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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

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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