in providing refreshments in Village Hall following the tree-lighting program, and who was ably assisted by Joseph Carosella Sr. and Robert Deignan of the FBHS.

*Finally, we thank the members of the community who attended the event. The officers, trustees, and members of the FBHS wish all a happy and safe holiday season!

Mildred Johnston, President of


Historical Society