The Port Washington Library Foundation's Fourth Inspiration Gala will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by dinner. Community Leadership Awards will be presented to Donald Everett Axinn, well-known Port Washington writer, philanthropist, and businessman, and Marvin B. Tepper, attorney, businessman, and investor. The Honorable Leonard Wurzel, mayor of Sands Point, is the honorary chair of this event. Three well-known local residents will co-chair the gala: Norman Schefer of the Fay J. Lindner Foundation; F. William Schmergel, last year's gala honoree and president and CEO of Schmergel Enterprises; and Leo Ullman, chairman and CEO of Cedar Shopping Centers. Call 883-4400, ext. 180 to make reservations or for information on sponsorship opportunities.
The multitalented Donald Everett Axinn is a writer, a businessman, and a dedicated public servant. One of the most respected investors and builders in the New York metropolitan area, he designed and developed several million square feet of award-winning buildings and office parks before merging with Brandywine Realty Trust, where he now sits on its board of trustees. He is the author of nine volumes of poetry, and his essays have been published in The New York Times and Newsday. He has written two novels, Spin and The Ego Makers, and is currently at work on Allan, Burning. Mr. Axinn has enjoyed the honor of reading his poetry before the U.S. Library of Congress, the United Nations, and in Russia; was a Tennessee Williams Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference; and has been listed in Who's Who in America since 1974. Mr. Axinn is a former associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Institute of the Arts at Hofstra University, where he is currently trustee emeritus. He holds five honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, Hofstra, Adelphi, Southern Vermont College, and SUNY at Farmingdale. He has been a writer in residence at Middlebury and the University of Maine.
Mr. Axinn is one of the founders of the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which houses and feeds the homeless. He has served as a director and/or trustee for numerous public organizations including The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, The Nature Conservancy, Poets & Writers, The Academy of American Poets, Friends for Long Island Heritage, and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Marvin B. Tepper has had a long and illustrious career as an officer, general counsel, partner, and owner in such diversified business interests as real estate properties, real estate investment funds, stock and hedge investment, professional sports, and biotechnology. A partner in several major law firms, he was also Assistant Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he was the valedictorian at his graduation in 1958. Before entering law school, Mr. Tepper served as a lieutenant in the United States Army both in the United States and abroad as a U.S. liaison officer to foreign municipalities emerging from occupation status.
Active in civic and philanthropic activities, Mr. Tepper is a chairman and board member of the Board of Appeals and member of the Village of Sands Point Residents Club Commission; trustee and former officer of the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation; former trustee of the New York University Law Review Association; and former trustee of the Nassau County Museum of Fine Art in Roslyn. His wife Elyse is a member of the library's Children's Advisory Council.
The Port Washington Library Foundation raises private funds to support the library and its commitment to meet the changing needs for education, information, culture, and personal advancement of all residents of the community. Established in 1989 by the library trustees and initially funded with two bequests by far-sighted Port Washington residents who understood that a great public library is not possible through public funding alone, the foundation has since given more than $850,000 in private funds for additional programming, advanced technology, new initiatives, and beautification of the library grounds and building. Funds raised at the Fourth Inspiration Gala will help ensure that the Port Washington Public Library remains a center of discovery, inspiration, and learning.