12/07/11 1:40am
12/07/2011 1:40 AM

We’re deep within the Christmas season and have begun shopping for gifts and thinking about doing special things for special people.

Little Flower Children’s Services of Wading River is currently conducting its annual toy and gift drive. Visit littleflowerny.org to download their wish list or to make a donation so that you can make the holidays a little brighter for a child in their care. For more information or to schedule a delivery, call 929-6200, ext. 1171, or email [email protected] The entire Little Flower family thanks you for your continued generosity and compassion.

For a much needed gift that won’t cost you a dime, consider this: The Miller Avenue PTO is trying to obtain two grants from the Clorox and Pepsi companies for $50K each for a new playground at the school and they need your help. The school that receives the most votes will receive the grants. Children are also eligible to vote. The school cannot win the money unless each of us helps out by voting each day through Dec. 9. To vote on the Pepsi website visit pepsi. com. To vote on the Clorox website visit PowerABrightFuture.com or text the message clorox3946 to 44144 (one vote per day). I did it and it works!

Those voting at the Clorox website must register their email address. After you register, click the “Log In” tab and enter your email address and password. Hit the “Play” category, type in keyword “Miller Avenue,” locate the school and vote. One click a day could make the difference between the playground they currently have and a brand-new one. Wouldn’t that be a great idea for a great Christmas gift at a great price?

Shoreham-Wading River High School’s music department presented their holiday gift to the community — their 2011 fall concert. Steven Fayette’s Symphony Orchestra performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” arranged by Victor Lopez; Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” arranged by David Kerr; and John Williams’ “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Dennis Creighton’s High School Concert Choir, accompanied by Sandy Fayette on piano, performed Lilly Allen’s “Chinese,” arranged by Rachel Santesso (with solo performances by Kerri Beacon, Laura Lee, Rachel Hunter and Amelia Valdes); “Three Madrigals” by Emma Lou Diemer; W.A. Mozart’s “Lacrymosa from Requiem”; Karl Jenkins’ “Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary”, with flute and percussion solos by Michelle Wern and Victoria Creta; “Soon-Ah Will Be Done” by William Dawson; and “God Bless the Child” by A.Herzog Jr./B. Holiday, with soloists Taylor Burgess and Victoria Creta. David Minelli’s Concert Band presented the songs “Summer Dances” by Brian Balmages, “Seize the Day” by Patrick J. Burns, “Nilesdance” by David R. Holsinger and “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty” march by John Philip Sousa, adapted by H.R. Gore. Your direction, accompaniment and performance was extraordinarily beautiful and all who attended thank you for your gift.

Whether you’ll be giving a gift to a special little someone, making it possible for a special someone to play on a new playground, or you gave a gift from the gifts that God gave you, you deserve to be thanked.

Be well until we meet here again next week.

[email protected]

11/22/11 2:13am
11/22/2011 2:13 AM

I don’t know what your personal preference is in our schedule of holidays. There are so many, each of them important for their own distinct reason. But what I can honestly admit is that my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It is not a gift-giving holiday, but is simply about gathering with family and friends around an elaborate meal and truly being grateful.

I’m also not afraid to admit to the world that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is holding the hand of the person next to me and stating out loud what I am thankful for. Usually I speak about being surrounded by those I love, having health and wisdom and enough to get by on, but this year brought with it an extra something to be grateful for: a job.

So many I know have lost their jobs. I can personally attest to the difficulty they are having because I used to be one of them. Unemployment benefits carry you in a bare-bones manner, but when the funds run their course and the safety net is gone, the fall is not only painful, but hard to forget.

You can speak to anyone who runs a food pantry or runs the outreach at their church and they will tell you that their shelves are bare. More and more families are showing up asking for food to help them get by. Keeping shelves stocked has been the challenge for 2011. I applaud those in the community who are conscious of this and help. They are always working to provide for those in need.

On Thanksgiving morning, some of us won’t be in the kitchen preparing the bird to go in the oven. Let’s tip our hats to all those really healthy people participating in the Thanksgiving Foot Races run by Shoreham-Wading River Community Programs. We hope you have a beautiful experience on a beautiful day. Miller Avenue is definitely a community hot spot every year on Thanksgiving morning, with hundreds of runners/walkers participating in this annual event.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband, Vinnie, who will celebrate on Nov. 27. I’m so grateful for you, honey, and for our paths crossing.

Let’s hope that you can name all the things and people in your life that you are thankful for and that gratefulness isn’t a feeling you have just once a year.

Have a blessed, warm and wonderful Thanksgiving and be well until we meet here again next week.

[email protected]

11/14/11 1:00am
11/14/2011 1:00 AM

The holidays will be here before you know it. I can almost smell the stuffed turkey in the oven and the creamed potatoes and gravy on the stove. The leaves have turned their most brilliant color, on display for us to admire, and families are looking forward to spending time together.

Since the offices of Times/Review are closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, the paper will have an early deadline. If anyone has SWR news to share for the next issue, please email me by tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17.

Happy birthday to my nephew Frank, who celebrates on Nov. 17; to my son, James, who will turn 27 on Nov. 18; and to Ron Pepino, who will celebrate on Nov. 22. Ron spent much of his early life in Wading River and now has a Ph.D. in atomic physics.

Wading River resident Larry Pepino has something more to be proud of besides his youngest son, Ron. His oldest son, Chris, is an award-winning filmmaker and has a new prize-winning documentary that will be shown to audiences in New York at noon on Nov. 19 and 20 at the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival in East Hampton. “Inside the Perfect Circle: The Odyssey of Joel Thome” is described as a unique documentary that charts the journey of a brilliant composer after he suffered a debilitating stroke. Through music therapy, the conductor/composer is able to reclaim his mental and physical capabilities. Among the movie’s recent awards are: Audience Award and most inspirational documentary from the 2011 DocMiami International Film Festival and best short documentary film from the New Jersey Film Festival.

The star of the film, Joel Thome, performer Martha Mook of the Scorchio Quartet and producer/director Chris Pepino will be present for a question-and-answer session after the East Hampton showings. For more information on Joel Thome, go to insidetheperfectcircle.com.

Enjoy the beauty of the trees before the leaves drop, and be well until we meet here again next week.

[email protected]

11/07/11 5:18am
11/07/2011 5:18 AM

Friday is Veterans Day, so we’d like to thank all of those who are serving and have served the United States in one of the highest callings that exists: protecting your country. Whatever branch of service it was, whatever uniform you wore, we thank you for your dedication and sacrifice.

The people in the Shoreham Civic Organization are dedicated and community-minded individuals. Michelle Belsky notified us that the next meeting of the SCO will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Leisure Glen on Randall Road. Master planner Dr. Lee Koppelman will speak about the Route 25A Corridor Study and the future growth of the area. All meeting information is available online at shorehamcivic.com.

Shoreham-Wading River Superintendent Dr. Steven Cohen and the Board of Education will discuss “How Schools Work” at the next Community Forum planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the high school library. They want all SWR residents to know that your participation is welcome and encouraged.

What a pleasure it was to watch the Shoreham-Wading River girls volleyball teams play this year. They had a great season and went farther than teams have gone in the past six years. Although it’s true that Hampton Bays knocked the varsity girls out of the playoffs, it could very easily have been these special young ladies representing SWR for the league title. Congratulations to Maddie, Chelsea, Emma, Jess, Christine, Loren, AnneMarie, Holly, Tori, Alyssa, Bobby, Leighann and Kelly. It was great to watch you. Good luck to the seniors moving on to college. What a fine job the coaching staff did, too — varsity Coach Winkler and Assistant Coach Metcalf.

The SWR High School Theatre Club put on a great production of “Beauty and the Beast” last weekend. The audience gave a standing ovation for the cast that included Haylie Kinsler, Eric Lopez, Bryan Antonoff, James Meier, Stefan Ringer-Benigno, Sean Mannix, Molly Benincasa, Laura Logan, Eric Steiger, Kyle Brown, Cathy Testa, Rachel Lohrius, Kristen Suarez, Michaela Aliperti, Kerri Beacon, Taylor Burgess and Michelle Wern, as well as the chorus and orchestra. Everything from the music to the costumes and acting was done exceptionally well and the actors were obviously enjoying themselves as they worked their craft. Congratulations to all for their fabulous contribution to “Beauty and the Beast.”

Mother Nature has been dishing out some absolutely spectacular days for us lately. Enjoy them and the fine community in which we live, get involved and be well until we meet here again next week.

11/02/11 4:00am
11/02/2011 4:00 AM

I hope all our Shoreham-Wading River trick-or-treaters had a good time dressing up and getting Halloween candy. By far, the best costume this year went to Mother Nature for her very convincing look and impression of winter. With heavy rain, wind and snow all around, we were rightfully frightened down to our bones that autumn was gone and winter would be ours from here on in.

A dedication ceremony for Shoreham-Wading River High School’s new addition — the wood-carved wildcat sculpture — was held Oct. 22. The carving, which stands in the front courtyard, was created by former SWR graduate Robert Caskie. As part of a project to make a mark on their school, SWR 2011 graduates Katie Newell, Will Miller and Mackenzie Pendergast cleaned and landscaped the courtyard. Don Walther of DCW Landscaping, also an SWR alumnus, donated the wood chips used to mulch. On the advice of senior class adviser Lucille McKee, the Class of 2011 provided the sculpture’s plaque. The wildcat symbolizes pride, dedication and strength and will forever stand as the mascot for all present and future SWR students.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls varsity volleyball team played Bayport-Blue Point Friday and won against one of the best teams in the league, beating the Phantoms at SWR in three of four games. This was exciting competition and the fans were going wild for the Lady Wildcats, who dominated and proved they are a force to be reckoned with. As the team make its way to the playoffs, “May the force be with you.”

Happy birthday to my sister, Linda Green, who celebrated on Oct. 29, and to Brian Green, her son, who celebrated on Oct. 30. Brian, what a great gift you were to your mom all those years ago and now you are a tall, handsome and intelligent man making your way in the world. Nov. 1 was the birthday of former Wading River resident and retired Merchant Marine admiral Don Wiwczar. Talk about a life’s accomplishment, Don! Best to you, my friend.

A fascinating building exists on Route 25A in Shoreham, next to Tesla Street: the last and only existing laboratory of physicist Nikola Tesla. “Conference 2011: Exploring Tesla’s Technologies” will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at Hilton Garden Inn in Riverhead. The location has been changed from Brookhaven National Laboratory. To get tickets or more information, visit www.TeslaScienceCenter.org. The organization running this event has a mission to develop Nikola Tesla’s laboratory into a science and technology center and museum, so you may help them by donating online or by mail: Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, P.O. Box 552, Shoreham, NY 11786.

Be well until we meet here again next week.

10/25/11 5:00am
10/25/2011 5:00 AM

You wouldn’t have known that it was still hurricane season from the nice weekend we all had in Shoreham-Wading River country. I guess we’ll have to be on the lookout until Nov. 30 for the official end of the weather advisories, but before then we can enjoy the sights, feel and sounds of this lovely time of year.

A beautiful fall tradition, homecoming, took place Saturday at SWR High School. The sounds of the football game and the crowd cheering rose from the field and stands as the Wildcats soundly defeated Mercy High School. Congratulations to former SWR football quarterback Matt Millheiser, who is now the head coach of the Wildcat team, and to assistant coach Kevin O’Hanley. The boys are doing a fabulous job in this victorious season. This could be the year that Wildcat Football goes “All … the … way.”

If you stopped in recently at North Shore Public Library for your information and reading needs, you should have seen the very interesting display of pictures by artist Debra Giordano. Her captivating, intriguing work is on view through October. What is unusual is that Debra’s husband, Robert, is an artist, too, and his work of abstract and colorful paintings are on display in the library’s glass case. Robert is an award-winning artist who has exhibited with Debra at the Phoenix Gallery in Bellport. Wherever this interesting duo goes after the library display, we wish them both good luck and good fortune.

Millie Thomas of Landmark Realty in Wading River has decided to do something about an unacceptable situation: all those who are having a difficult time with the high price of oil and gas in an economy that is seeing more and more jobs lost each day. To help those in need and those now having to make a choice between food and fuel, donations of nonperishable food is being collected through Dec. 31 at Landmark Realty, 6347 Route 25A in Wading River between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information, contact Millie at 929-3600 or email [email protected]

Want to pick up some things at a church sale that will be good for your purse and raise money for the church? Come to North Shore United Methodist Church in Wading River between 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, or Sunday, Oct. 30, between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. You’ll find some fantastic bargains. Call 929-6075.

Enjoy these cool and sunny days, save some money, donate your time, treasures or some nonperishables and be well until we meet here again next week.

10/20/11 3:00am
10/20/2011 3:00 AM

Diane Marie wrote this week with the results of the pumpkin- and vegetable-carving/decorating contest at the Riverhead Country Fair. “The weather was nice and there was a good turnout of contestants,” she said. “It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can get with pumpkins and vegetables.”

Katie Dunn of Wading River took Best of Show for vegetables. Other local winners (all from Wading River) for decorated pumpkins are (by age category): Aidan Tobin, third place, ages 5-6; Ciara Tobin, second place, ages 9-10; Renee Dunn, second place, 14-18; and Lisa Fritz, third place in the adult category. Congratulations to all our carvers and decorators who are both clever and creative.

Speaking of fun fall places, happy birthday to Kathi Gentile of Wading River, known as “Mama Fink” of Fink’s Farm. I don’t know anyone who is as hard-working and good as you, Kathi. Hope Oct. 18 is really special this year.

What do ‘Rocky,’ “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” all have in common? The answer is: They all have strong characters that deserve sequels. In keeping with that idea, the Shoreham-Wading River girls volleyball team, which raised $1,000 at a car wash last week at Advance Auto Parts in Rocky Point, then raised over $3,000 for breast cancer services at their Oct. 13 Dig Pink volleyball game at Shoreham-Wading River High School. Pink ribbons, balloons and streamers lined the gymnasium walls to welcome the crowd, along with signs reading, “Support the Fighters, Admire the Survivors and Honor the Taken” as the SWR Lady Wildcats faced Babylon.

Partway through the third game, SWR Coach Winkler announced that Emma Houlihan had just scored her 600th “kill” point in her SWR volleyball career, a record that will undoubtedly go down in SWR history. SWR defeated Babylon in three games, 25-12, 25-13, 25-15. All of the money raised goes to the “Side Out Foundation,” a volleyball organization that raises money for breast cancer awareness.

‘Coach Winkler and Metcalf, along with the varsity and JV volleyball teams, did an amazing job getting donations, selling baked goods and having raffles all to raise money,” said team member Michelle Mallardi. Michelle wants to thank the community and everyone who contributed with helping to raise money. The community applauds the effort of the teams and wishes them the best as they continue down the path of this exciting and most successful volleyball season. “May the force continue to be with you.”

Enjoy the fall festivities and the feeling of helping someone in need. Be well until we meet here again next week.

10/12/11 5:00am
10/12/2011 5:00 AM

I must say the October weather has been so beautiful. It is cool in the morning for all of us who enjoy the crisp autumn, but then it heats up so all those who love the sun’s warmth are included in the pleasure. October has something for everyone, so enjoy this beautiful time of the year.

John Machalski shared that he and his wife, Jean, have been married for 51 years and celebrated their wedding anniversary on Oct. 9. John said, “I am the luckiest man alive to have a wife like Jean. She is an angel and I love her.” Not only is Jean recognized for her goodness and rarity, but John also recognizes that he has been blessed.

Happy anniversary, John and Jean! You are obviously lucky to have such a warm and wonderful relationship and we wish you many more wonderful anniversaries in the years to come.

Millie and Tom Thomas of Landmark Realty in Wading River are happy to announce their daughter Jaclyn’s engagement to Victor Munoz. Jaclyn is an associate attorney with Platzer and Sergold in Manhattan and Victor is a senior vice president with Citi Group in Manhattan. They’re planning a June 2 wedding in 2012 at the East Wind in Wading River. Congratulations, Jaclyn and Victor.

Not only is love in the air, but the beautiful weather was also the perfect atmosphere for our community’s youth to work hard to raise money for a cause. The Shoreham-Wading River High School girls’ volleyball team held a car wash at Advance Auto Parts in Rocky Point Saturday, Oct. 8. The money raised will go toward costs to have a “Dig Pink” game for breast cancer awareness, to be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the SWR High School gym.

After all the work was done and it was time to take the players home, an exuberant Michelle Mallardi came rushing into Advance Auto to tell Mark and the staff that the SWR Wildcats had raised $1,000 for the fundraiser costs. Thanks to those at Advance Auto for their kindness in hosting the fundraiser. Congratulations to Michelle Mallardi and the rest of the team for all their hard work. As for all the girls who will be dressed in pink on the court on Oct. 13, “May the force be with you!”

Until we meet again here next week, enjoy the warmth, love, beauty and enthusiasm in the air and all around us.