The community of Port Washington had no trouble coming up with names to nominate as its Millennium Stars; the astonishing number of nominations reflects the fact that there are so many people, from the past and the present, who were instrumental in making this town a finer place to live and contributed so much to that end. The number of people you nominated, all deserving, also reflects the unique nature of Port Washington, a place where so many work devotedly for the town's betterment. Making decisions about our stars, then, was not easy, because all those nominated have made this a special town in some way. Our list was compiled solely on the basis of your nominations; it includes those who made a significant contribution to the development of this community or enhanced Port in some way, and their ideas or service have had a major and lasting impact in our area.
Everyone nominated is truly a Millennium Star; space limitations prohibited us from printing them all. And we ask for your forgiveness if there are any significant omissions in this list; they, too, are stars. All have our deepest gratitude and admiration.
Sam, Dave and Fay Alper. Starting their retail business in 1911, Sam's store originally sold jewelry before switching to hardware. He was also a co-founder of Temple Beth Israel, the first Jewish congregation in PW. By the time Dave and Fay took the reins of the business, it was hard to imagine PW without Alper's. Dave often gave merchandise to customers with insufficient funds; a handshake was enough. The Alpers were also president of their synagogue, and helped start its building fund. (Submitted by Doris Alper Novick and Sheryl Alper Cohen)
The Honorable Vincent R. Balletta, Jr., was an Associate Justice, Appellate Division, of the NYS Courts and a former councilman and NYS assemblyman, yet worked tirelessly on behalf of the needy and the PW community, including the Dante Foundation, North Shore Hospital, Boy Scouts, Lions Club, was a founder and director of Don Monti Memorial Foundation, a founder of the Port Youth Council.
Mrs. Leroy Barton, civic leader of the 1930s and 1940s (submitted by Joan Kent)
Alfred C. Bayles, (1846-1941), community visionary, for his pioneering work in developing and modernizing Port Washington into a vibrant suburban town. He had the town's first pharmacy, and its first telephone, which became the phone of the community. He was instrumental in extending the railroad from Great Neck to Port, contributed the land, and built new homes nearby. He created the Nassau Cemetery (now known as Nassau Knolls), helped establish the Bank of North Hempstead, was one of the founders of the "Law and Order Society" in 1891, the forerunner of the Police Dept., was treasurer of the Methodist Church for 30 years, was the first treasurer of the PW School District, and served as Postmaster for PW, having been appointed by President Harrison in 1889. (Nominated by great-grandson, H. Reed Markham)
Myron Blumenfeld, founder of Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, constant watchdog and advocate extraordinaire for the environment and our natural resources. He is responsible for creating gardens, the Main Street park and others, nature trails, and defeated the plan to build a massive incinerator. (Nominated separately by Joan Kent, Marilyn Goldstein, Barry M. Siegel, Kate Bergen, Marcia and Arthur Conescu)
Bourke Cockran, a congressman and orator, donated the land and money for St. Peter's Church (1906). (Nominated by Joan Kent)
Henry Cocks is remembered because he planted oysters in Manhasset Bay, thereby starting an industry (1832). (Nominated by Joan Kent)
John and Mary Cornwall were the first permanent settlers in 1673. (Nominated by Joan G. Kent)
Elaine and Al Corwin, past president of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods, Community Synagogue trustee, establishing lectureships to combat prejudice, hosted numerous charitable events for NS Child and Family Guidance, and many others (nominated by Randy and Robert Glasser)
Phebe Mott Dodge, first to free slaves, 1776. (Nominated by Joan Kent)
John Fasano, born in his Bayview Avenue home, former coach and unofficial head cheerleader for the town he loves; Brother Tony was Port's first casualty of WWII .(Submitted by Felicia Fasano)
Thomas Fraser, Thomas Mott, and Alfred Bayles (who is listed above) made our list because this three-some provided the funds for the LIRR to come to Port Washington (1898); Mott was also instrumental in founding the first bank in the area, the Roslyn Savings Bank (nominated by Joan Kent)
Daniel Guggenheim, who provided employment for hundreds of Port Washington citizens. He was also a philanthropist and an early supporter of aviation.
Harry Guggenheim (1890-1971), co-founder of Newsday, a rocketry and aviation supporter, donated his home and 90 acres for a park.
Caroline Hicks began the Woman's Club that founded the Port Washington Library.
Mrs. Christian Homes (Bettie Fleischmen) was a one-woman WPA during the Depression, hiring local workers, providing other jobs, donating funds for the high school stadium. (Submitted by Joan Kent)
William Hyde founded the Port Washington News in 1903. (Nominated by Joan Kent)
James and Harriet Laidlaw were leaders of the women's suffrage movement in New York State, and the first mayor of Sands Point (1910) (Submitted by Joan Kent)
Thomas Lapham, a library board president, who made possible today's outstanding library (Submitted by Joan Kent)
Lillian McCormick helped create Landmark on Main Street, was a founder of the Children's Center, and vital in securing the Mertz Community Center for the Community Chest. (Submitted by Kate Bergen)
Lucretia Coffin Mott, is a star as an abolitionist and early advocate of woman's suffrage. She lived from 1793 to 1880. (Nominated by Joan Kent)
Bill Navin, former junior high history teacher and coach, for helping so many PW students find higher educational opportunities, and mentor of many. (Nominated by John Fasano)
Gay Pearsall, who envisioned a town band shell honoring favorite son John Philip Sousa. After years of fund raising and advocacy, her dream was realized. The bandshell on lower Main Street has brought the town together and is the site of many terrific community celebrations. (Submitted by Kate Bergen)
Mary F. Porter, (1917-1997), who cared deeply about public school education in PW, serving from 1958 to 1971 on the School Board and as its president. (Nominated by Lynn Schnepper, Lee and Mary Porter)
Col. John Sands IV and wife Mary Sands, Revolutionary War heroes. (Nominated by Joan G. Kent)
Charles Valentino, popular Manorhaven barber, was instrumental in securing the first Nassau County police booth in front of Manorhaven Park, and organized the first 4th of July Parade on Manorhaven Blvd; also part of Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus. (Submitted by Eleanor Schachter)
Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, which has, for 32 years, protected and enhanced the environment, and successfully defeated the building of a massive incinerator.
The Port Washington Fire Department's men and women are "always going out of their way to help the people of Port...They are there for us." (Submitted by Judy White)
Bob Berens, The Dog Project
A. J. Gober, junior high and high school English teacher whose "contributions to the lives of hundreds of students cannot be easily documented but should be recognized."
Bill Gregory Russo, music publications/music producer and arranger.
Gertrude Crampton Nicoll, longtime Main Street school teacher and librarian, active in Girl Scouts, Port Singers, St. Peter of Alcantara Guild, Cow Neck Historical Society trustee and founding member.
Catherine Sandy, librarian, helped found the library's Art Advisory Council, charter member of the Cow Neck Historical Society.