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Local Vet Receives Scholarship

When Antoine Robinson enlisted in the National Guard in the summer of 2011, he was homeless and wanted to find a way out. Joining the military seemed like the best option, and now, just a few years later, it’s proved to be an even greater decision than he could have imagined: Robinson was selected to receive 4-year scholarship to Vassar College, an opportunity that he was not even looking for.

“It came out of nowhere—I was completely blindsided,” says Robinson. “And it’s changed the course of my life.”

 

This fall, Robinson, who has lived in Glen Cove for about a year and a half, will continue his education and study fine art at Vassar, as part of The Posse Foundation’s Veterans initiative, which was launched in 2012 in an effort to increase the college-going and graduation rates of veterans. He says when he first heard of the opportunity, he didn’t think “it applied to someone like me.”

 

Just 20 military veterans from across the country have been selected to attend Vassar and Wesleyan colleges next year as part of the initiative.

 

“The men and women who have served our country in the military deserve the opportunity of a top-rate education, and at the same time colleges benefit from having students with this type of diverse experience and background,” says Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial.  

 

The initiative is supported in part through $2,300,000 in sponsorships; global software company Infor was the founding sponsor of the initiative. Every year, the Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains multicultural teams of 10 veterans and sends them to selective four-year institutions of higher education. The Posse Scholarships complement scholarships through the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon funding to allow each Veterans Posse Scholar to attend college tuition-free and receive support through to graduation.

 

When Robinson enlisted with the National Guard,  he received training in Fort Jackson and Fort Lee, which has helped him get a steady job as a generator technician. His passion, however, is art; he attended Molloy College on a partial scholarship in 2007 for art

before enlisting. A single father of a daughter who is now 6, he spent most of his earlier college career as a single father balancing the demands of a full course schedule with the necessity of working a stable job. Although he maintained a 3.2 GPA, the battle of competing priorities drove him to the brink of homelessness and forced him to put his college education on hold. 

 

He says being in the National Guard has taught him “how to be a leader, how to be a better person. It’s taught me to be focused and stay motivated.”

 

Robinson’s leadership abilities were quickly recognized by his superior officers during basic training. He was asked to be the platoon leader and serve as a guiding hand for the soldiers in his unit and was named Soldier of the Year in 2012.  

 

Now, Robinson has a new opportunity to finance his education and recommit to his passion of art.

 

He says he is very excited to start at Vassar in the fall. “It’s an amazing opportunity,” he says, noting however, “Nothing good comes without sacrifice.”

 

For more information on The Posse Foundation visit www.possefoundation.org


News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

The Mayor’s Annual Snapper Derby had plenty of kids, fish and fun on the Pryibil Beach Pier in Glen Cove this past Saturday. On the pier were lots of parents and children fishing for prizes. Below the pier the snappers in the water were only too happy to cooperate with the children trying to catch them. For a while it looked like the children were “catching” and not fishing.


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com