Riverhead Fire Department held its 48th annual installation and dinner dance on Saturday, May 14, at department headquarters. Chief Nick Luparella, 1st Assistant Chief Anthony White Sr., 2nd Assistant Chief Joe Raynor and 3rd Assistant Chief Kevin Brooks were installed into their prospective positions by Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners Dennis Hamill. The chief’s office recognized the top-10 responders: Commissioner and Ex-Chief John Tradeski, Firefighter Butch Yeager, Firefighter Andre Ceckowski, Ex-Commissioner Rich Ligon, Ex-Chief and Ex-Commissioner Frank Darrow, Ex-Captain Norman Beal, Ex-Chief Steven Beal, Lt. Jamie Brooks, Ex-Chief and Ex-Commissioner Vincent Golembeski and top responder, Ex-Captain and Safety Officer Robert Szczepanik.
The fire department’s top honor, Firefighter of the Year, goes to Kevin Kosciuszko for saving a young child from drowning. He was presented with plaques and proclamations from RFD, Sen. Ken La Valle, North Fork Volunteer Firefighters Association and County Legislator Ed Romaine. Ex-Chief and Ex-Commissioner William Bilski was recognized for 20 years of dedicated service through the Board of Fire Commissioners.
RFD will be celebrating 175 years of service (1836-2011) in October 2011. The following distinguished members have served 50-plus years: Timothy Griffing Jr. (50 years); Charles Bloss (50), Martin Zaneski (53), Jack Due Schmidt (53), William Bilski (53), Louis Waski (54), Joseph Pipczynski (54), Antone Bugdin (54), Lawrence Taylor (55), Leonard Kaminski (55), William Conklin (55), William Hubbard (56), Robert Taylor (57), Chester Leja (57), Vincent Golembeski (57), William Brooks Jr. (57), Stanley Zambriski (60), Martin Montag (61), John Kobylenski (62), Frank Sendlewski (64), Frank Corwin (64), Eliot Barth (65), and senior member Harold “Smokey” Schaefer (69). Congratulations!
Not to outshine anyone else in the department, firefighter Brian Linnen proposed to Mary Gebhardt and she said yes. Congratulations to Brian’s parents, firefighter Mark Linnen and his wife, Renee, who are very happy about this union to be. A round of thanks goes to Master of Ceremonies Commissioner and Ex-Chief William Kelly Sr. and to the banquet committee, Ex-Chief and Commissioner John Tradeski Jr., Capt. Kevin Burgess, Capt. Edmund Hodun, and Ex-Capt. James Grace. The band The Mulligans provided the evening’s entertainment.
Riverhead Free Library will host “Riverhead Cemeteries: Stories in Stone,” a local history and genealogy discussion, on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. Local historians Kathy Then and Karen Buxton will explore the cemeteries within and around Riverhead Town. Refreshments will be served. The suggested reading is “North Fork Cemeteries” by Clement Healy.
This month’s book discussion will be “The Master Butcher’s Singing Club” by Louise Edrich. Join in on Thursday, May 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. to discuss this critically acclaimed historical novel about a killer who discovers in the aftermath of war that love is his true vocation. Advance sign-up at the adult reference desk for both programs is encouraged but not required. For more information, call RFL at 727-3228.
Belated birthday wishes to Sophie O’Kula, who turned 97, on May 6. She currently lives in Connecticut with her daughter, Jean. She is surrounded by her granddaughters Debbie, Sharon and Susan and great-grandchildren Jonathan and Julianna Senn. Sophie loves to read the News-Review every week and is a previous resident of Polish Town, USA. Sto lat!
Happy birthday to Ryan Seebeck on May 19; John Luce and Alyssa Rowe, May 20; John Kurpetski, Mary Langhorn and Blake Corwin, May 21; Ed Collins, Rose Castillo, Lily Luparella (who turns 1) and Nicole Lojko (who turns 21), May 22; Justin Maas, May 23; and Michael Ross, Candice Hughes (who turns 21) and Reid Groth (who turns 4), May 24. Be sure to celebrate.
Happy wedding anniversary to Joseph and Cynthia Pettiford, who celebrate their 2nd, on May 22, and to Connie and Dennis Kenter on May 25. Hope your day is special.