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Masquerade Party A Smashing Success

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.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

Showing off Daphne’s spotted collar, Joyce commented, “She is a Greek Goddess masquerading as a Dalmatian.”

Then he showed off his rhinestone rings that he made and laughed, “And I’m Elton John.”

When asked why they decided to go with the masquerade—which was a huge hit with the guests, many of whom were in costume—Joyce replied, “The purpose of the masquerade is that it is fanciful. This house is built in a fanciful style and looks like it is 400 years old, but it’s not. The gardens here pretend to be English gardens, but they are on Long Island so there are all of these themes of wanting or wishing to be someone you are not; that’s why it is nice to wear a mask. You can be who ever you want to be.”

Just then the family of Raciborskis entered the garden. There was Ania from Locust Valley sporting Angel wings, looking very much like a Victoria Secret model. Glen Cove residents Greg and Catherine Raciborski were dressed as Mozart and a peacock.

Waving her peacock fan and showing off her gems, Catherine commented, “We come here annually and we love it. I actually had a birthday party in this garden that I won in a silent auction. We love coming here every year because it is a wonderful way to spend the evening strolling around the gardens and the mansion. Tonight I am a peacock because I wanted to be the bell of the ball and my husband is Mozart, but some people think he is George Washington. “

Joining the group was Dr. Mary Ann Rosman of Mineola sporting a silver mask and short black dress.

“I have attended these parties every year and Henry Joyce always throws the most fabulous parties at Coe Hall. It is a spectacular evening and one of the highlights of the summer,” said Rosman.

Celebrating her 75th birthday was Barbara Mayer-Roberts and her husband Stewart of Mill Neck wearing a cowboy hat. “I told my husband that for my 75th birthday, which I am still in awe of, that I want to celebrate my birthday here. I am so happy I made it and what a great way to celebrate it.”

As champagne corks popped, guests mingled around the buffet table adorned with beautiful flowers. The food was excellent. Silver chaffing dishes were filled with shrimp, crab legs and every type of hors d’oeuvres. Nearby a chef was grilling steak kabobs and hamburger sliders. Guests sat down at tables decorated with hot pink and zebra cloths, a nod to their new exhibit.

Many times people become friends at the garden, such as Jessica Vandenburg from California and Glen Cove resident Grace Acati, originally from Mexico. Vandenburg was an artist painting the gardens and Acati came by. They struck up a conversation and have been best friends ever since. This is their first time attending the party.

“This is fabulous. I love the outdoors and the architecture,” Acati said of the party, adding with a laugh,“I have been coming here for so long that this is like my first house.”

Levittown residents Marie Contino and her daughter, Valerie took in the decorations. “I think this is beautiful. I have been here a few times and it’s always eventful for everyone. The people are very courteous and the flowers are gorgeous. Inside the house is very interesting and there is a lot you can learn each time you come here.”

Valerie added, “I think it’s a very calming place to be and it’s a great place to take a stroll through the trails and relax and enjoy the day.”

Yoshie Kendgo of Port Washington, originally from Japan, was with her dancing partner sporting a straw hat, Jay Caruso of Rockville Centre.  

“This is gorgeous and the music is wonderful,” commented Kendgo.

Caruso agreed, “This is my first visit to Coe Hall and the champagne party. I am loving every second of it and I don’t know where to look first. My eyes don’t know where to go, everything is so beautiful. The food is great, the music is great and everyone is so kind. We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.”

Next to the loggia was an outdoor tent complete with a dance floor, a DJ and a band. They heated up the night with great music and a saxophone player coaxed everyone on to the dance floor, where they partied the night away. Then Maurice Jauredui of Locust Valley, who was celebrating his 47th birthday, took birthday girl Barbara Roberts for a spin on the dance floor. The DJ called her to the center and all of the guests surrounded her and sang “Happy Birthday,” making it a very special night for her.

Wiping the sweat from his brow from dancing the night away, Jauredui summed up the night with what everyone was feeling, “This party is always a rocking good time!”

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

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.


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