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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

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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