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Opening Day At Sagamore Yacht Club

On Sunday, May 22, a perfect day, overlooking beautiful Oyster Bay Harbor, the officers and members of Sagamore Yacht Club gathered together to celebrate Opening Day and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Sagamore Club House.

As is the custom, Immediate Past Commodore, Darren Martin, conducted the proceedings.

Commodore Martin welcomed Past Commodores, officers, members, friends, family and visiting dignitaries to the 70th commissioning or opening day of Sagamore Yacht Club.

Gold Star Member, the Reverend Jean Butler, presented the invocation, which is the formal start of the Commissioning Day ceremonies.

Commodore Martin then thanked First Lady Georgia Gehrling and Captain Billy Friedman and his staff for putting together this wonderful day. He welcomed back Erin Van Dyke, a former launch driver, who is now Sagamore’s new food and bar manager.

The distinguished group of Past Commodores, dating back to 1991, a period of 23 years of leadership, were introduced and invited to stand up front. They are Commodores Joe Gentile, Len Hecht, Rich Benson, Chris Lorenzen, Greg Bradley, Dave Roach and Rob Casale.

The hard-working, dedicated trustees were then introduced and invited to come forward: Tony Miraglia, Ken Deering, Keith Swanson, Bill Mullan, Ray Wulff, Jeanne Lafiteau, Bill Peterson, and Alan Schaub.

The current officers of the Bridge were introduced: Treasurer Constantine Baris, Secretary Deanna Flanagan, Rear Commodore Kevin Curry, Vice Commodore Gerald Lalonde and Commodore Michael Gehrling.

The ceremonies concluded with the raising of the official flags.

This year the club had the honor of having two special groups who have joined to act as their flag detail. They brought forth the Union Jack, which was then raised by Jeanne and Bill Robinson, the club’s longest standing members.

The Past Commodore flag was raised by Denise and Cristine Casale; the Rear Commodore flag was raised by Pamela and Glenn Shorr; the Vice Commodore flag was raised by Marilyn and Ralph Pagano; the Commodore flag was raised by Scout Leader Kelly Gallo and Scout Master Charles Corso.

The honor of raising the SYC Burgee went to  Jaclyn and Jason Siegel.

Christine Casale, daughter of Past Commodore Rob Casale, came forward to sing the National Anthem, having just sung it at Citi Field to open the Mets/Braves game.

Past Commodore Martin called the assembly to attention . All were asked to hold a breast salute until the cannon sounded and the National Anthem was over.

The National Ensign was then raised by the Scouts. This was the end of the formal commissioning ceremonies.

Commodore Mike Gehrling then addressed the membership. He thanked the hard working volunteers who help run the club, introduced the committee chair persons and then introduced the guests who participated in the opening day affair:

Representing the Oyster Bay Sail and Power Squadron, Senior Commander Elena Budkina, SN; Troop Leader, Oyster Bay Girl Scout Troop # 220, Kelly Gallo; leader of the Sea Scouts, Ship # 12, Charles Corso; Commissioner of Nassau County Bay Constables Michael Craft, unable to attend, sent greetings wishing all a safe and fun filled season.

The SYC club house officially opened 50 years ago with Town Supervisor Thomas Pynchon cutting the ribbon at the ceremony. At the rededication on this day, Michael Venditto, Nassau County Legislator for the 12th district came up to the podium to read a rededication plaque. Commander Gehrling then presented him with a SYC Burgee.

The Commodore concluded by saying, “We as officers and board members for the 2014 season hereby accept your faith and trust and we shall endeavor to manage this club with respectability to past traditions and a sense of well-being for all our members. I believe we are establishing the opportunity for this club to be here another 50 years.”

Following the commissioning, the members and guests enjoyed an excellent meal.