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Sweet Valentine’s Day Soirée

Everything came together as the Friends of Raynham Hall Museum held their Valentine’s Day gala at the Piping Rock Club on Feb. 14. It celebrated that Oyster Bay is the home of the first recorded Valentine: in 1779 British occupying commander Lt. Col. John Graves Simcoe of the Queen’s Rangers gave it to the American Sarah Townsend, 19. The funds raised will benefit their new education center in the Lincoln Building at 30 West Main St. and the museum campus.

Guests came prepared to bid on the well-chosen silent action items, with a sweetheart theme as well as the successful live auction, which ended with the opportunity to donate funds to bring bus loads of fourth-grade students from cash strapped districts to come and learn about the American Revolution.

Patricia Pulling Sands was honored for her work for the museum over the years, including chairing the development committee, which is spearing heading the capital campaign project. The museum board and the Town of Oyster Bay, with the help of a grant from the Main Street Association, are creating a museum campus to better educate the public on the many stories the house has to tell; and to add to the critical mass that makes Oyster Bay a destination location. She said they tried to get the Lincoln Market building in the ‘70s but it took until now for all the pieces in the puzzle to come together in what will be an education center. She credited those women whose work created the museum we know today: Sarah Delano Redman, Ethel Roosevelt Derby and Bertha Rose among others.

Honoree John Bonifacio, Main Street Association of Oyster Bay president, is also on the board of the Friends of Raynham Hall. He said, “It’s nice wearing the two hats. I believe in both missions: that we can keep the RHM vision of having an education center. It will totally add to the culture and history and attractions of the downtown, and to its vibrancy.” He added, “I am an educator; I love history.”

Meredith Maus, MSA executive director, commented that Oyster Bay groups work together and, “It’s a great atmosphere to further and initiate projects and it’s a boon to work with the Town of Oyster Bay.”

Carol Silva, Master of Ceremonies, appreciates Oyster Bay and values Raynham Hall Museum. She said of Oyster Bay, “It is a place of living history… The 26th President said it was good enough for him and it’s good enough for me.” Silva said she and Cathy Reed, her Girl Scout co-leader, took their troop for a Haunted Tour of Raynham Hall.

Silva said that in 1740 Samuel Townsend left Jericho to establish his homestead in Oyster Bay, where he owned an apple orchard and a meadow that led down to the water. “In this 117-year-old house we know that this was where the ‘good’ spy ring, the George Washington Spy Ring’s spy Robert Townsend, was from.” That gives another reason for RHM fame.

Silva added, “Thousands of fourth-graders come to visit the house to learn, among other things, that in 1861, they had the only kitchen in Oyster Bay with running water. [There were no indoor bathrooms at that time.]”

Michael Goudket, dressed in an historic Revolutionary War uniform introduced the final section of the Live Auction. He thanked the guests for their support of the museum, where his job is to take fourth-graders through the museum. “If you could see their faces as they hear of the ghosts and the Red Coats in this 22-room museum.” But he said there are school districts that can’t afford to being their students to the museum because of their tapped out budgets.

With that, auctioneer Gordie asked for donations of $1,000 to sponsor a bus, and at each response Goudket tipped his hat in thanks. The amount asked went to $500, and $250 with a request for whatever guests wanted to donate. The funds came along swiftly.

This was another great gala evening to remember with grand friends, great food, an important cause all in a welcoming location. For more information about the museum please call 516-922-6808.

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

Mammography Van

Thursday, July 17

History Walk

Saturday, July 19

Dessert in a Jar

Monday, July 21



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