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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

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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