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Class Of ’70 Takes The Field In Port

Port’s class of 1970 celebrated its 45th reunion and renewed lifelong friendships here in Port last weekend. Of the 500-plus students that graduated that year, more than 100 reconvened, starting off with a tour of Schreiber generously led by Assistant Principal Dave Miller.

The “kids” relived the joy of school ties, St. Peter’s nostalgia, memories of the important events of the late 1960s. Memories also included the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Apollo 13 and Woodstock. Last weekend in Port, it was the ‘Summer of Love’ all over again. Mark Furth, Greg Decker and Roger Weaver mentioned their favorite 1970s bands: Chicago, Crosby Stills & Nash, Neil Diamond, The Doors. George Oestreich remembers seeing Bruce Springsteen at My Father’s Place, a former Roslyn music venue. Back then, Liz Daly and this writer caught (pre-Piano Man) Billy Joel at the Knotty Knee, also in Roslyn. Katie Nolan proudly wore her original Alpha Omega zip jacket, from the days when there were sororities at Schreiber.

Restauranteur Gillis Poll welcomed all the arrivals Friday night at Bar Frites in Wheatley Plaza for a social warm up to the weekend. Grads from as far away as Thailand, Washington State, California, Ohio and Pennsylvania arrived.

One highlight was a Saturday softball game on Campus Drive, where Melissa (Missy) Mendelsohn leapt up to snag an amazing catch, nixing what would have definitely been a grand slam. Star slugger Frank Pirolo and Coach Russell Gilbert organized the game, Jimmy Fergeson provided the drinks, ice and pizza. Many out-of-towners were thrilled with good “Port” pizza. More ball players were Janet Palmer, Carol White, cheerleader Gail Smith, Neil Gebhart, Dave Brackett, Roger Weaver and Steve Leigh, who just bought a place back in Port, because, “I love it here.”Reunion081915A

Glen Andersen and his mother, Rosaria Frances Andersen were in the stands when she confirmed, “I’ll see you at the next one!” Also in the stands were cheerleader Chrissy Pisciotta, Rose Picardi, Chris Convey, Marcey MReunion081915Bougey and more.

Melissa Mendelsohn said, “There’s nothing like the feeling of safety, of our childhood, when it comes to friendships.” Steffenie Oliver remembered playing softball here in seventh grade.

Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn was hopping to the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s DJ as the class partied late Saturday night. Many reconnected, sitting at tables enjoying the updates of children and, yes, grandchildren. There were happy memories and sad ones, too, remembering the classmates who were no longer with them. Congratulations go to the winners of “met in Port and longest marriage”: Joanie Frappaolo and Rich DeMeo. A very close second were cheerleader Laurie Gunther and Doug Moore.

Heaps of appreciation goes to the organizing committee of Linda Papsidero, Melissa Mendelsohn, Dot Wilson, Dee Dee Hatcherian, Janet Palmer and Steve Leigh. They have organized great reunions over the decades; the last one was five years ago. The Schreiber class of 1970 is clearly blessed with amazing, caring, loving classmates. They are all asking, “When’s the next one?” When it happens, you’ll hear about it.

Local Quilter Wins Ribbons

Port Washington resident Rita D’Alonzo received two ribbons for her quilt entitled “Tranquility” at the Vermont Quilt Festival in Essex Junction, VT. She received a second place ribbon and a special award ribbon for the best modern quilt in the show of over 200 juried quilts. The Vermont Quilt Festival, now in its 39th year, is the largest quilt show in the Northeast. It’s held every year at the end of June.

D’Alonzo has lived in Port Washington for more than 57 years. She graduated from Schreiber High School in 1960. After graduating from Radford University in Virginia, said D’Alonzo, “I married the boy next door, Augie D’Alonzo. We raised five sons here, all going through the public schools and then to Fordham University. They have produced 11 grandchildren, the last girl this past week.”

D’Alonzo has been involved in many local organizations. “I have been on the Port Washington School Board for nine years, the Community Chest and the Port Washington Adult Board, plus numerous other volunteer organizations,” she said.

D’Alonzo started quilting more than 30 years ago, she said, “always taking classes to improve my skills and learn new techniques. I have taught in the Port Washington Adult Education program and for other quilting guilds. I am a member of the Long Island Quilter’s Society, cochairing its quilt show two years ago.” Besides quilting for herself and her family, especially her 11 grandchildren, she also has made many quilts for clients, specializing in T-shirt quilts. She also makes memory quilts and uses men’s ties to make pillows or quilts.

D’Alonzo chairs the Our Lady of Fatima Church Quilting Circle, which meets once a week. “We have made a quilt that is hanging in the church, as well as banners for the altar and raffle pieces to raise money,” said D’Alonzo.

Pawnbroker Award To Davis

Pawn081215A

Josh and Adam Davis

Schreiber graduate Joshua Davis was recently chosen to receive the first ever Young Professional Award at Pawn Expo Las Vegas, the industry’s annual trade show. Davis, who graduated from Schreiber High School in 2002, was recognized for his contributions to the community,
leadership at the company he cofounded and his extensive work on behalf of the Florida Pawnbrokers Association, for which he is president. During his years in Port Washington, he earned his Eagle Scout and was a volunteer fireman, and then at Union College he was a volunteer EMT. Gold N Connection, the company Davis cofounded with his brother Adam and branded as “GC Pawn,” has six locations in South Florida and has been an NPA member since its inception in 2008. He also is an active supporter of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, AIPAC and Deliver the Dream. In his acceptance speech, Josh acknowledged his brother Adam as his partner and cofounder of GC Pawn. “I always knew I had this industry in my blood, but didn’t know how it would materialize as a viable business,” said Davis. “I am truly honored to receive the Young Professional Award from the NPA and hope to continue to help grow the industry as a whole.”

The Young Professional Award was conceived by the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA), which tapped Davis to receive this award from a large field of qualified candidates. The NPA was founded as a trade association in 1987 and supports independent pawnbrokers worldwide. As the industry’s only national association, it offers education and networking for members and advocates on behalf of the industry.

Davis and his brother may be young but they are no strangers to the pawn industry. They are third-generation pawnbrokers and the patron of their family venture, Martin Kaminsky (father of Sands Point resident Paula Kaminsky Davis), opened his first pawn shop in 1947 in New York City. It was only natural that after attending college, they opened their own company with the goal of bringing a modern touch to an ancient industry.

Tee Time At Harbor Links

With a few weeks of summer left to go, the kids in Port Washington continue to enjoy their summer by hitting some golf balls. At Harbor Links, there’s plenty of fun for kids as they learn to play on the golf course.

Harbor Links Golf, in its 15th year, holds two ongoing summer programs that run till late August. The first one ranges from ages 6 to 9, meeting four times a week. The second program is for ages 10 to 16 years old, meeting up five times a week. They also offer a fall and spring program, which features six weeks of instructional play.Harborlinks081915A

James Hong, who is the director of junior programs, is among seven staff members on hand. Hong keeps the groups at about seven students per instructor. “What’s nice about it is we keep the groups small so all the kids get a lot of individual attention,” said Hong. “It’s a lot of fun and they have a good time.”

Hong, who had played in college, has an impressive teaching resume. He was named 2014 GRAA Top 50 Teacher in America, 2012 U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Lifetime Master Teacher and was nominated for Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers List. He has been teaching the game of golf for 20 years.

Although Hong hopes that the kids can take the game seriously, he also stressed that it is okay to have fun with it as well. His advice is to enjoy both aspects because golf can be a difficult sport. “You have to enjoy the tough times because it is the most frustrating thing you’ll ever go through,” said Hong. “If you can handle that and really love the game you are trying to be better at, then you’ll be successful in whatever you do.”

What keeps campers coming back to the program is the close relationships the instructors form with the children. From the small groups to the repeat campers, instructors establish strong connections with their students and care for their wellbeing. Many of the students go through several levels of development. Many of the students come to the program through high school.

Although the objective is teaching kids how to play golf, at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun. The staff is constantly trying to incorporate new ideas on how to continue to let the kids enjoy themselves on the green. “You can tell when the children really enjoy it (a new activity) when they ask if they can do this again,” said Hong. “Then we keep it in the rotation. That’s our number one goal.”

To learn more about programs
at Harbor Links, go to www.harbor
links.com.

 

On The Gridiron With PYA

The first day of school is now just around the corner, and the fall football season is about to begin. The Port Washington Youth Activities’ (PYA) football programs have also kick-started their fall registration process for the upcoming year.

PYA football programs will begin Sept. 13.

PYA hosts its tackle football and flag football programs at Lion’s Field on Glen Lane in Port Washington. The programs are open to Port Washington residents as well as those from Manhasset.

PYA’s flag football programs range from grades 2 to 5 while the senior tackle football program caters to grades 5 and 6.

The organization looks to grow its tackle program and help the youth of Port Washington and Manhasset prepare for the middle school football level of play. At this age, they learn how to properly tackle and understand the fundamentals and mechanics of the game.

“We feel that we have extremely talented players who can hang with any community on Long Island,” said Program Director Brandon Kurz.

Tackle football was always a big draw at PYA, just like its baseball
and basketball programs, where teams in the program competed against one another.

Unfortunately, with the rise of the number of concussions in tackle football, the number of players participating in the sport has declined recently. However, the numbers have increased dramatically in PYA’s flag football program.

“I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but it’s certainly happening,” said Kurz. “We want to be able to grow with the times.”

PYA’s flag football program is spearheaded by Howie Golan, while Ron Rochester and Wes Rudes helm the tackle football program. All their expertise and contributions to PYA have played a part in the success of both football programs.

While tackle is a contact sport, flag football is geared towards learning the basics. Flag football can be just as exciting, though.

“Flag football is really intense and the kids play hard and have a lot of fun,” said Kurz.

For more information about PYA and how to register for both programs, go to www.pyasports.org.

 

Grant For Microgrid Feasibility Study

North Hempstead was recently awarded a NY Prize Stage 1 grant to fund a feasibility study to install microgrids, or small-scale power grids, that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. The microgrid would be located in downtown Port Washington, which is a part of the NY Prize Opportunity Zone. The feasibility study will evaluate opportunities to link critical infrastructure and community assets in Port Washington together to form the grid, which will provide an added layer of security during emergencies.

“Receiving this grant is such an important step in continuing to make North Hempstead both safer and more resilient in an emergency,” said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “It will give our residents a sense of security, knowing that critical infrastructure will continue functioning even if the power is out.”

The creation of a microgrid involves connecting multiple structures to form a grid independent of the main power grid that connects entire portions of the country. In emergencies, if the grid fails, the microgrid can detach from it and continue to function.

“The potential to establish a microgrid, which could enable our town to retain vital electrical service should an emergency occur, will provide an enhanced level of protection, greater peace of mind, as well as aiding in any needed recovery efforts,” Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio said. “We are so grateful for all who worked hard to secure funding for this microgrid feasibility study.”

The feasibility study will look at linking the Port Washington Police District, the Port Washington Fire Department, Port Washington Union Free School District (which serves as an American Red Cross Storm Shelter), the Port Washington Water District, the Port Washington Public Library, Landmark on Main Street and the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter to form a microgrid. The town’s effort to support these critical hubs for disaster mitigation and relief will be performed in partnership with Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington (Residents), and is supported by the Port Washington Crisis Relief Team, the North Hempstead Department of Emergency Management and the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, PSEGLI and National Grid.

Mindy Germain, executive director of Residents, said, “Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington is proud to partner with the Town of North Hempstead to realize a future for Port Washington with a cleaner and more reliable energy system.”

Granola Company Born From a Bake Sale

Granola081215APort Washington is the home of Viki’s Granola founder and CEO Viki Sater, and is also the birthplace of the brand. “When my oldest daughter was still attending Schreiber High School in 2009, she asked me to donate to a bake sale,” said Sater. “I was expecting her to request a storebought box of brownies or cookies but, to my surprise, she said, ‘Granola, please!’ I was amused, but thought, easy, granola…coming right up. The baked granola was literally eaten right up. It was a huge success. Days and weeks following the school bake sale, calls and emails poured in from teachers, parents and even from people in the community who had heard about the bake sale, all asking for Viki’s granola.”

In 2010, Sater started her business, Viki’s Foods, making Viki’s Granola. Her first commercial kitchen space was located on Manorhaven Boulevard. There were many days where the Manorhaven Boulevard kitchen was lined with pallets stacked high with Viki’s Granola, said Sater. “Over a few short years, we just outgrew our facility and required a loading dock to fulfill our surging order requests.” Sater eventually moved the company to Bethpage.

Sater is an entrepreneur with a passion for health and cooking. Sater embraced her innate skill for baking and hosting parties and gatherings as a way to share her favorite foods with friends and family. Today, as the founder of Viki’s Granola, Sater is dedicated to sharing Viki’s Foods’ commitment to creating healthy and great-tasting foods, with not just her own family, but with customers nationwide. “My family was my main focus when I created my first batch of granola; it was made from 100 percent all-natural, high-quality ingredients then and it is still made that way today,” said Sater. “We never add refined sugar, fillers or preservatives. There are less than seven ingredients per flavor. The granola is gluten free, kosher and non-GMO. All of our granolas are naturally sweetened with organic honey or maple syrup.” Today, Viki’s Granola is available in five flavors and has a loyal following.

Sater recently participated in Donna Karan’s “Super Saturday” event to raise funds and awareness for ovarian cancer research. Sater donated snacks for the event.

Granola081215BSater explained her choice to live and start her business in Port Washington. “For me, Port Washington was an obvious choice. That’s where I live, where my kids went to school and of course where my following began. North Shore Farms was and continues to be an amazing customer of mine, In fact, I was just there and commented that I can’t go anywhere in Port since I can’t help but stop and chat.” Sater also sells her product at Ralph’s Ices as well as at other businesses in Port.

Sater grew up on the West Coast and moved to New York when she was 21 years old. Shortly after starting a family, she moved to Port Washington, where all three of her daughters attended school. Her youngest child just graduated from Schreiber High School this June and will be joining her sisters at Syracuse University in the fall. Sater is a member of the Women’s Business Network (WBENC) and holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Marymount Manhattan College. For more information, go to www.vikisfoods.com.

Water Conservation Photo Contest

The Town of North Hempstead (TONH) is partnering with WaterSense, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that seeks to conserve the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people ways to minimize water waste with the use of water efficient products and services.
The WaterSense Program is hosting a photo contest to get people involved in water conservation. They are seeking photo entries that showcase landscape transformations or landscapes that feature water conservative plants. Photo submissions may be made through Aug. 27, and voting will continue through Sept. 10.

“High consumption of water through lawn maintenance, disregard for running water, leaky faucets and long showers are all causes for rapidly falling water levels on Long Island. It is vital that people are aware of the importance of conserving water in their daily lives,” said TONH Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “We’ve partnered with WaterSense because of its mission to preserve our nation’s water and to help members of our community inspire others to do so as well. That is exactly what this photo contest does.”

Entries can be submitted on the WaterSense Facebook page under the “Photo Challenge” tab, or on a public Twitter or Instagram account using the hashtag #watersavingyard. Participants can also email photos to watersaving yard@erg.com. The top submissions that incorporate both aesthetic and water efficient landscapes will receive national WaterSense recognition.

—Submitted by TONH

Plant A Row A Success

Plantarow081215ABy Emily Shlafmitz

It’s hard to miss the 50 painted flower pots located around Port Washington, each with a unique, intricate design and overflowing with fresh plants. These pots are part of the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign, which seeks to provide those in the community who have inadequate food supplies with fresh, nutritious produce. As Marvin Makofsky, chief vegetable garden executive for Plant a Row in Port Washington, explained, people often donate nonperishable goods to the hungry, but it is rare to hear about families in need receiving healthy vegetables to eat. For this reason, Makofsky brought the idea of Plant a Row to Port Washington six years ago. Originally, the program was set to encourage people to donate excess produce they had grown in their gardens, but the painted planters that are now visible all around Port Washington have become a part of the campaign this year. [Read more…]

Tokey Hill Karate Puts On A Show

The Tokey Hill Martial Arts Studio sent eight of its athletes to compete in the U.S. National Karate Championships in Fort Lauderdale from July 13 to 19. Under the leadership of Sensei Christina Muccini, they earned 11 medals, four of them gold. In addition to their success, Muccini was awarded USA Karate Coach of the Year.

Tokey Hill has been in the Port Washington area since 1985. Tokey Hill, who the studio was named after, was a World Champion for the U.S. and one of the most well-known names in the sport of karate. Muccini was a student who trained under Hill. She eventually earned a spot
on the U.S. national team from
1992-2000. She went on to win two Pan Am Games bronze medals. Muccini also achieved a silver medal in the France Invitational. She was then crowned U.S. National Champion eight times. In 2007, Muccini was put on the U.S. National coaching staff, where she won Karate Coach of the Year.

At the studio, Muccini is busy training athletes both young and old. Not only does the studio teach karate, they also offer kickboxing, boxing, mixed martial arts and self-defense. They hold a two-tier program, where one is recreational, in which students can achieve their ultimate goal of a black belt. The other program is geared toward competition, where students can prepare for upcoming tournaments.

Ashley Davis, gold medalist; Tokey Hill; Christina Muccini, Finegan 2015 United Olympic committee, USA Karate, Coach of the Year

Ashley Davis, gold medalist; Tokey Hill; Christina Muccini, Finegan 2015 United Olympic committee, USA Karate, Coach of the Year

Muccini stressed that karate is not only about fighting. “We do a lot of tactics and strategy for younger people on how to combat social situations where bullying would occur,” said Muccini. “All without using any type of martial arts.” Their program helps children with self-esteem issues, confidence building, physical fitness, agility, flexibility and, most importantly, to strengthen character.

At the higher level, students train year-round in preparation for tournament competition. At this stage, the athletes engage in serious condition training, consisting of a lot of track work, strength training, weight lifting and body conditioning. There is also technical and psychological preparation involved, as well as emphasizing nutrition. “All of those things blended together makes a world-class athlete,” said Muccini. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

At the Fort Lauderdale tournament, eight athletes representing Tokey Hill earned medals. Gold medals were won by Calog Torretta, Jennifer Sullivan, Lizel Lee and Ashley Davis, who also earned a bronze. Austin Pfeifer took home a silver and a bronze medal. Ashley Hill and Tony Pisani picked up a bronze medal, while London Mckeiver earned two bronze medals. Ethan Wachsman and Mark Palzer finished fifth and Valerio Bonnano finished seventh to round out the team.

Muccini is honored to see her team achieve this type of success. “It is a great sense of pride for our school and something that we take very seriously,” she said. “It’s about achieving balance and being able to succeed in all aspects of their lives.”

Tokey Hill Studio has earned a reputation for developing students into successful athletes as well as becoming better people both in and out of the dojo.

To learn more about Tokey Hill’s programs, go to www.tokeyhill.com.