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Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Celebrates Launch of Summer 2010

It was a perfect summer night, on Thursday, June 17 as friends and supporters of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (OBRM) gathered at the Sagamore Yacht Club to usher in their “Fourth Annual Summer Solstice Celebration.” It also marked the launch of the Museum’s new website The annual fundraiser actually took place four days before the major celestial event marking the longest day, and shortest night of the year. This minor anomaly, however, did nothing to dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the guests. In attendance were new members of the OBRM Advisory Board, Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land Alliance and Roger Bahnik, chairman and CEO of Mill-Max Corp. Roger was joined by his wife, Lori. Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone, a staunch supporter of the Museum also joined in the festivities.

A beautiful variety of items, donated by Oyster Bay merchants, made for a very lucrative silent auction, and the always popular 50/50 raffle that allowed a lucky party goer to walk away with a cool $1,000, as well as netting a record setting amount for the Museum. The gathering Time Trio peppered their popular country/rock selections with railroad songs that brought smiles to the faces of railroad buffs and regular folks alike.

Some in the large crowd took advantage of the beautiful, hazy sunset by moving out to the patio and lawn to enjoy cocktails and dinner. The buffet was catered by Harborside Deli. OBRM board member Judy Wasilchuk worked with Harborside’s Pete Gioia to create a menu of authentic “dining car recipes” from the golden age of rail travel.

In preparation for the 8:27 p.m sunset, OBRM board member Gary Farkash made sure that the champagne glasses were full, the Yacht Club cannon was fired, and all the guests, now gathered outside, saluted the official (sort of) beginning of summer.

The program began inside with President John Specce and Chairman Ben Jankowski, thanking all those in attendance, and recognizing the corporate sponsors who helped make the evening a success. They also spoke of the Museum’s progress to date and the work yet to be done. Ben mentioned that “the museum will play a pivotal part in making the connection between downtown and the waterfront.” John said, “a functioning Oyster Bay Railroad Museum will create a family-friendly attraction, that will be critical to the goal of making Oyster Bay, a destination location.”

Bill Bell, OBRM’s Director of Development, provided some insight into the design of the Museum’s new website. He explained, “First of all, I want to thank Joe Skpoek and Chromatrope for the superb level of guidance and technical support he provided in creating the site. We wanted to continue the branding process that began with our new brochure last year. The colors selected were those that came into use by the Pennsylvania Railroad, former owner of the LIRR, in the 1930s. “Tuscan,” a brick red, and gold leaf and buff, used for lettering and striping by the PRR give the site a sense of warmth and familiarity, especially to those who have an interest in trains. We chose a font that is clean and readable, but retains a classic quality.” He further stated that, “the new site represents another important step in the marketing and communications efforts of the Museum. It will introduce prospective supporters to our efforts to build a first class historical, educational and family friendly resource for Oyster Bay and the region.”

He asked everyone to visit the Museum’s new site -, and to “get on board” by supporting OBRM’s important work.