Oyster Festival 2001 co-Chair George Meyer, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, NY Islanders VP Paul Lancey and NYS Senator Carl Marcellino.
When the New York Islanders hold their first home game on Oct. 13, they will be touting the Oyster Festival. A new 670 foot halo score board that wraps completely around the Nassau Coliseum arena will promote the Oyster Festival, said Paul Lancey, NY Islanders senior vice president. Renovating has enabled them to upgrade their luxury seating, promenade and club seating.
At the festival, the Islanders will have their slap shot booth, promotional items and will sell Islander's merchandise to fans. The NY Islanders pennant will be flown over the bark Europa as it enters Oyster Bay Harbor for the Oct. 13 and 14 Oyster Festival.
"There is a great synergy between the Islanders, the Oyster Festival and the community," said Mr. Lancey.
More than that the festival is the third candle on Charles Wang's cake. On Wednesday, Aug. 29, he won the takeover fight at Computer Associates; center Michael Peca, formerly with the Buffalo Sabres, was signed on; and the Islander's sponsorship of the Oyster Festival was officially announced. "It's a triple," said Mr. Lancey.
He credited Abraham Poznanski of Northern Bay Management of Oyster Bay for bringing the Oyster Festival to his attention. He said, NY Islanders owner "Charles Wang is a local resident, a supporter of Long Island and a supporter of the town, all good reasons to be involved in welcoming a quarter of a million visitors that are expected to attend this year's Oyster Festival 2001." Mr. Wang is also the major real estate owner in the hamlet of Oyster Bay with the number of properties now in the high '70s. Islanders co-owner, Sanjay Kumar of Computer Associates is a resident of Upper Brookville, another good neighbor of Oyster Bay.
Rotary past president Tom Reardon, co-chair of Oyster Fest 18, was shucking oysters as the dignitaries arrived for the press conference held near the flagpole on the sea wall at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Beach.
Among them was Gerry Hart, a NY Islanders alumnus, who said, "I'm delighted that the Islanders are involved in such a terrific community affair like the Oyster Festival. I think this is consistent with the ownership of the Islanders.
"When Charles and Sanjay acquired the team they made a commitment to Long Island not only to provide the fans of Long Island with a competitive hockey team, but to also involve players, former and present in community activities. The Oyster Festival being one of the biggest events on Long Island; it's important for the Islanders to have an involvement with it," he said.
He is the owner/operator of The Rinx at Hidden Pond Park, LI's largest multi-purpose recreational facility, including ice rinks, swimming pools, fitness center with programs that include ice skating, hockey, figure skating and more.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said, for the Oct. 13 and 14 festival, the TR Beach will be used to expand the space for the event. He said, "The Rotary Club plans on extending the oyster eating and shucking events, showmobile and booth into Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Oyster Bay Harbor to ease some of the congestion in the hamlet's center. They're also working with the Nassau County Police Department to step up enforcement of the 'open container' law, to prohibit attendees from carrying alcoholic beverages in the street after complaints of alcohol consumption by attendees last year.
"The Oyster Bay Rotary Club has displayed outstanding dedication and commitment to the 2001 Oyster Festival," he said.
Supervisor Venditto said, 'The Rotary Club has also expanded the Oyster Festival Committee to include a broader representation of the community including: George Meyer, festival co-chair and president of OB Rotary; Tom Reardon, festival co-chair and past Rotary president; James Cammarata, Cammarata & Crown attorney at law and counsel for festival; Len Rothberg, Event Marketing Group; Rotarian NYS Senator Carl Marcellino; Susan Manno, Fleet Bank; Les Marbles, Pine Island Etch & Sign; Ben Jankowski, Locomotive 35; Beverly Zembko, president of the OBEN school board and Oyster Bay Cooperative Playschool; Rob Crafa, director of The Waterfront Center; Rotarian Judy Wasilchuk, Cove Point Realty; Diane Grochocki, State Bank of Long Island; Rotarian Captain Steve Williams, NCPD; Rotarian Angela Koenig, Oyster Bay Guardian; Rotarian David Wagner, Oyster Bay Manor; Tom Schwind, Schwind Electric. Also on the committee are Rotary members: Mel Warren, Milton Zipper, Debra Goyena, T.J. Johnson, Surinder Wadyal, Richard Farley, Tullio Donisi; Harry Pinkerton, Toni Castelli, Pierre Marchais and Tom Finn."
Sponsors for the event include, besides the NY Islanders; State Bank of Long Island, LIPA, Frank M. Flower & Sons, Inc. oyster company; Hoffman Chiropractic; VoiceStream and the New York State Lottery. For information about being a sponsor, please call Len Rothberg at 631-851-1922, ext. 16 for information.
If you are interested in volunteering for the festival, please contact the Oyster Bay Rotary Club at 628-1625.