01/20/12 2:13pm

Pfc. Jason Gevinski, son of Lisa Rheaume and Peter Gevinski and a 2010 Riverhead High School graduate, is currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Military Police and Infantry Border Patrol. An airborne paratrooper, he is looking to be trained as a sniper. Jason’s parents are truly proud of his commitment to serving our nation. He plans to visit his family late in February and hopefully again next Thanksgiving. He will serve five years on active duty and three years in the reserves. Thank you, Jason, for your commitment and service to our country. The Riverhead community is proud of you.

We had a surprise knock on our door a few nights ago from Keith Berezny, son of David Berezny Jr., who stopped by to visit our son Josh. Keith recently completed Marine Corps boot camp training at Parris Island. We talked about the Berezny family’s ancestry and how they came to live in the Town of Riverhead. A truly remarkable experience for Keith was when we showed him a picture of his grandfather when he was a young man, along with his great-great-grandfather. Keith will be shipping out soon and we wish him the best of luck. His family is also proud of him and his commitment to serve our country.

During February be sure to visit Riverhead Free Library, where artwork by Lianne Alcon will be on display in the Elizabeth Fox Overton Gallery. Also, while there check out the new energy-efficient LED lighting in the courtyard and parking lot. The library is expecting to receive a grant to partially fund this capital improvement, which will decrease the library’s energy use and save money for years to come. Also, the teen department at RFL will feature Valentines for Soldiers and Seniors Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. Drop in and make or sign a card. Call 727-3228 for more information.

Don’t miss the fourth annual Rockin’ for the Homeless benefit concert Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. There will be four bands and four hours of fun. What a great way to help out those less fortunate while having some fun, too. Visit rockinforthehomeless.org.

Happy birthday to Les Grefe and Justin Harris on Jan. 26; Chrissie Reichel and Tim Lessard, Jan. 27; Marvin Warner, Jan. 28; Lette Grefe, Seth Bishop, Luke Stepnoski and Sister Linda Joseph, Jan. 29; Ariel Reichel and Ashley Hulse, Jan. 31; and Forest Vail, Seth Fruedenberg, Joe Czulada and Pat Harris, Feb. 1. Hope your day is special.

Happy wedding anniversary to Harry and Anastasia Smith, who will celebrate their 66th on Jan. 27, and to Robert and Dolly Hartmann, who will celebrate their 59th on Jan. 30. Be sure to celebrate.
Get well wishes to Frank Totten.

I hope the children enjoyed the snow this past weekend. I enjoyed it but it was enough for the season. I’m hoping for nice, warm weather in the future forecast.

01/17/12 5:15am

The things children do that will take you by surprise. Christopher Kenter, a fifth-grader at Pulaski Street School, worked diligently during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays doing odd jobs at his dad’s office and around the house and raised $500 to help the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Chris’ parents, Connie and Dennis, are very proud of him. What a great way to start off the New Year.

The students in rooms 218 and 219 at Pulaski Street Elementary School once again organized “The Giving Tree” during the month of December. Plenty of hats, gloves, scarves and mittens were donated and hung on the tree with lots of love and compassion. The classes would like to thank the students, parents and staff for their contributions. A special thank-you goes to the Glenwood Lassies, who, once again, generously knitted, crocheted and purchased numerous items for the tree. It’s a great partnership working with the Lassies. Thanks to all those who cared, many families will be warmer this winter.

The Verizon Telecom Pioneers, Aquebogue Life Member Club, has been very busy delivering nonperishable food items to two local food pantries; toiletries and gifts to a women’s substance-recovery home; and cookies, candies and gifts to two local adult homes. This hardworking group of retirees is committed to serving those in need and also works on many other community service projects throughout the year.

The Riverhead Middle School Middle Masques will present its musical production “Grease Jr., Go Greased Lightning” Friday, Jan. 20 and 27, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 28, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 by calling Pat Skura at 369-6767, or at the door for $10. It is well worth it as the students always do a phenomenal job. Pat Skura and Ed Tholl are quite a team, and with the costumes, props and music you’ll feel as if you’re watching a Broadway show. Order yours today!

Happy birthday to Adam Bugdin (who turns 12), Marissa Kess, Sarah Paulos, Frances Friszolowski, Becky Hubbard and Barry Palmer (who turns 60), Jan. 19; Tim Griffing Jr., George Atkinson, Pearl Trent and Natausha Magee, Jan. 20; Bryan Krajewski, Sean Rachubka and Louise Meyer, Jan. 21; Bill Hubbard, Pat Gadzinski, Michael Young, Andrew Pekar and Sebastian Hulse (who turns 5), Jan. 23; and Amy (Wooten) Guecha and Laurie Downs, Jan. 25. Hope your day is extra special.

Get well wishes to Mary Dabrowski, Georgiana Danowski and Nina Campbell.

The cold weather is here and it’s nice to bundle up but I’m sure the children would like to see some white stuff. For me, however, the cold weather is enough for now.

01/09/12 4:49am

Here’s hoping 2012 will be a great year and fulfill all your expectations.

Everyone celebrates the holidays in their own fashion. This year Richie Ligon and his daughter, Lynn, celebrated Christmas in Texas at the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, where they watched Lynn’s son, Curtis Flippen, play in a football game. Curtis, an eighth-grader at Riverhead Middle School, is an outstanding athlete and a two-time All American football player. In the game he made five tackles and had three sacks. Pre-game practice was at the University of Texas at Arlington. They also visited the locker rooms of both the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, the press conference room and received autographs from NFL and Senior Bowl players. Although many memories were made, Curtis will never forget walking through the tunnel and onto the playing field before the game. It was a wonderful weeklong celebration, from Dec. 25 through New Year’s Day.

Patricia and John Kurpetski had a hectic holiday season with their aunt Irene’s wake and funeral. However, they were able to meet their cousins Linda Luiser and Skip and Ellen Kurpetski, David Kurpetski and Leighann and Kirk Straughen in Kissimmee, Fla. They then visited their son John Henry and grandson, Logan. Their other son, Robert, also joined them for Christmas. In the evening they went sightseeing and were in awe of the beautiful Christmas lights in Orlando. They also went to Congo River Miniature Golf — Logan’s favorite thing to do. Christmas Day was spent watching Logan open his presents and receive messages from Santa. In the following days more time was spent with Logan, who flew his remote control helicopter, used his night vision spy glasses, spent hours playing PlayStation and read from his book collection. It was truly an enjoyable homestyle Christmas. They can’t wait to go back and visit again.

Dana Hubbard, a member of the Riverhead High School NJROTC, would like the community to come out and support its flapjack breakfast fundraiser Saturday, Jan. 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Applebee’s in Riverhead. Tickets are $10 each from any RHS NJROTC cadet or by calling the NJROTC office at 369-6806. Hope to see you there.

Happy birthday to Renee Linnen and Karen Heppner on Jan. 12; Dale Messina and Tony Naugles (who turns 50), Jan. 13; Mary Ann Trojanowski and Ty Brian Paddleford, Jan. 14; Corale Bloss, Karen Paulick, Frank Stepnoski and Mark Gajowski, Jan. 15; Logan Kurpetski (who turns 8) and Ariana Mielnicki (22), Jan. 16; Tristan Krajewski, Heather Howell and Jason Cobb, Jan. 17; and Scott Kubacki, Jan. 18. Hope your day is extra special.

Riverhead Free Library’s next book discussion, “One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd” by Jim Fergus, will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to noon. For more information, call the adult reference desk at 727-3228.

Remember to hang your flag from sunrise to sunset in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 16.

12/19/11 3:21pm

The Glenwood Lassies held their annual holiday bazaar Dec. 10. Included was a Chinese auction, a 50/50 raffle, a granny’s attic sale and a special raffle for a Christmas wheelbarrow. The Lassies wish to thank Bruce Binetti for making and donating the wheelbarrow. Congratulations to raffle winner Delores Burke. All monies collected will be donated to the Lassies’ favorite charities. Thanks also to all those who supported this cause.

Marine Kevin Klein recently completed basic training at Parris Island, S.C. In attendance at his graduation were Kevin’s dad, Mike, his sister, Cristin, and his uncle Charlie Klein. All enjoyed the festivities planned for the families. Kevin, a Riverhead High School graduate, should be proud of his commitment to defending his country and our community. This Christmas will be extra-special for Barbara Klein of Jamesport, as Kevin will be home with his family. He is currently awaiting orders as to where he will be stationed.

Riverhead Garden Club members have completed their fall programs with Girl Scout troops 2309 and 1689 at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School. In October, the girls helped to plant a small Native American garden, which tied in with their social studies curriculum. November found them researching vegetables and coming up with ways on how to use them to decorate a Thanksgiving table. They completed their community service project in December by using vegetables to print a greeting card that was tied to a gift bag filled with soaps and donated to a nursing home.

RGC also planted 160 daffodil bulbs and mums recently near the flagpole at the George Young Community Center in Jamesport. The beautiful mums were donated by Northville Farms. A special thank-you to Eleanor and Ben Gatz for helping to beautify this area.

Garden club member Patricia Carey has successfully completed the required course for Environmental Studies School — accredited by National Garden Clubs Inc. — and is now an environmental consultant. Congratulations, Pat!

The teens at Riverhead Free Library made 75 holiday greeting cards for U.S. soldiers as well as 50 cards for homebound patrons. Thanks to all who took the time to work on this project.

It’s now time to register for the New Year’s party on Friday, Dec. 30, at RFL. There will be delicious food from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and teen games from 6 to 8 p.m. What a great way to connect with others and welcome in 2012.

The library is still accepting contributions for shelter animals to help keep them snuggly and cozy. Thanks to those who have already donated to the furry friends.

Happy birthday to Jason Galka on Dec. 22; Tommy Reichel Sr., Gerry Hegner, Kathy Soto, Teresa Dioguardo, Dec. 23; Ann Reichel, Dec. 24; Kathy Hughes, Kevin Davis, Linda Hartmann and Mary Ann Hughes, Dec. 25; Holly Hughes and Kira Atkins, Dec. 27; Mona Vasquez, Cathy Karabiberoglu and Melissa Muller, Dec. 28; Paul Sparrow, Dec. 29; Judy Kozora and Laura James, Dec. 30; Bobby Hartmann, Jan. 1; Tyler Wegley, Jan. 2; Millie Roth, Jan. 4; Kobe Wilkinson, Jan. 5; Dennis Hamill, Jan. 6; Paul Fischer, Jan. 7; Jesse Goodale IV and James Windsor, Jan. 8; Lori Hulse, Jan. 9; Mary Caffrey Eliot, Jan. 10; and Lauren Reichel, Keri Cybulski, Donna Caporaso and Richie Gadzinski, Jan. 11. Be sure to celebrate.

Get well wishes to Julianna Kulesa.

This is my last column till the Jan. 12, 2012, issue. There will be no newspaper published Thursday, Dec. 29 as the Times/Review office will be closed Dec. 26-30. Have a very merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a wonderful new year!

jberezny@optonline.net

12/11/11 12:38pm

Riverhead High School’s girls’ basketball booster club is sponsoring a Burger King fundraiser to help defray the cost of purchasing items for the team on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. Patrons must order inside and mention that they are there for the girls’ basketball team, to which a percentage of all sales will be donated. Why cook dinner when you can go out and help the girls instead? You’ll be glad you did.

The Long Island Science Center on West Main Street is a great place to visit with your children. During the Christmas break, Dec. 27-30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. kids can learn about light, color and optics, play in the museum and make a craft to take home. Cost is $5 per person. Call 208-8000 for more information or visit lisciencecenter.org

The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps services the largest ambulance district in Suffolk County — Aquebogue, Calverton, Jamesport, Laurel, Manorville and Riverhead. Last year RVAC responded to over 3,000 emergency calls and is on track to reach 3,100 calls in 2011. Their annual fund drive is geared toward receiving tax-deductible donations from residents and businesses in the Riverhead Ambulance District to help fund activities that attract and retain volunteers and reduce requests for tax-based funding. Consider sending a donation today to: Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps Inc., P.O. Box 924, Riverhead, NY 11901. Interested in joining an organization whose members measure their success in life by how they help their fellow citizens? Call 727-1686. It’s a great way to serve others. Remember, they are always there because they truly care.

Happy birthday wishes to Michael Frosina, Matthew Atkins and Alyssa Meyer on Dec. 15; Ellen Kramer, Barbara Lennon and Kyle Watts, Dec. 16; Karen Fleischman and triplets Ashley, Mark and Sean Kwasna, Dec. 18; Rose Haupt, Ron Darling and Caroline Stepnoski, Dec. 19; Greg Heppner, Christine Bouchard and Robert Doremus (who turns 4), Dec. 20; and Rich Campbell, Debra Koroleski and Rich Miller, Dec. 21. Be sure to celebrate.

Get well wishes to Ginny Bilski.

During this holiday season be sure to take some time to call, email or drop a note to a special someone in your life and say thank you. Also, remember those less fortunate by dropping off a nonperishable food donation at a local pantry or perhaps a gift card for a special holiday dinner. ’Tis the season of giving. God bless.

Only 10 days ’til Christmas.

12/07/11 12:30am

Cheryl Taormina, owner of Riverhead Country Day School, was recently awarded “Outstanding Collaborator” by Cornell Cooperative Extension for her support of their family wellness program. This important program guides the changing needs of families and gives them information on diabetes, nutrition, developing healthy lifestyles and raising responsible children. Cheryl is currently on the program’s advisory board at Cornell. She speaks to Suffolk County legislators, secures grant monies and has developed a new outdoor learning garden so the children can see how vegetables grow. She also secured a master gardener from Cornell to help with the nutrition activity program at the school, enabling the students to enjoy the fruits of their labor while learning. Cheryl would like to thank her staff at RCDS for all their help.

Christine and Jerry Mapes spent eight glorious weeks in Florida and enjoyed the new cruise ship Casino in Cape Canaveral. They said it was a beauty, the pool and the food were great and the sun was gorgeous. Christine also enjoyed the time she spent with her dad. Then she and 37 girlfriends traveled to the Bahamas, where they gambled and did some people-watching.

When the Mapes returned home it was turkey time. They hosted Thanksgiving dinner with 20 close friends and family, which included Christine’s daughter, Karin, and son-in-law, Austin; her sisters, Michele and her sons Billy and Brian from Maryland, Jean and her sons Danny and Michael from Greenport; and her dearest friend Brenda and her daughter, Summer. Jerry did all the cooking and it was a feast enjoyed by all. He loves to cook and does an exceptional job all the time.

Kelly and Sean Brennan invite you to the annual wreath and holiday décor sale hosted by the Roanoke Avenue PTO on Saturday, Dec. 10 (rain date: Dec. 11), from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the elementary school. This is the perfect time to pick up your flowers and greens and do some serious decorating around the house. All monies raised will benefit the students.

Riverhead Free Library will display artwork by Dennis Link in the Elizabeth Fox Overton Gallery during December and January. Be sure to visit and enjoy what the library has to offer for all ages.

The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Schools is working on its goals for the coming months. These include increasing membership and community sector representation and organizing a community forum about prescription drug abuse. The next meeting will be held Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the Riverhead High School library. For more information, call Claire Marie Lundberg, community prevention specialist, at 727-3722 or email Prevention@RiverheadCAP.org.

A holiday celebration, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Riverhead, will be held at Old Steeple Church on Friday, Dec. 16, at noon . There will be a special duet by Larry Scudder and Marguerite Volonts that will simply delight the audience. Hope to see you there. Refreshments will be served and admission is free.

Happy birthday to Amanda Muller and Sara Grathwhol on Dec. 8; Carol Carey, Charlie McCabe and Brenna Latour, the 9th; Jim Creighton, Terri Davis, Christine Mapes, Kerin Collins, David Koroleski and Ginger Duvall, the 10th; Barbara O’Kula, Skylar Wicklund (who turns 8) and Brian Densieski, the 11th; Howie Gassert, Russell Nash, Rachel Grathwhol and Scott Tocci, the 12th; and Kerry Saladino, Lee Hubbard, Kathryn Berezny and Michael Partridge, the 14th. Be sure to celebrate.

Get well wishes to Mary Dabrowski.

It’s official, jolly old St. Nick arrived in Riverhead thanks to the Lions Club’s parade down Main Street.
Only 17 days till Christmas.

jberezny@optonline.net

11/25/11 2:58pm

Riverhead High School’s Class of 1971 held its 40th reunion Nov. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead. Some attendees traveled from as far away as Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Arizona. Faculty members who attended included science teacher Bruce Dinsmore, math teacher Ann Womack-DeGrasse and administrator Tony DeGrasse. Music was provided by Mike Ryan and the Flying Casuals. Name badges with photographs from the yearbook were pinned onto blue-and-white leis and handed out to the guests upon arrival. The June 1971 graduation program was enlarged and hung on the wall near a table containing other memorabilia and party favors such as bubbles, tiny pencils and phone books with magnifying glasses. Everyone had a great time. The next morning some of the alumni gathered in front of the old high school for a picture.

Evie Bruhner just became Medicare-eligible on Nov. 23. Yes, the queen of the Ruby Red and Wild Red Hat Chapter and the “Rubies” celebrated her birthday at the chapter’s November luncheon at the Sea Basin in Rocky Point, where she received a gift card to Dellaquila Beauty in Jamesport. Evie wishes to thank the Rubies for making her 65th birthday extra special, and notes they are truly a great group of ladies. She also thanks all her friends and neighbors in Glenwood Village for all her birthday cards. Best wishes for a great year, Evie.

The children’s department at Riverhead Free Library is currently collecting items for its Mitten Tree through Dec. 9. Any hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, etc. will be donated to the Family Service League’s Family Center on Roanoke Avenue for distribution to their client families. They are also donating brand-new books for families to use as gifts for the older children.

Protect yourself and others from influenza. An annual flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead encourages you to call for a flu shot appointment at 548-6325. There is no charge for the vaccination; however, all recipients must be at least 19 years old.

Riverhead Soccer Club’s girls’ soccer teams — Riverhead Ripples U9 and Riverhead Fury U10 — are hosting a flapjack breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Applebee’s in Riverhead. Tickets are $10; children under 3 eat free. Call 631-275-6221 for more information or to order tickets. There will be a 50/50 raffle and Santa will make an appearance. Come on out to support these hardworking athletes and have some holiday fun.

Happy birthday wishes to Kathy Schaefer and John Frosina on Dec.2; Mildred Nash, and Erik Kloppenburg, Dec. 3; Art Apicello, Shannon McAlister and twins Tim and Joseph Hampson, Dec. 4; Karen Kelly and Doreen Wilk, Dec. 5; Penny Hensley, Marie Harris, Mark Anasky, Anthony Heppner, Shanita Arrindel and Carolyn Smith, Dec. 6; and Marie Madigan, Darlene Taylor and Holly Chew, Dec. 7. Be sure to celebrate.

Happy wedding anniversary wishes to Marie and Bob Madigan on Dec. 7 and Leah and David Sparrow, Dec. 8. Hope your day is special.

Only 24 days till Christmas.

11/23/11 5:00am

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead Care Center administrator MaryAnn Mangels and Our Family Council presenting a $200 dollar check to Zona Stroy of the First Baptist Church food pantry.

Instead of going home after a long day at school, members of the Sr. Mary Euphrasia Chapter of the National Honor Society visited the Peconic Bay Skilled Nursing Facility to bring some joy and fun into the lives of its residents. Twenty-nine students introduced themselves, shared their college plans and then treated the residents to acoustic numbers, singalongs, dancing and games. When asked who had a better time, the students and the residents shared the same response: “We did and it was a lot of fun.”

The Riverhead Care Center made a blessings tree in their main dining room and sold leaves for a dollar. Those who purchased a leaf were encouraged to write what they were thankful for. All monies raised during this fundraiser will be donated to the food pantry at First Baptist Church. Also, donations of nonperishable food items for the holidays are being collected for local food pantries until Tuesday, Dec. 20, to be given to the pantries on the 21st. A donation box is located at the entrance to the nursing home.

The teen department at Riverhead Free Library made 384 biscuits and delivered them in decorated boxes with greeting cards to Kent and Riverhead animal shelters. Also delivered to Kent were 16 dog tags made by the teens that contained a downloaded photo of a Kent dog that is up for adoption — a nice gift for some lucky dog and a new friend. Participation in these programs earns the teens community service credits. They have till the end of the month to earn more credits for donating canned food, clean towels or blankets for the shelter animals (dogs and cats). Don’t forget there’s teen board games on Friday, Nov. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library. Hope to see you there.

Happy birthday to Laurie Zanieski and Wesley Harris (who turns a handsome 89) on Nov. 24; Pat Kurpetski, Barbara Popescue, Skee Chew and Jessica Cybulski, Nov. 25; Jamie Lorenz, Bert Vogel, Carol Ashby and Jean Gilmore, Nov. 27; Kelsey Saladino (who turns 5), Kathy Anthony, Debbie Lukaszcyk and Kaylyn Rosko (who turns 12), Nov. 28; Kevin Kosciuszko, Nov. 29; and Mary Dabrowski, Nov. 30. Be sure to celebrate.

Happy wedding anniversary to Renee and Mark Linnen, who celebrate 28 years, and Louise and Greg Meyer, their 23rd, on Nov. 26.

A perfect way to send a touch of home to the men and women serving our country overseas during the holidays is by dropping a Christmas card to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456 (postmark by Dec. 9). Remember, they are protecting our freedoms and are not able to be home with their families. Inside your card say hello to a service member and be sure to sign your name. Check out the website redcross.org/holidaymail.

Gobble, gobble, gobble. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jberezny@optonline.net