Community Columns

Wading River News: Annual Halloween Gala set for Oct. 25

These October days are beautiful. Everyone has been enjoying the cool temperatures and the sunshine that has warmed the day. 

Congratulations to Justine Hoffmann, who recently went from Ms. Hoffmann to Dr. Hoffmann. C.K. Auto on Wading River Road gave her a shout-out on its sign. Justine, you put in a ton of hard work and dedication that has paid off. Also, it has been four years since the community lost beloved member Clifford G. Kitz. The word on the street, literally, is that all Cliff’s friends and family “Still Miss You, Now More Than Ever.” Happy fourth anniversary in heaven, Cliff.

The SWR community is shocked and saddened by the recent and tragic death of Tom Cutinella, a SWR high school junior and varsity football player who died after sustaining a head injury during a football game at John Glenn High School. Tom was a remarkable student-athlete who had aspirations of attending West Point to play football there. Former SWR student Buddy Gengler was instrumental in the outcome of what Tom would have achieved, as West Point awarded Tom a letter of acceptance with a full scholarship. Thank you, Buddy. On Tom’s 16th birthday, July 11, he received his driver’s permit, on which he marked his desire to be an organ donor. In doing so, many have now benefited. No words can ease the heartache felt by his relatives, neighbors, classmates and friends. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all those connected to Tom, who, as Coach Millheiser puts it, was “an all-around great kid.” Play resumed on Saturday, Oct. 11, with a home game against Wyandanch. The final score of that game, which was dedicated to Tom, was 54-0 in SWR’s favor. Tom’s jersey number, which is now retired, was 54. Rest in peace, Tom. God bless you.

While at King Kullen in Wading River the other day, I met some nice young men from Cub Scout Pack 404 (Calverton). Troy C., Timothy C. and Joshua S., together with their den mothers Jill C., Heather C. and Heather S., were selling popcorn to raise funds for their troop. The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization that instills positive attributes in young men. We wish these young “wolves” the best of luck.

I recently learned from a colleague at my new job (First Student of Shoreham) that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Holly was wearing a pretty pink garment under her green luminescent vest. She said she will be wearing different pink garments in support of women she knows affected by breast cancer. Holly, it was nice to meet you. We applaud the support you’ve shown. For more information or to donate, visit

The annual Halloween Gala, sponsored by Hope Children’s Fund, will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Shoreham Village Hall. Our local friends do such wonderful things with the money they raise, supporting children in Africa. Your $75 tax-deductible donation includes Tusker beer, wine, a buffet dinner catered by Dark Horse Restaurant, and live music by the Ed Travers Band. For tickets, visit or call L. Hohler (473-1662) or K. Mann (470-6351).

Be well, be blessed and live each day to the fullest, until we meet here again in two weeks.

Liz Taggart_BwContact Wading River columnist Elizabeth Taggart at [email protected] or 929-5933.