12/17/11 3:30pm

We attended Living Water Church’s wonderful Christmas show this past weekend and it was truly stunning. The performances were professionally done, with so much talent and grace. The choral productions were lively and melodic, a combination of old, favorite Christmas carols and contemporary songs reflecting on the “reason for the Christmas season.” The drama was witty and light, the dance numbers were beautifully choreographed and the precision of the dancers was just amazing. Of course, our favorite performer, Amanda Frank, led many of the dances.

Amanda and her family have been friends with our family for about 12 years, three-and-a-half of which Amanda has been a personal aide to my daughter Johanna. Amanda is a warm and wonderful young lady who is very talented. She had a significant role in the Christmas production this year but her starring role happened at the Sunday matinee performance, which ended with a beautiful rendition of “White Christmas.” True to the movie’s script, Josh Palmeri, Amanda’s boyfriend, got down on one knee and proposed to her in front of the entire sold-out show! Of course Amanda said “yes!”

Congratulations to LWC on another year of fine performances. We also extend our sincere, heartfelt and very ecstatic congratulations to Amanda and Josh on their engagement. May God continue to bless all of you!

I want to remind you that there will be no paper Dec. 29. The Times/Review office will be closed for the holidays Dec. 26-30 to give the staff time to celebrate the season with friends and family. My next column will be for the Jan. 12 issue. Please send me your announcements by Jan. 9 to be printed in that issue. There are lots of good things coming ahead for all of us in 2012 and I want to hear about it!

It isn’t often that Hanukkah and Christmas fall in the same week. I think it is quite special. Both traditions are celebrations of the triumph of light over the darkness. I wish you light in the darkness. Happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!

12/10/11 12:29pm

Congratulations to the Aquebogue students of the week for November: Kindergarten — Victoria Daychouk, Griffin Sumwalt, Willy Barrios, Reese Wirth, Victoria Salazar, Joshua Soler, Matteo Mosciatti, Gisselle Morales-Llamas, Alexandra Hoverkamp, Autumn Montgomery, Cambria Palomino, Ja’Dah Williams. 1st grade — Travis Hansen, Rigoberto Nicolas, Colin Maaiki, Mishell Garcia, Cesar Dubon, Justin Caraballo Torres, Courtney Reynolds, Michael Gagliano, Aidan Eslin, Jayden Gilliam, Shannah Calle, Christian Aguilar, Charles Liles, Tara Galka, Janeiah Evans, Erick Agustin, Adolfo Jeronimo, Daneijha Corey-Farmer. 2nd grade — Nelsis Guevara-Cuesta, Maria Vergara, Jaxson Rubio, Jayden Binkis, Zyaire Hartfield, Katy Paredes, Ryan Allen, Samuel Lemus, Ellie Schultz, Ariana Hubbard, Riley Dunbar, Hannah Witt, Sophia Haupt, Giovanna Maffetone, Patrick Rowland, Olwin Mayen, Randy Cabrera-Milian, Savannah McDonald. 3rd grade — Olivia Niewiadomski, Joshua Carey, Jocelyn Podlas, Skyler Yuengling, Megan Card-Gimipelman, William Green, Deanna Wirth, Erica Bilski. 4th grade — Christian Mato, Abigail Morreale, Shannon Doyle, Kaylen Lockhart, Benjamin Payton, Katherine Goodale, Haylie Tierney, Joseph Brown, Liam Drobny, Julianna Veliz, Jose Alvarado, Kellie Estes, Grace Kaelin, and Katelin Adamson.

Celebrate the season at the Jamesport Meeting House with “Carols and Cookies” Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. The East End Arts chorus, conducted by Ann Webb, will perform seasonal selections and lead attendees in a singalong of popular carols. Barbara Bixby will play piano. Afterward, share some cookies and mulled cider in the Lecture Room. Suggested $5 donation for adults. All children are welcome.

The opening performance of Living Water Full Gospel Church’s Christmas show, “The Wonder of Christmas,” is tonight. I heard that tickets are selling out quickly for some of the performances. The show is a wonderful way to get into the spirit of Christmas, with performances of traditional Christmas tunes and seasonal gospel hits. Call today to reserve your tickets. Performances are Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 15-17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, the 18th, at 3 p.m. For tickets and information, call 631-722-4969, ext. 204, or email info@lwfgc.org.

Congratulations to 2005 RHS graduate Danielle Hein, who just received her “white coat” in a special ceremony at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. This ceremony is an initiation into its residency program. The white coat was presented by Dr. Andresen of Mattituck-Laurel Veterinary Hospital. Danielle used to work for Dr. Andresen, milking his goats and helping out with his animals. It was during that time she decided she wanted to become a veterinarian. Danielle will graduate in 2013. Congratulations, Danielle, from all your family and friends!

We are busy decorating our house for Christmas. The college kids will all be home by the weekend in time to celebrate my birthday! We are all going to New York City to see the tree and share a meal. Then Johanna, her sisters and I will stay at Ronald McDonald House to prepare for some testing at NYU. I wish you much peace in the week ahead.

12/08/11 12:30am

Thanks to the Jamesport Fire Department for a wonderful tree lighting celebration. Main Road is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, thanks to all of you.

Remember, First Parish Church is hosting an advent musical presentation on Dec. 10 at 1:15 p.m. Featured talents are pianist Terence Purtell, flutist Michelle Lisi, soprano Maribeth Mundell and guitarist/singer/songwriter Valerie Griggs. Visit spirit-renewal.com for more on these performers. There is a $10 suggested offering. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Elsa’s Ark Animal Shelter of East Hampton.

I have some exciting news to share! An essay I wrote entitled “Path of Miracles” was recently published in a book, “A Special Mother Is Born.” The book, authored and edited by Leticia Velasquez, is a compilation of stories from 33 parents, mostly moms, of special needs children. I just received my copy last week and it is truly an inspiring read. This coming Sunday, Dec. 11, at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Eastport, Leticia and I will be doing a special presentation and prayer service and will share from the book. Steve, Johanna and I will be doing music for the 11:30 a.m. Mass at the Shrine. The special program immediately follows. Those whose lives have been touched by a child with special needs are welcome to join us. Send me an email if you have any questions.

Living Water Full Gospel Church’s Christmas show, “The Wonder of Christmas,” will be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Dec. 15-17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. From traditional Christmas tunes to the seasonal sounds of gospel hits, a talented group of performers will have you humming along with your favorite Christmas carols and tapping your feet to a rockin’ holiday beat. For tickets and information, call 722-4969, ext. 204, or visit lwfgc.org.

On Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m., “Carols and Cookies” will be hosted at the Meeting House. Last year was a wonderful time of community celebration and good cheer. Email Richard Wines at richard@windswayfarm.com for more information about this lovely holiday event.

Please remember to keep Michael Hubbard and Christopher Timpone in your prayers as they continue to battle against a brain injury and cancer. Kids like these remind us all that life is a blessing to be appreciated at every turn.

My college kids start making their way home for the holidays this week and next. I was getting used to smaller meals and cleaner bathrooms. However, it is such a blessing to have all six of us under one roof for the holidays this year. Try to take some time to slow the pace during this advent and Hanukkah season. It is meant to be a season of light in the midst of the darkness. Let your light shine with good will to all.

Have a beautiful week.

Eileenbenthal@gmail.com

11/25/11 2:42pm

Jamesport Fire Department will host its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. at the George Young Community Center, at South Jamesport Avenue and Main Road. There will be caroling and refreshments and Santa is expected to arrive!

Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar and Luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be boxed cookies, a food table, a kitchen knife selection and many handmade crafts and gift items. Lunch will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a raffle for a handmade antique quilt, donated by Maria Heagy.  Maria’s grandmother, and former parishioner, Serepta Maria Young, born in Aquebogue in 1876, started the quilt but was unable to finish it due to a serious injury. The quilt was restored and completed by Barbara Fein. This bit of local history is being raffled off to support Old Steeple Church. For more information contact Amy at 722-3070.

Also on the 3rd, the Jamesport Meeting House will hold a Christmas Gospel Concert with music by “Jus B Cuz.” Then, on the 16th, the Meeting House will host “Carols and Cookies” at 6:30 p.m.

Hallockville Museum Farm will host its annual Christmas at Hallockville on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 4 p.m. This event celebrates the rich traditions of a Victorian Christmas in the Hallockville Homestead and a Polish Christmas in the Cichanowicz Farmhouse. The afternoon includes an antique toy exhibit, children’s activities, holiday music, hayrides and hot chocolate. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and $18 for a family pass. There will also be an opportunity to Christmas shop for some unique items at Hallockville’s gift shop. Call 298-5292 for more information.

First Parish Church is collecting donations of canned/jarred/boxed goods for local food pantries. Donations can be dropped off at the church on Sundays between 10:30 a.m. and noon. There will be collection baskets and/or boxes set up inside the foyer located at the east-side entrance of the church. For more information, contact Pastor Dianne Rodriguez at 516-673-1231 or blackswan57@aol.com.

FPC is also hosting an Advent musical presentation at 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 10. Featured talents include pianist Terence Purtell, flautist Michelle Lisi, soprano Maribeth Mundell and guitarist/singer/songwriter Valerie Griggs. Visit spirit-renewal.com for more information about these performers. Partial proceeds from the $10 suggested offering will be donated to Elsa’s Ark Animal Shelter of East Hampton.

It’s that wonderful time of year again! The Wonder of Christmas show at the Living Water Church Theatre in Riverhead will be held Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 15-17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. Come hum along to your favorite carols and tap your feet to traditional Christmas tunes. For tickets and more information, call 722-4969, ext. 204, or visit lwfgc.org.

Best wishes for a very happy birthday to Aquebogue resident Bill Titterton from your family. Bill will be 90 on Dec. 3. Happy birthday, Bill.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family. We had a wonderful time visiting my husband’s family in Illinois. We are now settling in for Advent and preparing for our college kids to come back home. Have a beautiful week.

11/22/11 2:00am

Happy Thanksgiving!

My apologies to Blake and Jasmine Corwin. I could have sworn I put this announcement in last week, but somehow I missed it. Jasmine celebrated her 26th birthday Nov. 17 and Blake submitted the announcement in perfect time. Happy birthday to you, Jasmine Corwin, from your wonderful husband, Blake.

A small, white puppy has been found on Main Road in Aquebogue. Call 921-5142 for more information.

Just another reminder that Living Water Full Gospel Church invites you to join them for dessert at the church Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m.. Bring your favorite Thanksgiving dessert to share and celebrate the holiday together. On the 27th, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. LWFGC will host “A Night in Bethlehem,” a an interactive experience of Bethlehem and the Christmas story. Groups are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. While you’re there, visit Santa Claus’ North Pole living room and have a free picture taken. Come see, touch, feel and smell what life was like during this miraculous time. Guests can also make crafts and share in meaningful biblical traditions and stories. Admission is free for the entire family. Don’t miss it! I took Johanna to this special presentation last year and it was magical. For more information, call 722-4969 or visit lwfgc.org.

Old Steeple Community Church in Aquebogue will hold its annual Christmas bazaar and luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will boxed cookies, a food table, a kitchen knife selection and many handmade crafts and gift items. Lunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a raffle for a handmade antique quilt. For more information, call Amy at 722-3070.

Also on Dec. 3, there will be a Christmas Gospel Concert with “Jus B Cuz” at the Jamesport Meeting House. Then, on Friday, Dec. 16, “Carols and Cookies” will be hosted at 6:30 p.m., also at the Meeting House. Details to follow in next week’s column.

I want to wish my daughter MaryAngela a very happy 18th birthday! MaryAngela was born on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25. We tease her and say that she was born just in time for dessert! It was a memorable Thanksgiving indeed.

I believe all Thanksgiving celebrations can be a memorable time of sharing in traditions, conversation, affirmation and love. I live my life cultivating an attitude of gratitude — the secret ingredient to the strength I have in the midst of many trials. Life is always beautiful, even when it is hard. This Thanksgiving, my prayer for you is that you discover the beauty within yourself, your family, your home, your work and your world. God bless you!

Eileenbenthal@gmail.com

11/15/11 1:00am

The fundraiser for Christopher Timpone was a huge success and it was such a sign of hope for the family and a reflection of the generosity of this community. Donations are still being accepted. Please make checks payable to Courage, Strength and Faith for Christopher, P.O. Box 894, Shoreham, NY 11786.

On that note, I would like to remind you that Michael Hubbard and his mom, Nancy Reyer, are still very much in need of prayers and financial support. Please help to raise some money so Nancy can continue to stay by Michael’s side as she does not have a job. Send whatever you can to Nancy Reyer, P.O. Box 2162, Aquebogue, NY 11931. To follow Michael’s slow-and-steady recovery, read the latest updates, or show your support visit caringbridge.org/visit/michaelhubbard16.

All are invited to bring and share their favorite Thanksgiving dessert and celebrate the holiday together at Living Water Full Gospel Church on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 27, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. LWFGC will host A Night in Bethlehem, an interactive experience of Bethlehem and the Christmas Story. Groups are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. While there, have a free picture taken in Santa Claus’ North Pole living room. Come see, touch, feel and smell what life was like during this miraculous time. Guests can also make crafts and share in meaningful biblical traditions and stories. Admission is free for the entire family. For more information, call 722-4969 or visit lwfgc.org.

We are very excited to visit with family over Thanksgiving. Right before Thanksgiving, we will be celebrating a very special birthday for my husband, Steve, on Nov. 22. Steve has been receiving advertisements and offers from AARP. He really is confused by this because he swears he is turning “30 something.” It doesn’t really bother me at all because I love a good discount. At any rate, I truly want to wish Steve a very happy birthday from David, Anna, MaryAngela, Johanna, the dogs and myself. We love you and we want you to know that the best is yet to come.

Regarding Thanksgiving, we have an early deadline for the Nov. 24 issue. My column needs to be in by Friday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. Traditionally, I have used the Thanksgiving column for the community to share what they are most thankful for. It is a healing thing for body, mind and soul and to focus on an attitude of gratitude. So share with me your thankful thoughts and send them to me by tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17. God bless you all!

eileenbenthal@gmail.com

11/07/11 6:39am

I mentioned this to you last week but this announcement is very important. Please keep Aquebogue resident Christopher Timpone and his family in your prayers. Christopher, 9, is a fourth-grader at Aquebogue Elementary School who was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a pediatric form of bone cancer. He is an amazing kid.

Christopher’s cancer is treatable with intensive chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation therapy. Unless you go through this type of crisis in your own family or with a close friend, it is difficult to comprehend the life changes that happen. These kids are great blessings and the difficulties that surround their disease is a great challenge. Many people assume that the only expenses involved are medical, which may or may not be paid by health insurance. There are many more expenses involved. Wear and tear on the car, gas, parking and co-pays can be very costly. It’s difficult to work when you have a child with a life-threatening illness, and so your income can be negatively affected. Thankfully, the local community has organized a fundraiser to help the Timpone family. I urge you to support this family in the midst of their crisis so that they can focus on caring for all their children, especially Christopher.

A fundraiser for the Timpone family will be held at Eagle’s Landing at Calverton Links Golf Course Thursday, Nov. 10, from 7 to 10 p.m. The evening includes a walk-about dinner, cash bar, raffles and a chinese auction. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. Please make checks payable to Courage, Strength and Faith for Christopher, P.O. Box 894, Shoreham, NY 11786. If you are unable to attend, please consider sending a donation to the fund at the above address.

Congratulations to the Aquebogue School students of the week for October. Kindergarten: Sean-Michael Payton, Rosy Veliz-Velez, Jena Binkis, Sydney Woychuk, Eamon Erdman, Gianna Cortez, Markus Meza-Grigg, Kimberly Cerafico, Brandon Carter, Samantha Davis, Jackson Redmond. First grade: Jimmy Osorio-Oliva, Patrick Guice, Kwame Banks, Michael Gagliano, Angelo Confort, Rachael Hubbard, Melissa Veliz, Lauren Melvin, Brianna Thompson, Nicolas Santiago, Jamir Anderson, Nicholas Bahamon, Jayden Kayte, Brianne McKay, Mikayla Scott, Courtney Reynolds, Jamirah Brown, Christian Aguilar, Carlos Tejeda. Second grade: Evan Cila, Daytwon Spruill, Kathryn Donohue, Logan Swenk, Donald McKay, Jose Francisco-Bartolome, Sage Boivin, Deontae Sykes, Olivia Goodale, Rileigh Frend, Nora Connelly, Matthew Formisano, John Gross, Marcus Brown, Johnathan Trent, Jaxson Rubio, Makayla Brown. Third grade: Angela Tejeda, Rayzhene Childress, Chloe Williams, Noah Straus, Roberto Nicolas-Gutierrez, Madison Stewart, Odalys Mayen, Aidan Griffiths, Tori Bloss, Island Chavez, Angelina Mitova. Fourth grade: Aiyanna Brown, Natalia Ruszkowski, Rebecca Bassemir, Gina Bassemir, Ryan Atkinson, Ben Cutrone, Emma Panciocco, Kateryn Mendez, Jagger Rubio, Lydia Bilski, Nadia Rebentisch, Ingrid Garcia, Justin Dicks, Nick Koukounas.

11/03/11 3:30am

This is a final reminder for another exciting event at the Jamesport Meeting House. On Nov. 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. East End Shakespeare and Northeast Stage will present “Shakespeare: In the Company of Players,” a celebration of the actor, the audience, the creative process and the human spirit as told through the language and characters of William Shakespeare and a company of players. A.D. Newcomer is a stage director, teaching artist, actor and board member with Northeast Stage; the creator of the East End Shakespeare Actor Training Program; and co-creator of the ongoing program Café Shakespeare. Northeast Stage is a Greenport-based theater company whose mission has always been to present high-quality theater on the North Fork. For more information, call A.D. Newcomer at 208-6933, email anewcome@suffolk.lib.ny.us or visit Northeast Stage and the Jamesport Meeting House on Facebook.

How about that quick change of weather last weekend? I finally broke down and turned on the heat! You can warm up this weekend at Old Steeple Community Church’s fall soup supper on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. Don’t miss this display of homemade soups, breads, beverages and desserts. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children under 12 and are available by calling Lenny at 722-3580.

The Jamesport Civic Association will be meeting at Angela De Vito’s house at 121 Green St., South Jamesport, on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. It is hoped that some winter events will be planned, such as a dinner social.
Please keep Aquebogue resident Christopher Timpone and his family in your prayers. Christopher, 9, is a fourth-grader at Aquebogue Elementary School who was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a pediatric form of bone cancer. He is an avid golfer and lacrosse player who also pitches for his Little League baseball team. His recent free-time activities include educating all his friends about his cancer, the treatments and what they might encounter in the journey through the treatment. He is an amazing kid.

Fortunately, Christopher’s cancer is treatable with intensive chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation therapy. My family understands firsthand that even with insurance the fees for daily travel, gas and parking at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC are enormous. It is also difficult to work when you have a child with a life-threatening illness and your income can be negatively affected. Thankfully, the local community has organized a fundraiser to help Chris and his family.

On Nov. 10 from 7 to 10 p.m., a fundraiser for the Timpone family will be held at Eagle’s Landing at Calverton Links Golf Course. The evening includes a walk-about dinner, cash bar, raffles and a chinese auction. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. Checks should be made payable to Courage, Strength and Faith for Christopher, P.O. Box 894, Shoreham, NY, 11786.

I want to wish my son, David, a very happy birthday. David turns 24 on Nov. 6. We miss you!