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Church, North Fork Community Theatre mark building sale

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Pastor George Gaffga hugs Mary Motto Kalich, campaign chair, as Lauren Sisson, NFCT secretary; Deanna Andes, vice president; Marilee Scheer, theater board member and Jeff Strong, church trustee, look on.

A gathering took place Tuesday morning in front of the North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck to mark the ownership transfer of the theater building on Old Sound Avenue from the Presbyterian Church to the theater organization.

The Rev. George Gaffga, church pastor, blessed the building, a former church, and thanked those who shepherded the process along, including church trustee Jeff Strong, who spearheaded efforts to sell the building to the theater and Riverhead Town Justice Richard Ehlers, who the Rev. Gaffga said on his own time “did the legal legwork” needed to complete the transaction.

Last week the NFCT formally acquired the building, where it has staged productions since 1961, from the Presbyterian Church.

The pastor joked that now that the theater was legally separate from the church, it could now perform “Oh! Calcutta!,” a racy sketch series featuring nudity.

Mary Motto Kalich, the theater’s campaign chair, thanked the Rev. Gaffga and the church for all of their support throughout the years and presented him with an NFCT hat and 10 gift certificates for tickets to any upcoming NFCT show.