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Sunday, Oct. 5, saw rain and clouds in the morning, but the afternoon brought a bright day of activities for the whole family to enjoy at the first Village Day event hosted by Friends of the Sands Point Preserve, Inc.

The Sands Point Preserve was transformed for a day, and offered family fun and surprises for the more than 500 visitors who attended the Village Day event. Many were delighted to hop on Eagle Carriage's horse drawn hayride, which trotted a full circle around the main lawn. Children were excited by the many pumpkins available to decorate with the aid of members of Schreiber High school's Key Club at the pumpkin patch. "Wildman" Steve Brill led groups through the nature trails and down the wood-chip paths taking children and parents on a foraging adventure.

Sands Point was transformed, and the fun was only beginning.

The Green Grocer had lots of delicious items to sample and for sale. The cheese was fresh from Vermont, as was the maple syrup, and sold under the private label of a Sands Point resident. There were bushels of apples and homemade cookies to further satisfy the pallet. Anyone still hungry could follow the music of the bagpiper and enjoy some ice cream or head over to the grille for lunch or refreshments while listening to the talented fiddlers quartet.

Herb Mills, historian and naturalist, hosted a unique "behind the scenes" tour of the mansions, barns and stables, not ordinarily open to the public. Herb Mills delighted tourists with amusing stories and rare facts about the long forgotten memories of the Guggenheim days. That alone was worth the trip! In the background behind Hempstead House was a rare show of Mustang ponies under the guidance of the Horse Whisperer, Sonny Garguilo.

All activities were sponsored by Sands Point residents and friends. Special thanks to Karli Hagedorn, our green grocer, Elise Tepper of the Pumpkin Patch, patrons Marsha Forman and Denise Silverstein, Jane Stern and Jean-Marie Posner, and volunteers Edie Katz, Jane Berger, Phyllis Manko, Joyce Tenney, Marina Hadley, Georgia de Young and Carol Krieger, with the invaluable help of the Key Club.

Village Day was organized by the Board of Friends of the Sands Point Preserve, Inc. The idea, dreamed up by Jane Stern, was immediately seconded by Bob Berens, president of the Friends. The very talented Jean-Marie Posner, Treasurer, worked non-stop to make the event a success, along with board members Jane Stern, Jolanta Zamecka, Marsha Forman, Harry Manko, Phil Newman, and Stan Merjan. Jane Stern spoke for everyone when she said, "It was wonderful to see so many Sands Point residents and friends come together for this great day at the preserve. The weather cooperated so everyone enjoyed the activities and camaraderie of the day. It was perfect. Everyone is looking forward to Village Day next year!"

This was the first event planned by the Friends of the Sands Point Preserve (Friends SP) since it received the approval of Nassau County to take over the planning and management of the Sands Point Preserve. In order to fulfill its mission of "Preserving the Past and Serving the Future" of the Preserve, this unique creation of nature and man, the Friends SP hopes to involve the entire community in many more special and enjoyable events.

On Thursday, Dec. 4, from there will be Champions for Charity cocktail party at London Jewelers from 6 to 8 p.m. To participate, please register on behalf of Friend SP by calling the Americana at 800-818-6767 or on line at championsforcharity.org. Mark your calendars for May 16, 2009 for the Friends SP gala evening at the Preserve, its first annual celebration for the benefit of the Sands Point Preserve.

The mission of the Friends SP is to restore, preserve and make available to the public, enjoyable and socially beneficial uses of the magnificent structures and grounds of the Sands Point Preserve, as a living museum that reflects and carries forward the nature, history, lifestyle, culture and achievements of the Guggenheim Estate. Annual sponsorship appeal is under way. All residents and friends of Sands Point Preserve are invited to volunteer and become part of the Friends SP at this very important time. For further information, please call the Friends SP at 944-2000.


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