The Times of Huntington-Northport - December 28, 2017

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THE TimEs of Huntington, Northport & East Northport huntington • huntington bay • greenlawn • halesite • lloyd harbor • cold spring harbor • northport • east northport • Fort salonga west • asharoken • eaton’s neck • centerport

Vol. 14, No. 38

December 28, 2017


2017 Honorees Jim Powers A3 Marie Michele Destil A4 Andre Sorrentino A5 Kevin Gersh A8 Vanderbilt Volunteers A9 Ginny Munger Kahn A11 Bob Bontempi A12 John Jr. & Leslie Kennedy A13 Tracey Edwards A14 Reboli Center A18 Debbie Engelhardt A19




A message from the publisher The Times of Huntington is proud to continue an annual tradition of honoring members of the community who have contributed in a significant manner to its residents and institutions during the past year. These are the people who go the extra mile to improve the quality of our lives. In these pages, we salute their achievements. We also realize that these men and women are not unique — they are symbolic of the many who devote their efforts to the good of our hometowns. We salute them all and thank them for their service to the communities we love. Four years ago, we changed the format of how we honor our People of the Year. Now we have one edition for each of the three towns we cover — Brookhaven, Smithtown and Huntington — combining winners from multiple papers. We also eliminated the categories we previously used to organize the winners, such as medicine, sports or the arts, as we found that they were limiting in how we were able to honor people. Every winner is simply

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a person of the year, no matter what their concentration may be. We hope you enjoy our People of the Year issue, and that you feel enhanced pride your town. Leah S. Dunaief Publisher

The TIME OF HUNTINGTON, NORTHPORT & EAST NORTHPORT (USPS 004-808) is published Thursdays by TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWSPAPERS, 185 Route 25A, Setauket, NY 11733. Periodicals postage paid at Setauket, NY and additional mailing offices. Subscription price $49 annually. Leah S. Dunaief, Publisher. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to PO Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733.

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Powers stands behind Huntington’s charity groups BY KYLE BARR There’s a Huntington man who keeps himself awake at night, driven to make sure he does his best to raise funds for charity — benefiting not one, but nearly 40 organizations. Jim Powers, the president of The Townwide Fund of Huntington, thinks of his time with a business-like aim toward efficiency. He wants to get the biggest bang for his time. As president of the fund, an organization created by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for local charities, Powers funnels his time and energy toward aiding 39 nonprofit organizations. In 2017, the fund gave out more than $200,000 to charities in and around the Town of Huntington. “It’s almost one size fits all,” he said. “You’re putting all your time into one organization [where] you can affect 39 different charities touching tens of thousands of different people in the town. Our tagline is, ‘The money raised in Huntington stays in Huntington.’” Powers dedicates hours each week to the fund, whether it is looking for donations, supporting charity events, hosting their own fundraising events and more. At full board meetings, he’s known to bring coffee and bagels, knowing that all but one board member is a volunteer. Powers wants to show that their time is appreciated. Powers is also a volunteer for the fund. “He’s the heart and soul of this organiza-

Photo from Facebook

Jim Powers, president of The Townwide Fund of Huntington, at the organzation’s gala. tion,” said Gloria Palacios, executive director of The Townwide Fund. “Our fundraising events are the most important thing that we do and Jim gets behind each one because he’s so driven to make sure that we get all the sponsorships and ticket sales and what not.” Palacios said she marvels at the amount of time Powers puts into the organization, knowing he works many hours a week teaching at New York Institute of Technology and is also the director of business development

for Bohler Engineering. She often teases him, Palacios said, knowing in the two or three days before The Townwide Fund events he doesn’t sleep, anxiously making sure every last detail works out perfectly. “I keep telling him, ‘That it’s not your event, it’s a team event,’ but he says, ‘I know, but this needs to work for the town,’” Palacios said. Nine years ago, The Townwide Fund was nearly closed. Many people on the board point

to Powers as the person who saved the fund from collapse. He drew up a business plan, replaced much of the board with what he called a “young, vibrant board” including not just business leaders but bankers, architects, attorneys, teachers and stay-at-home moms. “He’s probably raised more money and given away more money than any other president in the fund’s history,” said Dave Gustin, vice president of the board and president of Melville Chamber of Commerce. Others say Powers is the first person to make phone calls or jump in when something needs to be fixed. Carl Adler, third vice president of The Townwide Fund, recalled one day when they drove by one of the organization’s fundraiser signs together and realized it had been hit by a truck. “We decided to get out — we had a shovel in the car — and fix it up together,” Adler said. “It’s very typical of Jim when something comes up, he’s going to fix it or he’s going to get people involved.” Bob Bontempi, founding board member of Long Island Business Council and former chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said Powers supports not only The Townwide Fund but is visually active in several other organizations. “I don’t know how he has the energy to do all the things he does,” Bontempi said. “He’s just one of those people that you go to because he’s a visible leader, and it’s the totality of selfless effort and time over the years that finally needs to be recognized.”

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Huntington business helps Haiti after Hurricane Matthew BY JILL WEBB A Huntington resident with a passion for cooking opened her doors to help the people of her native Haiti, and in reaching out that helping hand, has made the world a bit smaller and better. At 14 years old, Marie Michele Destil moved from her native island of Haiti to the United States. Now, 35 years later, Destil is the owner of Gingerbites Restaurant & Catering in Huntington Station. At Gingerbites, along with serving authentic Haitian cuisine, Destil has used her business as a platform to help Haitian relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Destil said she has always had a love for cooking and showed signs of being the entrepreneur she would become at a young age. “I remember when I was maybe 10 or 11 my mother would have friends come over and I’d go make coffee and then serve it with bread and sell it to them,” she said. “If you don’t buy it, I’ll cry.” After her 18-year-old twin girls and 22-yearold son went off to college, Destil wanted to focus on something more grounded and local. Destil decided to use her experience in catering to open up Gingerbites in late 2015. The restaurant aims at bringing the culture and cuisine of Haiti to Huntington Station. “We’re from an island, so we’re very simple people with very distinct taste and a very distinct way of life,” Destil said. Then when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti,

Photo from Marie Michele Destil

Gingerbites Restaurant & Catering owner Marie Michele Destil is dedicated to helping people in her native Haiti. more than 1,000 of Haiti’s citizens were killed according to Reuters. Destil said upon hearing the shocking news the first thing she thought about was the people. “You have to remember not that long ago we came from the earthquake in Haiti, so that was the most devastating thing that ever happened to us there,” she said. “But when Matthew happened, you’re like ‘Oh, my God.’ But my thought is that no matter what happened, Haitian people are resilient

people. They’ll survive. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but they’re not quitters.” Destil had and continues to have a strong faith in her homeland, despite all it’s been through. “That island [has] gone through a lot but with the help of God it’s still standing,” she said. The restaurant owner recognized the importance of supporting her homeland and the residents struggling in Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath.

Town of Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) recalled when Haitian groups were starting to partner with the Town of Huntington’s relief efforts, Destil jumped at the chance to help. “She’s a very bubbly and hardworking person,” Cuthbertson said. Destil partnered with the town in November 2016 to raise donations for the charity, Meds & Food for Kids. The nonprofit organization focuses on the malnourished children of Haiti, providing them with ready-to-use therapeutic food. Their food is made in Haiti by Haitian workers, and they aim to use Haitian raw materials as much as possible. One of the many reasons that charity was so important to Destil was her love for children. “I love all kids, I’m a sucker for that,” Destil said. Also important in narrowing down the search was to find a charity where most of the proceeds go directly to people in need. Finding out that the Meds & Food charity gives the majority of its proceeds to the children made it an easy choice. “The children [are] our future, so invest in them,” she said. Destil was honored Oct. 26 at the town’s 16th annual Women’s Networking Day luncheon for her charitable efforts. As her business continues to grow, Destil hopes in the future to partner with more charities to help the Haitian community as much as she possibly can.

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Photos by Sara-Megan Walsh

Huntington native Andre Sorrentino, second from right, with his family at the annual Sorrentino Trucking Turkey Give Away in November. Below, Suffolk County’s 2nd Precinct officers help hand out donated food to residents. Inset, Sorrentino with his wife, Kim Sorrentino.

Sorrentino gives back from Huntington to Harvey victims BY SARA-MEGAN WALSH SARA@TBRNEWMEDIA.COM When a Huntington business owner gave away 30 turkeys out of the back of a pickup truck on Thanksgiving eve nearly a decade ago, he was shocked to find out there were so many families in need. Rather than shy away from the issue, he started raising funds to turn it into an annual family event where thousands have received their holiday meal. Lifelong Huntington resident Andre Sorrentino, owner of PAS Professional Automotive Services on New York Avenue, is known for having a larger than life personality to go along with his big heart. “He’s a very good, very kindhearted person; really a pillar of the Huntington community,” said Huntington Supervisor-elect Chad Lupinacci (R), whose state assembly-

man offices are located across the street from Sorrentino’s business. “A lot of people look up to him and people like to work alongside him. He always has the community’s heart with him.” Lupinacci said he was there that first Thanksgiving, with Sorrentino and his daughter when they handed out turkeys on the streets of Huntington and Huntington Station. He has been amazed to see the annual Sorrentino Trucking Turkey Give Away expand to giving away approximately 2,000 turkeys in 2017 — 1,000 of which were purchased by Sorrentino himself. The turkeys weren’t enough though. Sorrentino coordinated with Suffolk County’s 2nd Precinct to have police officers help hand out what turned into turkey, all the trimmings and household goods like soap and laundry detergent.

“He’s all about giving back to the com- employees to firefighters and elected officials munity that’s given him so much,” the state have said they know they can turn to him for help when times get tough. assemblyman said. “He’s got a good heart and wants to This August, Sorrentino worked with his friend, George Schwertl, of Lloyd Harbor, do things to help people,” said James, an and Dom Spada, the second assistant chief employee of Sorrentino’s who requested of Halesite Fire Department, to coordinate his last name not be used. “I’ve seen him help people that pretty a massive donation drive for much no one else would. Hurricane Harvey victims in He’ll pick a person up. It’s Texas. A mass email was sent the way he is.” out by Halesite Fire Chief Northport resident Phyllis Greg Colonna that asked Berlin-Sasso called Andre residents for donations of Sorrentino “the kindest hunonperishable food, toiletman being in Huntington” ries hygiene products, water, for the help he gave her. blankets and dog food to be “I was divorced with three dropped off at participating children at the time, and I busineses which included would get my car repaired by Sorrentino’s auto body shop him,” she said. “They helped on New York Avenue. me out with payment plans Schwertl and Sorrentino to pay for it.” paid for five Sprinter vans Several others related out of their own pockets similar tales as fire departand planned to drive down ment members from Hunto Texas, and distribute the tington Manor and Lloyd donations by hand themHarbor said they know they selves. By the time they can turn to Andre Sorrentino left, it had grown to include and his family if they have a tractor-trailers. resident with an issue — and “We want to be positive even if he can’t help — Sorthat when we get there they — Kim Sorrentino rentino has been known to will take the donations and it put them in contact with will go into the right hands,” someone who can. Sorrentino said in August, prior to the trip. “I think Andre Sorrentino is what is best He took time away from running his business and his wife, Kim, with their two young about this community,” said Suffolk Legisladaughters to make the drive to Houston. Kim tor William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport). Many suggested that perhaps, SorrenSorrentino said she’s not surprised by her tino’s charitable nature came from his uphusband’s trip or charitable actions. “My husband and his family have been bringing by his father, Andre Sorrentino Sr., here for so long, and we’re lucky enough the owner of Andre’s Shoe Repair in Hunwe’re in a position where we can help people tington. But his father said he couldn’t take at this point in our lives,” she said. “We really the credit. “He is doing things right for the commulove Huntington, and we’re trying to make it nity, it’s simple what he does,” he said. “I’m as good as we can.” It seems many people from Sorrentino’s very proud of him.”

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‘He is always willing to advise, advocate and provide hope for special needs parents.’ — Stephanie Gotard

Photo from Gersh Academy

Huntington resident Kevin Gersh, founder of Gersh Academy in Huntington, is known as a go-to for help with children with special needs.

Gersh Academy founder dedicated to helping kids



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It takes a special person to take care of a child with special needs. Huntington resident Kevin Gersh has proven all it takes is a few innovative ideas and a big heart. Gersh, founder of Gersh Academy in Huntington, created a series of schools and programs geared toward helping children with autism and special needs. But it’s been his drive to do more philanthropic actions that give back to the community that has made others take notice. “Kevin Gersh is an innovator in the special needs community,” said Stephanie Gotard, program director of Leadership Huntington, which fosters development of community leaders. “He has dedicated his life to making a difference in the lives of children.” Gersh founded West Hills Montessori School of Huntington in 1991, where working with one child with special needs made him realize that the method of teaching needed to change. As a result, he started Gersh Academy in 1999 as an education program for children ages 5 to 21 on the autism spectrum. Over the years, Gersh has expanded his organization to create 11 programs spanning from Long Island to Puerto Rico, for typical children in addition to those with special needs. “It’s what I do for a living, that’s who I am,” he said. “I love helping kids. When someone asks me can you help a child, I say ‘yes.’ I don’t hesitate. It’s what gets me going.” Others in the Huntington community said they now look to Gersh for advice in meeting the needs of children with autism. Cold Spring Harbor resident Bob Fonti said when he had a friend who was unsure where to get help for his child with special needs, Gersh’s door was open, and he was more than willing to pick up the phone and make a call. “He is always willing to advise, advocate and provide hope for special needs parents,”

Gotard said. In addition to his work for special needs children, Gersh has been noted by others for giving back to nonprofits and local communities. In 2015, Gersh Academy students raised funds for the Caroline Wambui Mungai Foundation, an organization whose mission is improving the lives of orphaned and abandoned children throughout Africa. The following year, the Gersh Organization donated money raised for Sunrise Day Camp, a specialized camp for children with cancer and their siblings. More recently, Gersh donated hundreds of school uniforms to students in Wyandanch school district. He has also created an event, which distributed donated suits to help students heading into college and with job interviews. He recalled fondly watching one football player try on a jacket. “You should have seen the smile on his face when he looked in the mirror dressed in a $3,000 full-length cashmere coat,” Gersh said. “He didn’t take it off the whole night. That to me, is everything.” This holiday season, Gersh has joined with a friend, Kevin Donnelly of Lido Beach, in an effort to ship 10,000 toys to Puerto Rico for children displaced by Hurricane Maria in time for Three Kings Day, Jan. 6. “They are living in shelters, the least we can do is give them a Christmas,” Gersh said. He has asked the 75 employees of Gersh Academy in Puerto Rico to help sort the toys for distribution. The U.S. Marines with Toys for Tots and the toy company, Hasbro, have pitched in and joined the effort. But he’s already looking forward to his next event, having Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey hold a day in May 2018 specially for children with autism. Gersh said the theme park will close to the public for a day to allow those with special sensory needs to enjoy the park with quieter music and shorter lines alongside their families. “I anticipate this to be a huge event,” he said. “I get excited about doing things for kids that no one has ever done before.”


Inset photo from Facebook; above photo from Vanderbilt Museum; both photos below from Gretchen Oldrin-Mones

Above, Centerport Garden Club members volunteer their time to maintain the rose garden at the Vanderbilt Museum, Mansion & Planetarium, inset. Below, volunteers at the museum’s annual 2017 volunteer appreciation luncheon.

Vanderbilt’s volunteers help museum put best foot forward More than 1,000 hours of community service put into gardens, mansion tours, live music and living history program BY SARA-MEGAN WALSH SARA@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

planting and weeding to designing new features. “Gloria has done a great job in One of Suffolk County’s mu- carrying on the tradition of caring seums leads by example in know- for our gardens,” Reinheimer said. The gardening clubs involved ing the value of the proverb many have also helped design and create hands make light work. The Vanderbilt Museum, Man- gardens that encircle the estate’s sion & Planetarium has been able celebration tent on the Great Lawn, to delight visitors with its scenic which overlooks the Long Island gardens and extensive programs Sound. The director said it has addthanks to the time put in by its ed visually to many of the weddings roughly 135 year-round volunteers and special occasions happening on who have donated more than 1,000 the grounds, anchoring the tent to make it feel like a permanent struchours in 2017. ture and blend into the property. “Volunteers are better than staff Agnes Ward has as they do work spearheaded the but don’t get paid,” Centerport Garden Executive Director Club in donating its Lance Reinheimer members time to said. “Their time is delicately handling very valuable and the Vanderbilt Estate it saves the muserose garden outside um a big expense of the planetarium. each year.” “The gardeners A visitor’s exreally augment my perience is shaped ground staff,” the exby the work of ecutive director said. the museum’s vol“We’ve made great unteers from the strides in beautifying minute they enter the property in the last the estate. Volun— Lance Reinheimer two years.” teer gardeners deMuseum guests signed and planted who take a tour of the a garden near the historic Gold Coast mansion may be property’s entrance at the request led around by a volunteer, as hunof the executive director. Master dreds have by guide Ellen Mason gardener Gloria Hall has taken over who has volunteered at the Vanderorganizing a group formed by her bilt since May 2006. The retired late husband, Bill, that works on the school teacher said her passion for property each Monday, during the history keeps her coming back on growing season from May to Octo- Saturdays to share the experience ber, helping in every aspect from with others.

‘Volunteers are better than staff as they do work but don’t get paid. Their time is very valuable and it saves the museum a big expense each year.’

“I’ve been asked over and over again to get on the payroll,” Mason said. “I refuse. I wanted to volunteer, I want to volunteer at something I love doing and it makes my spirit soar. I love the people who work there, it’s like a whole other family.” It’s so welcoming that there’s even a former Vanderbilt employee who continues to come back and volunteer. The museum has several longtime volunteers who regularly give freely of their time including Rick Ellison, Mary McKell, Dale Spencer and Marianne Weeks, according to museum staff. “There are so many people involved in that Suffolk institution — garden clubs, the living history program, all different types of work,” said Herb Mones, husband of museum trustee Gretchen OldrinMones. “It’s really under the radar.

I don’t think the larger community is fully aware of how much the volunteers impact the daily running of that institution that services tens of thousands of school kids each year.” Once inside the mansion, visitors may be treated to live music played on the antique aeolian pipe organ

played by volunteers Bill Caputi and Sheldon Cooper. “My feeling is that Long Island is a mecca for volunteerism,” Reinheimer said, in recognition how generous the museum’s volunteers have been. “Long Islanders give willingly to causes that are worthy.”


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on-leash dog walking trails. “The dog parks are large, attractive and very much appreciated by the people who A Huntington woman has taken to heart use them every day,” Munger Kahn said. Two of the local dog parks that have that Earth was made for all to enjoy, big been created are at Blydenburgh County and small, including man’s favorite fourPark in Smithtown and West Hills County legged friends. Ginny Munger Kahn, president of Hun- Park in Huntington. “By expanding access to and enjoytington-based The Long Island Dog Owners Group (LI-DOG), has been leading the way to ment of Suffolk County’s beautiful parks create dog parks and dog-friendly park poli- and open spaces, Ginny Munger Kahn has cies in Suffolk County since 2002. In her most helped to materially improve the quality of life of thousands of current and future Sufrecent victory, she convinced folk County residents,” reads the Huntington Town Board a proclamation Stern gave to to amend town code Aug. 15 the LI-DOG president at the to allow for on-leash walking Dec. 19 county Legislature of dogs in town parks. meeting. “In recognition of “It is the highlight of my [that work], we, the memday to take my dog for a long bers of the Suffolk County walk,” Munger Kahn told TBR Legislature, do hereby honor News Media in August. “I Ginny Munger Kahn.” don’t want to do it just in my Munger Kahn has been inneighborhood on the street, volved in changing laws and but I want to be able to walk setting precedents not only at my dog in a beautiful public the county level, but the town. park. It’s been frustrating over In 2013, her nonprofit organithe years on Long Island as zation supported the town’s many towns don’t allow it.” dog walking trails initiative, Suffolk County Legiswhich allowed on-leash dogs lator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) said that Mung— Steve Stern at select Huntington parks. But, she wanted more for her er Kahn was one of the first constituents to sit down and have a four-pawed friends. “It was kind of crazy to have some parks in meeting with him when he was elected to office. He has come to have a great deal the Town of Huntington allow on-leash dogs and the vast majority of town-owned parks not of respect for her and LI-DOG. “It has many volunteers and is an out- to allow dogs on a leash,” Munger Kahn said in standing non-for-profit organization that Aug. 2017. “This was confusing to people. The does wonderful things not just for our furry thought was if we adopted standards, a policy friends and beloved family members, but I more closely aligned with Suffolk County’s am sure everyone would agree sharing time policy, it would make enforcement easier.” As LI-DOG’s representative on the Hunin the outdoors with our pets is not just good for them, it’s good for all of us,” Stern tington Greenway Trails Citizens Advisory said. “It’s good for all of us and our quality Committee, she pushed for the town to adopt more uniform park standards for of life.” Due to Munger Kahn’s activism, Stern leashed dogs in Huntington Town parks was the leading sponsor on county legisla- which was approved earlier this year, with tion that directed the Suffolk parks commis- two exceptions of Heckscher Park and Censioner to identify at least five parks where terport’s Betty Allen Twin Pond Nature Park. A perpetual advocate, Munger Kahn said dog parks could be created in 2007. A decade later, there are 10 such parks on Long she hopes once the town’s new policy is Island, seven of which are in Suffolk County proven successful, she will be able to revisit including an off-leash beach, plus dozens of regulations regarding Heckscher Park.


Bontempi helps others connect in Huntington BY KYLE BARR

Fall Festival, an event that he said showcases everything that Huntington has to offer — There are qualities that allow a person to and is proud of. excel no matter what they are doing or put “The chamber of commerce is a great extheir mind to. Huntington residents who ample of Bontempi’s work. You don’t get paid know Bob Bontempi say it’s his simple ability to be the chairman and the amount of work to listen that makes him so capable. that you have to do to give back is huge,” state “He has a way of making you comfortable Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R-East Northport) and feel more important than anyone else in said. “So that just typifies what kind of person the room,” said Jim Powers, president of The he is that he’s willing to go that extra mile to Townwide Fund of Huntington. “He’s very make sure things go well. He has a heart of easy to get to know, and he’s gold and he’s willing to share giving you compliments half ‘I think [Bontempi that heart with everybody.” the time even when he’s doing is] a very dedicated Bontempi is also a foundsomething right — not you.” ing board member of the Long A longtime Huntington civic-minded Island Business Council. This resident, Bontempi has bridged individual that year, he started the Huntingthe gap between business pro- really tries to help ton Township Business Council fessionals, charities and governPolitical Action Committee to ment in the Town of Huntington. people and just raise funds and give campaign “Bontempi in Italian means make Huntington contributions to political candi‘good times’, and we like to call and our community dates who members felt would him, ‘Bobby good times,’” said benefit downtown businesses. Brian Yudewitz, chairman of the a better place.’ “He’s not afraid to get Huntington Township Chamber involved in any social issue — Chad Lupinacci or political issue,” said Robof Commerce. “If a colleague or a friend needs guidance with a ert Scheiner, vice chairman problem they’re having or an of the Huntington Township opportunity they have with work, he’s the guy Chamber of Commerce. “He is very, very to talk to. He’s so good at identifying issues up front with his opinion.” and working toward solutions in that area, as But Bontempi is more than a businesswell as the local political area as well.” man. As the Northeast regional business diBontempi served as chairman of the rector at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, he is Huntington Township Chamber of Com- also involved in numerous local charities. He merce from 2009 to 2013. He remains the previously served on the board of Pedersondriving force behind the annual Long Island Krag Center, a nonprofit mental health care

Photo from Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce

Huntington resident Bob Bontempi, center, stands between town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) and Republican Councilman-elect Ed Smyth. provider, and served on the advisory board for Splashes of Hope, a charity that uses paintings to improve hospital aesthetics. Bontempi is a supporter of Moonjumpers, a Huntingtonbased charitable foundation that provides financial assistance for needy families, children, veterans and other charitable organizations. “He’s a guy who is very committed to the town and to the betterment of the people,” Scheiner said. “Bob is the kind of guy you go to for anything, and there’s very few people that you can count on like that, only the number of fingers on your hands.” Friends and colleagues alike marvel

at how many organizations Bontempi has been involved in. They laud his compassion and attention to anything involving the Town of Huntington. “I think [Bontempi is] a very dedicated civic-minded individual that really tries to help people and just make Huntington and our community a better place,” said Supervisor-elect Chad Lupinacci (R). “He has a ton of energy and it doesn’t matter if he’s traveling for business or if he’s right here in Huntington, he’s always very accessible, he’s always willing to help out the community.”

O Come Let us Adore Him An Epiphany Concert Sunday, January 7, 2018 ~7:30pm Christ the King R.C.C 2 Indian Head Road, Commack NY 11725 Free Will offering collected at doors of the Church Join us as we conclude the Christmas Season reflecting on the Birth of Christ with various scripture readings, sacred anthems and traditional Christmas carols.



Kennedys put people first as public servants BY SARA-MEGAN WALSH SARA@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Nesconset resident Leslie Kennedy stepped into Giorgio’s of Nesconset Pizzeria & Restaurant Dec. 15, but not to grab a bite to eat. She had a busy day ahead. Her schedule only allowed for a short stop at the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday luncheon. But the local business owners knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kennedy would come by to say hello and ask how they were doing. “Even though she only had 10 minutes, she came by to show her support,” said Christine DeAugustino, president of the Nesconset chamber. “We are so grateful for her support.” It’s no surprise to residents when Suffolk Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) or her husband, county Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), show up together at a business luncheon, parade, street fair, blood drive, civic association meeting or any number of local events. “They are huge supporters of the local community,” DeAugustino said. “They are tremendous. Every time we have an event, her and her husband both come.” Now both elected county officials, they have deep roots in public service and dedication to their constituents. John Kennedy Jr. was first elected to the Suffolk County Legislature representing the 12th District in 2004, where he served for 10 years. “John has been there from the very, very

File photo left, right photo from Legislator Leslie Kennedy

Suffolk Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. and county Legislator Leslie Kennedy are known for being involved in Nesconset and local Smithtown events. beginning when they were reconstructing Smithtown Boulevard, Rosevale Avenue and Gibbs Pond Road intersection,” said Martin Aponte, president of the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park in Nesconset. John Kennedy Jr. was fundamental in securing the land for the memorial to first responders who died on 9/11 or as a result of 9/11-related illnesses, Aponte said, and even set aside his office’s roundtable space for the organization’s meetings. Leslie Kennedy has continued to set aside meeting space for the foundation since filling her husband’s shoes,

being first elected to represent the 12th District in the county Legislature in 2015. “[Leslie]’s not only there for moral support for the chamber and businesses, she’s always there for me as a resource,” DeAugustino said. “She makes herself and the office available to the people of Nesconset as a resource.” The Kennedys, together, have sponsored and help establish the chamber’s annual Nesconset Summer Concert Series which draws hundreds of residents to the Nesconset Gazebo each July and August. “They are extremely involved in the com-

munity, both John and Leslie,” Smithtown Supervisor-elect Ed Wehrheim (R) said. “Most of the time you’ll find them there. They have a very positive effect on the community.” Wehrheim said the county comptroller has always been responsive to Town of Smithtown’s tax questions and fiscal concerns. “What he is there for, that I appreciate, is anytime we have a question he makes himself and his experience available to us,” Wehrheim said. Similarly, the town officials are in frequent communication with the current legislator regarding how to best address and tackle the opioid issue in Smithtown and as a channel to communicate with Suffolk County police. The supervisor-elect said the Kennedys have been helpful in pushing the downtown revitalization of Kings Park forward at the county level through their respective offices. This year, Legislator Kennedy secured the acquisition and preservation of the Hauppauge Springs property on the south side of Route 347 in Hauppauge, preserving open space at the headwaters of the Nissequogue River. It’s been sitting on the county’s master list of environmentally sensitive priority properties for more than 20 years, dating back to when she worked as a legislative aide. The legislator has called it one of her biggest victories, one she hopes will be remembered as part of her legacy. It was a priority, she said, to protect the environment and help ensure safe drinking water for local residents.

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Tracey Edwards will be leaving Huntington Town board Dec. 31, but has pledged to continue her work as a community advocate.

Tireless Huntington advocate continues to fight for others BY KEVIN REDDING KEVIN@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Town of Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) learned a lot about herself in 2017. For one, she’s not a politician. The 56-year-old Huntington native, who lost to state Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R-Huntington Station) in the November race for town supervisor, will not be returning to the town board Jan. 1. But she is proud of the campaign she led and the community-oriented issues it centered on. Edwards ran for Huntington’s top seat instead of taking the admittedly safer route of running as an incumbent for re-election to the town board. When asked why, she repeatedly said, “This is not about me. This is about what I believe is best for Huntington.” She has always seen herself as a community advocate and public servant, first and foremost, a trait noticed and respected by those she has served. “At the end of the day, I’m a community advocate,” Edwards said. “The nastiness and personal attacks in elections were never things I was ever interested in. I want to help people and our town. True public servants don’t stop doing that just because they lose an election.” In junior high school, she got her official start in community service as a candy

striper at Huntington Hospital. She was encouraged to give back to the community by her father — a narcotics detective on the town’s former police force — and mother, Dolores Thompson, a Huntington activist still going strong today. Edwards has served on the board of directors of the Long Island Association in Melville and is the Long Island regional director of the NAACP — a post she said she looks forward to returning to. As councilwoman and supervisor candidate, she focused on making Huntington a more inclusive place for everybody, regardless of age, race, gender or economic bracket. “We have a very robust, diverse and unique town that is filled with wonderful neighborhoods and great communities,” Edwards said. “There’s no place else I would rather live. While I wish Chad Lupinacci the best, I’ll be keeping my eye on him to make sure this town continues to move in the right direction for all.” During her four years in office, Edwards has worked alongside Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) to expand affordable housing legislation for millennials and first-time home buyers and has been hands-on with youth-based programs that focus on character building, recreation and tackling the drug problem. She created a special annual luncheon, dubbed Memories of Huntington,

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to honor seniors age 75 or older, who have gram on preventative screening exams, risk lived in town for more than 50 years, for assessment, nutrition and information for free breast cancer screenings at Huntington their contributions to Huntington’s history. “Tracey is not a politician’s politician Town Hall. She also helped to rewrite the town’s … she’s for the people,” said Jo Ann Veit, a member of the Senior Reunion committee. ethics code to make town hall a more trans“People love her because she’s there for them parent place for residents. NAACP New York State Conference presiand she gives you that feeling that she’s there for you, thinking about you and the town, dent, Hazel Dukes, commended Edwards for and what would be best for the seniors in the fighting for the rights of all people, regardless of race, creed or color. town. When people leave that “I know that Tracey Edwards reunion, they’re all so pleased is a committed and dedicated with Tracey and how genuine public servant,” Dukes said. she is. She has been a wonder“She truly brings conviction to ful councilwoman.” the cause of equality and justice Bob Santo, commander of for all people. She’s embodied Greenlawn American Legion that in her professional life, as Post 1244, has gotten the a worker in the NAACP and her same sense of sincerity from political life.” Edwards in the years they’ve Edward’s work ethic comes known each other. as no surprise to her mother, “The first time I met Tracey Dolores Thompson. was during a parade in Hunting— Tracey Edwards “This year she’s had the ton Station and she was on the initiative and aggressiveness back of a motorcycle being ridand guts, in plain old English, den by one of our American Legion motorcycle [members] — she was having to run for supervisor in this special commua grand old time,” Santo said, laughing. “With nity,” Thompson said. “She’s a trooper, a very Tracey, what you see is what you get, and what strong woman who speaks her mind, and I’m she says is what she means. She’s never trying very sure she will do something even better for this community as she progresses. She to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes.” Santo praised the councilwoman for didn’t want to go back as a councilwoman spearheading the Huntington Opportunity and why would she? You don’t go backward, Resource Center, a program that offers you keep going forward.” Edwards, who lives in Dix Hills with assistance with résumé preparation, job searches, career options and job training ac- her husband, was recognized by outgoing cess for unemployed and low-income resi- Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) during a town board meeting Dec. 13. dents, many of whom are veterans. “Four years ago, we were blessed with a Edwards said her proudest accomplishment has been her ability to turn difficult person that I have never, ever encountered times in her life into something beneficial someone with more energy and the ability to to those around her. Upon being diagnosed move in and create change,” Petrone said. “A with breast cancer in January 2016, she was woman who has given so much in the short, determined not to miss a single board meet- short four years to the Town of Huntington ing and scheduled her chemotherapy, radia- and its residents … Tracey Edwards, we the members of the Huntington Town Board tion and surgery sessions around them. When she finally became cancer-free, on behalf of the residents of Huntington Edwards, who said she goes for breast can- wish to extend our sincere thanks to you for cer screenings once a year, realized there service to our community.” Edwards thanked members of the comwere probably so many women out there who may not be aware of the importance munity and assured all in the room her journey isn’t over. of screenings or have access to health care. “You haven’t heard the last of me,” she She partnered with Huntington HospitalNorthwell Health to host an education pro- said. “You have not.”

‘True public servants don’t stop doing that just because they lose an election.’


Religious ASSEMBLIES OF GOD STONY BROOK CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY Connecting to God, Each Other and the World

400 Nicolls Road, E. Setauket (631) 689–1127 • Fax (631) 689–1215 Pastor Troy Reid Weekly Schedule Sunday Worship w/nursery 10 am Kidmo Children’s Church • Ignited Youth Fellowship and Food Always to Follow Tuesday Evening Prayer: 7 pm Thursday Morning Bible Study w/Coffee & Bagels: 10 am Friday Night Experience “FNX” for Pre K-Middle School: 6:30 pm Ignite Youth Ministry: 7:30 pm Check out our website for other events and times


38 Mayflower Avenue, Smithtown NY 11787 631–759–6083 Father Tyler A. Strand, Administrator, Joseph S. Durko, Cantor Divine Liturgy: Sundays at 10:30 am Holy Days: See website or phone for information Sunday School Sundays at 9:15 am Adult Faith Formation/Bible Study: Mondays at 7:00 pm. PrayerAnon Prayer Group for substance addictions, Wednesdays at 7 pm A Catholic Church of the Eastern Rite under the Eparchy of Passaic.

CATHOLIC CHURCH OF ST. GERARD MAJELLA 300 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station (631) 473–2900 • Fax (631) 473–0015 All are Welcome to Begin Again. Come Pray With Us. Rev. Jerry DiSpigno, Pastor Office of Christian Formation • (631) 928–2550 We celebrate Eucharist Saturday evening 5 pm, Sunday 7:30, 9 and 11 am Weekday Mass Monday–Friday 9 am We celebrate Baptism Third weekend of each month during any of our weekend Masses We celebrate Marriage Arrangements can be made at the church with our Pastor or Deacon We celebrate Reconciliation Confession is celebrated on Saturdays from 4–5 pm We celebrate You! Visit Our Thrift Shop Mon. – Fri. 10 am–4 pm + Sat. 10 am–2 pm

INFANT JESUS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 110 Myrtle Ave., Port Jefferson, NY 11777 (631) 473-0165 • Fax (631) 331-8094

©155325 Reverend Patrick M. Riegger, Pastor Associates: Rev. Francis Lasrado & Rev. Rolando Ticllasuca To schedule Baptisms and Weddings, Please call the Rectory Confessions: Saturdays 12:30-1:15 pm in the Lower Church Religious Ed.: (631) 928-0447 • Parish Outreach: (631) 331-6145 Weekly Masses: 6:50 and 9 am in the Church, 12 pm in the Chapel* Weekend Masses: Saturday at 5 pm in the Church, 5:15 pm in the Chapel* Sunday at 7:30 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm in the Church and at 8:30 am, 10 am, and 11:30 am (Family Mass) in the Chapel* Spanish Masses: Sunday at 8:45 am and Wednesday at 6 pm in the Church *Held at the Infant Jesus Chapel at St. Charles Hospital Religious Education: (631) 928-0447 Parish Outreach: (631) 331-6145

D irectory CATHOLIC

ST. JAMES ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH 429 Rt. 25A, Setauket, NY 11733 Phone/Fax: (631) 941–4141 Parish Office email: Office Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am - 2 pm

Mission Statement: Beloved daughters and sons of the Catholic parish of St. James, formed as the Body of Christ through the waters of Baptism, are a pilgrim community on Camiño-toward the fullness of the Kingdom of God, guided by the Holy Spirit. Our response to Jesus’ invitation to be faithful and fruitful disciples requires us to be nurtured by the Eucharist and formed by the Gospel’s call to be a Good Samaritan to neighbor and enemy. That in Jesus’ name we may be a welcoming community respectful of life in all its diversities and beauty; stewards of and for God’s creation; and witnesses to Faith, Hope and Charity. Rev. James-Patrick Mannion, Pastor Rev. Gerald Cestare, Associate Pastor Rev. Jon Fitzgerald, In Residence Weekday Masses: Monday – Saturday 8:00 am Weekend Masses: Saturday Vigil 5:00 pm Sunday 8:00am, 9:30 am (family), 11:30 am (choir), 6:00 pm (Youth) Friday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Baptisms: Contact the Office at the end of the third month (pregnancy) to set date Reconciliation: Saturdays 4:00 – 4:45 pm or by appointment Anointing Of The Sick: by request Holy Matrimony: contact the office at least 9 months before desired date Bereavement: (631) 941-4141 x 341 Faith Formation Office: (631) 941-4141 x 328 Outreach: (631) 941-4141 x 333 Our Lady of Wisdom Regional School: (631) 473-1211 Our Daily Bread Sunday Soup Kitchen 3 pm


233 North Country Road, Mt. Sinai • (631) 473–1582

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here” Worship hour is 8:30 am and 10 am Sunday School and Childcare offered at 10:00 am open to all children (infants to 8th grade). The last Sunday of every month is our Welcome Sunday Service. This service has been intentionally designed to include persons of differing abilities from local group homes. We are an Open and Affirming Congregation.


ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH “Our little historic church on the hill” across from the Stony Brook Duck Pond

Main Street, Stony Brook • (631) 751–0034

www.allsouls– • Please come and welcome our new Priest: The Rev. Farrell D. Graves, Ph.D., Vicar Sunday Holy Eucharist: 8 and 9:30 am Religious instruction for children follows the 9:30 am Service This is a small eclectic Episcopal congregation that has a personal touch. We welcome all regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey. Walk with us.

To be listed in the Religious Directory, please call 631–751–7663


CAROLINE CHURCH OF BROOKHAVEN The Rev. Cn. Dr. Richard D. Visconti, Rector

1 Dyke Road on the Village Green, Setauket Web site: Parish Office email: (631) 941–4245

Sunday Services: 8 am, 9:30 am and 11:15 am Church School/Child Care at 9:30 am Church School classes now forming. Call 631-941-4245 for registration. Weekday Holy Eucharist’s: Thursday 12:00 pm and first Friday of the month 7:30 pm (rotating: call Parish Office for location.) Youth, Music and Service Programs offered. Let God walk with you as part of our family–friendly community.

CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 127 Barnum Ave., Port Jefferson (631) 473–0273 email:

Father Anthony DiLorenzo: Priest–In–Charge Sunday Services 8 am & 10 am Sunday Eucharist: 8 am and 10 am/Wednesday 10 in our chapel Sunday School and Nursery Registration for Sunday School starting Sunday after the 10 am Eucharist Our ministries: Welcome Inn on Mondays at 5:45 pm AA meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm/Prayer Group on Wednesdays at 10:30 am/Bible Study on Thursdays at 10 am. It is the mission of the people of Christ Church to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and to make his love known to all through our lives and ministry. We at Christ Church are a joyful, welcoming community. Wherever you are in your journey of life we want to be part of it.


12 Prospect St, Huntington, • (631) 427-1752 “To know Christ and to make Him known” Rev. Duncan A.Burns, Rector Rev. Anthony Jones, Deacon Alex Pryrodyny, Organist & Choir Director • LIKE us on Facebook Sunday Worship 8:00AM - Rite I Holy Eucharist 10:00 AM - Rite II Choral Holy Eucharist

EVANGELICAL INTERNATIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH Loving God • Loving Others • Sharing the Gospel

1266 N. Country Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790 (631) 689-7660 • Pastor Hank Kistler Sunday Worship 11 am Thursday Small Groups 7 pm

THREE VILLAGE CHURCH Knowing Christ...Making Him Known

322 Route 25A, East Setauket • (631) 941–3670

Lead Pastor Josh Moody Sunday Worship Schedule 9:15 am:Worship Service Sunday School (Pre–K – Adult), Nursery 10:30 am: Bagel/Coffee Fellowship 11:00 am: Worship, Nursery, Pre–K, Cornerstone Kids (Gr. K–4) We offer weekly Teen Programs, Small Groups, Women’s Bible Studies (day & evening) & Men’s Bible Study Faith Nursery School for ages 3 & 4 Join us as we celebrate 55 years of proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ!



430 Sheep Pasture Rd., Port Jefferson 11777 Tel: 631-473-0894 • Fax: 631-928-5131 •

Rev. Demetrios N. Calogredes, Protopresbyter Sunday Services Orthros 8:30 am - Devine Liturgy 10 am Services conducted in both Greek & English* Books available to follow in English* Sunday Catechism School, 10:15 am - 11:15 am* Greek Language School, Tuesdays 5 pm - 8 pm* Bible Study & Adult Catechism Classes Available* Golden Age & Youth Groups* Thrift Store* Banquet Hall available for Rental* For information please call Church office*





Coram Jewish Center 981 Old Town Rd., Coram • (631) 698–3939 •


“The Eternal Flame-The Eternal Light” weekly Channel 20 at 10 a.m. Shabbat Morning Services 9 a.m. Free Membership. No building fund. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Shabbat and Holiday Services followed by hot buffet. Adult Education Institute for men and women. Internationally prominent Lecturers and Torah Classes. Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Kaballah Classes. Jewish Holiday Institute. Tutorials for all ages. FREE TUITION FOR HEBREW SCHOOL PUT MEANING IN YOUR LIFE (631) 698-3939 Member, National Council of Young Israel. All welcome regardless of knowledge or observance level.

“Judaism with a smile”


Current location: 821 Hawkins Ave., Lake Grove


Future site: East side of Nicolls Rd, North of Rte 347 –Next to Fire Dept.

(631) 585–0521 • (800) My–Torah • Rabbi Chaim & Rivkie Grossbaum Rabbi Motti & Chaya Grossbaum Rabbi Sholom B. & Chanie Cohen Membership Free •Weekday, Shabbat & Holiday Services Highly acclaimed Torah Tots Preschool • Afternoon Hebrew School Camp Gan Israel • Judaica Publishing Department • Lectures and Seminars • Living Legacy Holiday Programs Jewish Learning Institute Friendship Circle for Special Needs Children • The CTeen Network N’shei Chabad Women’s Club • Cyberspace Library Chabad at Stony Brook University – Rabbi Adam & Esther Stein


385 Old Town Rd., Port Jefferson Station (631) 928–3737 Rabbi Aaron Benson

Cantor Daniel Kramer Executive Director Marcie Platkin Principal Heather Welkes Youth Director Jen Schwartz Services: Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 9:15 am Daily morning and evening minyan- Call for times. Tot Shabbat • Family Services • Sisterhood • Men’s Club Seniors’ Club • Youth Group • Continuing Ed Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah • Judaica Shop • Food Pantry Lecture Series • Jewish Film Series NSJC JEWISH LEARNING CENTER RELIGIOUS SCHOOL Innovative curriculum and programming for children ages 5-13 Imagine a synagogue that feels like home! Come connect with us on your Jewish journey. Member United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism


1404 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook • (631) 751–8518 A warm and caring intergenerational community dedicated to learning, prayer, social action, and friendship. Member Union for Reform Judaism

Rabbi David Katz Cantor Marcey Wagner Rabbi Emeritus Stephen A. Karol Rabbi Emeritus Adam D. Fisher Cantor Emeritus Michael F. Trachtenberg

Sabbath Services Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday 10 am Religious School • Monthly Family Service • Monthly Tot Shabbat Youth Groups • Senior Club • Adult Education Sisterhood • Brotherhood • Book Club-more


D irectory

46 Dare Road, Selden (631) 732-2511 Emergency number (516) 848-5386

Rev. Dr. Richard O. Hill, Pastor email: • website: Holy Communion is celebrated every week Saturdays at 5 pm, Sundays at 8, 9:30 and 11 am Service of Prayers for Healing on the first weeked of each month at all services Children and Youth Ministries Sparklers (3-11) Saturdays 5 pm • Sunday School (ages 3-11) 9:30 am Kids’ Club (ages 4-10) Wednesdays 4:15 pm Teen Ministry (ages 11-16) Saturdays 3 pm

ST. PAULS EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH 309 Patchogue Road, Port Jefferson Station (631) 473–2236

Rev. Paul A. Downing, Pastor email: • pastor’s cell: 347–423–3623 Services: Sundays-8:30 and 10:30 am—Holy Communion Sunday School during 10:30 service Bible and Bagels 9:30 am on Sundays Wednesday Night — 7:30 pm Intimate Holy Communion Friday Morning 10:30 am—Power of Prayer Hour Join us for any service-all are welcome We are celebrating 100 years in Port Jefferson Station


MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH Messiah Preschool & Day Care 465 Pond Path, East Setauket 631-751-1775


33 Christian Ave/ PO2117, E. Setauket NY 11733 (631) 941–3581 Rev. Gregory L. Leonard–Pastor Sunday Worship 10:30 am • Adult Sunday School 9:30 am Lectionary Reading and Prayer Wed. 12 noon Gospel Choir Tues. 8 pm Praise Choir and Youth Choir 3rd and 4th Fri. 6:30 pm

COMMACK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 486 Townline Road, Commack Church Office: (631)499–7310 Fax: (631) 858–0596 www.commack– • mail@commack– Rev. Linda Bates–Stepe, Pastor


Welcome to our church! We invite you to Worship with us! Come check us out! Jeans are okay! Open Table Communion 1st Sunday every month. 603 Main Street, Port Jefferson Church Office- (631) 473–0517 Rev. Sandra J. Moore - Pastor Sunday Worship - 9:30 am (summer), 10:00 am (September) Children’s Sunday School - Sept. to June (Sunday School sign up form on Web) Email- Web-

SETAUKET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 160 Main Street, Corner of 25A and Main Street East Setauket • (631) 941–4167

Rev. Steven kim, Pastor • Sunday Worship Service & Church School 10 am Holy Communion 1st Sunday of Month Mary & Martha Circle (Women’s Ministry) monthly on 2nd Tuesday at 1pm


216 Christian Ave., Stony Brook, 11790 Church Office: 631-751-0574 Rev. chuck Van Houten, Pastor Connecting people to God, purpose and each other Sunday Worship 10:00 am Sunday School 10:00 am

Renewing, Restoring, Reviving for the 21st Century!

Rev. Charles Bell- Pastor We welcome all to join us for worship & Fellowship Sunday Worship Services 8:15 am, 9:30 am, 11 am Sunday School at 9:30 am We have a NYS Certified Preschool & Day Care

To be listed in the Religious Directory, please call 631–751–7663

Religious Directory continued on next page


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for thursday, January 4, 2018 Issue: Leisure & News Sections – Thursday, December 28



5 Caroline Avenue ~ On the Village Green (631) 941-4271

Making God’s community livable for all since 1660!! Email:

Rev. Mary, Barrett Speers, pastor

Join us Sundays in worship at 9:30 am Church School (PreK-6th Grade) at 9:45 am Adult Christian Education Classes and Service Opportunities Outreach Ministries: Open Door Exchange Ministry: Furnishing homes...Finding hope Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen Prep Site: All are welcome to join this vibrant community of worship, music (voice and bell choirs), mission (local, national and international), and fellowship. Call the church office or visit our website for current information on church activities. SPC is a More Light Presbyterian Church and part of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians working toward a church as generous and just as God’s grace. ©155327



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380 Nicolls Road • between Rte 347 & Rte 25A (631) 751–0297 • • Rev. Margaret H. Allen ( Sunday Service: 10:30 am

Religious Education at UUFSB: Unitarian Universalism accepts wisdom from many sources and offers non-dogmatic religious education for children from 3-18 to foster ethical and spiritual development and knowledge of world religions. Classes Sunday mornings at 10:30 am. Childcare for little ones under three. Senior High Youth Group meetings Sunday evenings Registration is ongoing. For more information:

To be listed in the Religious Directory, please call 631–751–7663


109 Brown’s Road, Huntington, NY 11743 631–427–9547 • Rev. G. Jude Geiger, Minister (

Starr Austin, religious educator ( Sunday Service 10:30 am, Children’s Religious Education 10:30 am Whoever you are, whomever you love, wherever you are on your life’s journey, you are welcome here. Our services offer a progressive, non-creedal message with room for spiritual seekers. Services and Religious Education each Sunday at 10:30 am Youth Group, Lifespan Religious Education for Adults, Adult and Children’s Choirs. Participants in the Huntington Interfaith Housing Initiative. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.


UNITY CHURCH OF HEALING LIGHT 203 East Pulaski Rd., Huntington Sta. (631) 385–7180 • Rev. Saba Mchunguzi

Unity Church of Healing Light is committed to helping people unfold their Christ potential to transform their lives and build spiritual community through worship, education, prayer and service. Sunday Worship & Church School 11:00 a.m. Wednesday Night Prayer Service 7:30 p.m. Sign Language Interpreter at Sunday Service • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


File photos

Joe Reboli, above, a Stony Brook artist, had a gallery built in his name, called the Reboli Center, on right. A ribbon cutting ceremony, below, was held with local contributors and politicians who helped make it possible.

Reboli Center keeps memory of late artist alive BY DANIEL DUNAIEF It’s much more than a place to go to appreciate the work of late artist and painter Joe Reboli. Located at the former site of Capital One Bank across the street from where Reboli grew up in Stony Brook, the Reboli Center for Art and History, which opened a little more than a year ago, blends a collection of art from the prolific painter with works by other local artists, rotated every three months. Housed in an A-frame white building with blue awnings, the center has showcased the work of artists including Ken Davies, who was Reboli’s teacher and mentor. Reboli was born and raised on Main Street, not far from where his name is memorialized. He and his family had a long history in the area. His grandfather ran a business across the street from where the center now stands, and decades later his aunt worked in the same building when it was a bank. He died in 2004 at age 58 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Since his death, his wife Lois Reboli had been attending makeshift meetings at coffee and kitchen tables across Three Village with a squad self-identified as The Rebolians, working to make sure Joe Reboli’s story lived on. “[The center is] hopefully a gift back to the community my husband loved so much,” said Reboli, a former art teacher. He was on the board of the Three Village Community Trust and Gallery North. When asked by his wife why he attended those gatherings, she said he told her he loved the community and wanted to support it in some way. “I didn’t really understand it at that point,” she said. “I did after he got sick, and I just really wanted to give something to the community so they would remember Joe.” As part of the center’s cultural contributions, free talks are given with local artists, and, after a successful musical debut, the center may be the site of future concerts. Donna Crinnian, a photographer whose pictures of egrets were featured at the center in the fall, called the center a great addition to the community.

“Everybody in the community likes having it there,” she said. “They get a really nice crowd coming in for the speakers.” Besides Reboli, the idea for the studio gallery came together with the help of Colleen Hanson, who worked as executive director of Gallery North from January 2000 until her retirement in September 2010. She worked alongside Lois Reboli after Joe passed and also helped launch the first Reboli Wet Paint Festival weekend at Gallery North in 2005. Hanson also worked with B.J. Intini, a former Gallery North assistant and executive director who is the president of the Farmingville Historical Society. “I made a vow that we would do something for [Reboli],” Hanson said. “If we were to find a space, it had to be in Three Village and it had to have a Joe-like feeling. Now, I pinch myself and think, ‘This is so cool.’ We love this community. We want it to be even better and richer for everybody, and I see this as a beautiful upbeat place where people want to be.” State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (DSetauket) is credited with helping to make the purchase a reality, Reboli said. He helped the

three, self-dubbed the “tres amigas” create a not-for-profit called the Friends of Joseph Reboli, with a mission of collecting, preserving and exhibiting artwork and artifacts related to Joe Reboli. The group filed for federal 501(c) (3) status in 2012. Reboli had been looking for a suitable place to share her late husband’s work with the public and had been demoralized by a few false starts when she wondered if she would be able to find the right spot. It wasn’t until March 2015 when Hanson said she heard of Capital One in Stony Brook potentially leaving the historic landmarked building at a price tag of $1.8 million. Englebright spearheaded securing a $1.3 million state grant that went toward the purchase of the building, and two anonymous $150,000 donations turned the dream into a reality. “He went to bat to help us get as much funding as we could,” Reboli said of the lawmaker. “He was remarkable.” She signed the contract Sept. 25, 2015 — her late husband’s 70th birthday. “It’s everything I hoped for and more,” Englebright said of the center. “I have heard from dozens of people and they are absolutely

thrilled that this is a new part of the cultural dimension in our community.” Englebright said the late artist’s paintings open up a wide range of conversations about the interaction between nature and development. One of his favorites is of three gas pumps in front of a coastal scene on the North Shore. “He put this scene together that clearly to me is an expression of concern regarding the impact of overdevelopment, on a way of life, and on the beauty of Long Island,” Englebright said. In its first full year of operation, the center, which is free for guests, has hosted a range of crowds and events. In May, it welcomed a visit from the Commack High School Art Honor Society. In late October, world-renowned cellist Colin Carr, who has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony and is teaching at Stony Brook, performed at a benefit concert. He said the way the sound worked its way through the building was an unexpected surprise. “When I went in there and played the cello briefly as a trial run, it was immediately apparent that this was perfect for the cello,” Carr said. “It’s always exciting to walk into a new place, whether it’s a room or concert hall or even a church, to sit down and start playing and feel that there’s an immediate rapport between me, the instrument and the space.” Carr is the one who suggested that the center would be a “wonderful place for a small music series.” Reboli said she is thrilled with the direction the center is taking and suggested the showcase is far beyond what she had imagined when she first discussed highlighting her late husband’s artwork. On a Friday in late November, the building hit a high-water mark with about 180 guests in attendance, Reboli said. “I would have been happy with a wall somewhere,” Reboli said. “This has morphed into something that would have been unimaginable before. Never did we expect to have a place like this. This is a miracle.”


Director guiding 50-year-old library into the future BY ALEX PETROSKI ALEX@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Steering a community institution as it crosses the half-century mark in its existence is an enormous responsibility. But when the institution has the inherent added degree of difficulty associated with morphing to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world, fulfilling that responsibility likely feels like threading a needle. As the third director in Comsewogue Public Library’s 50-year history, Debbie Engelhardt has gracefully and masterfully threaded that needle. Engelhardt got her start in the library world as the director of Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton in the early 2000s. She was also the director of the Huntington Public Library from 2009 to 2012, before being selected as just the third director in the history of the Comsewogue Public Library. In October 2017, Engelhardt played a vital role in planning, organizing and conducting a 50th anniversary celebration for the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville community staple. The day, according to many of her colleagues, had fingerprints of her enthusiasm, one-track community mindedness, and passion all over it, though that can be said about every day she’s spent at Comsewogue’s helm. “Very rarely do you find anybody as dedicated to her profession and to her community like Debbie,” said Richard Lusak, Comsewogue Public Library’s first director from 1966 through 2002. The Oct. 14 anniversary celebration included the dedication of the building’s community room in Lusak’s honor, an initiative Engelhardt unsurprisingly also had a hand in. “Those who come to know her quickly value her leadership ability and her insight into things,” he said. “She never says ‘no,’ she says, ‘Let me figure out how to do it.’” The director tried to sum up her feelings about the anniversary as it was still ongoing. “The program says ‘celebrating our past, present and future,’ so that’s what we’re doing all in one day with the community,” she said in October. The event featured games, a bounce house, farm animals, crafts, giveaways, snacks, face painting, balloon animals, music, a historical society photo gallery and tour, and a new gallery exhibit. “We thought of it as a community thank you for the ongoing support that we’ve had

File photos

Above, Comsewogue Library Director Debbie Engelhardt, third from left, and Port Jefferson Free Library Director Tom Donlon, second left, with others, cut the ribbon on a Free Little Library in Miller Place, below on the left. Below on the right, Comsewogue’s three directors — Richard Lusak, Engelhardt and Brandon Pantorno — during its 50th anniversary celebration. since day one, across all three administrations,” the library director said. Engelhardt’s vision has been a valuable resource in efforts to modernize the library and keep it vibrant, as Amazon Kindles and other similar technologies have infringed on what libraries used to be about for generations. As the times have changed, Engelhardt has shown a propensity to keep Comsewogue firmly positioned as a community hub. “I think she’s done a superb job with respect to coordinating all of the interests of input from the community as to what services are being requested by the public, whether it’s the children’s section, the adult reference and the senior citizens, including all of the activities we offer and the different programs,” said Edward Wendol, vice president of the library’s board of trustees who has been on the board for about 40 years. He was the board’s president when Engelhardt was selected as director. Wendol credited Engelhardt with spearheading efforts to obtain a Free Little Library not only for Comsewogue, but for several other area libraries. The program features a small, outdoor drop box where

readers can take a book to read or leave a book for future visitors. “Anybody can use it as much as they want and it’s always a mystery when you open that box — you never know what you’ll find,” Engelhardt said during its dedication over the summer. “There are no late fees, no guilt, no stress. If you want to keep a book, you can … we are pleased to partner with the historical society to bring this gem. The books inside will move you and teach you. We say that libraries change lives and, well, little free libraries can too.” Wendol said she also played a huge role in reorganizing the interior structure of the library. Engelhardt has created reading areas on all levels, placed popular selections near the entrance of the building, and taken an overall hands-on approach to the look and feel of the library. He also lauded her role working together with the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, an organization dedicated to serving the 56 public libraries in the county and assisting them in sharing services, website designs, group purchases and other modernization efforts. “She’s great at what she does and seems

to be having a great amount of fun while she’s doing it, and it’s kind of infectious,” said Kevin Verbesey, director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System and a friend of Engelhardt’s for more than 20 years. “She is one of the leaders in the county, not just in Port Jeff Station and Comsewogue, but somebody who other library directors turn to for advice and for leadership.” Her community leadership efforts cannot be contained by Comsewogue Public Library’s four walls however. Engelhardt is a member and past president of the Port Jefferson Rotary Club; a member of the board of trustees at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital; and vice president of Decision Women in Commerce and Professions, a networking organization dedicated to fostering career aid and support, and generating beneficial community projects. When she finds time in the day, she participates in events like the cleanup of Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches, a facility for children with special needs. This past November she helped, among many others, clean up the camp with husband, John, and son, Scott.


Wishing you

peace, good cheer good health and

in the

new year.

Thank you for the confidence that you and your family place in our Stony Brook Medicine family every day. More than a hospital, more than a medical school, more than a research institution, Stony Brook Medicine is an academic medical center that brings it all together for you — it’s one place where the brightest minds seek the most innovative ways to take care of the most complex healthcare issues. Of course, even when your family’s healthcare needs are more routine, or you’re looking for new ways to help keep healthy, we have lots of ideas for that, too! Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. 17110773H


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