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Boys & Girls Club Spring Luncheon

Bayville’s Crescent Beach Club was the place to be on Thursday, June 5, when the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Boys and Girls Club and Bahnik Youth Center hosted the Annual Spring Luncheon. About 125 guests were there at 11 a.m., when the event began with the opening of 16 boutiques. As appetizers were served, guests browsed through unique articles for sale: artisan soaps, sea-themed serving trays, toys, baked delights, books about teddy bears, handmade jewelry, elegant gifts, and much more.

Author-illustrator Kathleen Bart had a boutique table covered with her picture books about teddy bears. A Tale of Two Teddies, Bart’s first book, tells the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting trip in November 1902. Roosevelt, known as Teddy, refused to shoot a trapped bear cub. It inspired one man to hand-sew a small bear and put it in a store window. Roosevelt granted him permission to call it a Teddy Bear. Her boutique area was crowded with book lovers and T.R. lovers alike. For more, see Kathleen Bart’s website at kathleenbart.com

Patricia Marcellino, Ed.D. was among the guests. Her spouse, Senator Carl Marcellino, was unable to attend, but they both support the club and its programs. Patricia said, “It is a very worthwhile organization, and even in the rain we see a great turnout today. It’s because people believe in the mission of the Boys and Girls Club, especially here in Oyster Bay-East Norwich.”  

Guests moved into the banquet room where a delicious lunch was being served.  As they settled in, Lori Bahnik, who is the co-president of the board of trustees of the Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich and the Bahnik Youth Center, took the stage.

Bahnik said, “I was worried when I saw the rain. I thought it would be a nice day to do all my things inside, but I was so happy to come here and be with all of you.”

She talked about a hard-working single mother of 8-year-old twins who barely makes ends meet.

“The mother has to work, and her girls have been coming to us, but she did not know what she would do in the summer. Thanks to all of you and your generosity, we have been able to get the children a scholarship for summer camp. This is one way you help our members. Thank you for being here today and for supporting the Boys and Girls Club.”

Bahnik presented flowers to the event co-chairs Marie Bahnik and Ewa Litke.

Copies of a Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich publication called “Scrapbook History of Programs for Youth 1952-1998” were available for guests’ perusal. The club went through many false starts, including the OBEN Youth Association, a short YMCA affiliation, and the OBEN Youth Council, finally becoming the Boys and Girls Club in 1990. The publication is full of articles from local newspapers on the small place for teens that became a beautiful space for kids of all ages to be safe, learn, and thrive. Throughout the years, many people have given time, energy and support to the club, and they are profiled in the publication.

The Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich and The Bahnik Youth  Center are at 1 Pine Hollow Rd., Oyster Bay. For information on the club, programs, and how to contribute, call 516-922-9285, or visit www.bgcoben.org.