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Oyster Bay Community Support

George and Abby O’Neill once again opened their beautiful home and expansive garden to guests at their annual benefit for their organization, the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay. This was the 47th year the benefit took place at the estate on Sunset Road in Oyster Bay.

The garden party was held on May 31 with close to 300 guests in attendance, sponsored by Charles and Helen Dolan.

“Welcome to paradise,” said Joseph Donohue, president of the foundation, speaking to the guests. “I want to thank George and Abby O’Neill for allowing us to enjoy their garden again this year, a garden that is not only the nicest in Oyster Bay, or Long Island...but probably one of the nicest gardens in America.”

Commenting on the number guests in attendance, Donohue said, “This a crowd that beats all of our prior crowds.”

He thanked the attendees for their support of the community foundation and noted that co-chairs Susan Sheeline and Christie McNicol “really are the powers that drive this kind of afternoon.”

The foundation has a board of trustees who all volunteer their time. He expressed thanks for the amount of work put in by Leslie Armstrong, and mentioned honored guests Sen. Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Michael Montesano, who both attended the party. A representative from County Executive Edward Mangano’s office was also present.

Donohue said, “They are the ones we can lobby for more support of the organizations that we support.”

The foundation began in 1965 and benefits several local organizations, including the Life Enrichment Center, Main Street Association, the Youth and Family Counseling Agency, the Hispanic Cultural Center of Oyster Bay, the WaterFront Center, the Bullock Horizons Program and the Parent-Child Home Program. The foundation raises a significant portion of their annual goal of $200,000 from the benefit party as well as through an annual appeal for donations. Each of the organizations that receive money from the Community Foundation present their needs to the board every year, and Donohue says they really listen and try to meet those needs as best they can.

“We really abide by the mission statement of ‘doing what we can to improve life in Oyster Bay,’” Donohue told the Enterprise-Pilot. “We are the foundation of the community of Oyster Bay.”

The Dolans underwrite all of the expenses for the garden party, helping to make the foundation what Donohue calls “the most efficient charity.”

Guests mingled and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on a beautiful late spring evening in the immense garden. Donohue drove home the point that the donations really do benefit the community, as the money stays within a 10 mile radius.

 Silvana La Ferlita Gullo, executive director of the Life Enrichment Center, said, “It was such a pleasure to meet Abby O’Neill; she was at the forefront of getting affordable housing for seniors into the community, 30 years ago, and had such foresight. I hadn’t realized before how many services the O’Neills had launched...it really is a wonderful organization that serves a worthy purpose.”

News

Building J at Oyster Bay’s Western Waterfront is again up and running as the Ida May Project builds the 40-passenger oyster boat that will be operated by the WaterFront Center. The Ida May Project of the Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corp. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve Oyster Bay maritime heritage by involving the community in traditional boat building.

Bill Shephard, Herb Scheirhorst, President Clint Smith and Project Manager Hank Tiska were there on a recent Thursday. Smith had left at around 2 p.m. to get a part he had at home they needed to fix the tractor they use to move the logs they cut to size in their saw mill. Fixing their equipment and cutting logs are some of the many projects that encompass the work.

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, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. 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.


Sports

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the 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

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



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