Community Columns

Riverhead News: St. Isidore students collect letters for Santa

Kelly Wooten and her friend Frank Ruskowski recently enjoyed an exciting and memorable trip to China. They toured the Leshan giant Buddha, carved into a cliff, and saw the terracotta warriors, over 8,000 life-size statues of soldiers and horses guarding an ancient tomb. They were able to hold a baby panda in Chen Gdu and did the plank walk on Mount Huashan, looking down 6,000 feet from a couple boards on a mountain. They thought the Great Wall was simply breathtaking and an amazing accomplishment. Kelly’s family enjoyed all the wonderful pictures of their adventure.

Jo Fehling, director of PBMC Auxiliary volunteers, threw them a beautiful holiday luncheon Dec. 9 at The Vineyards in Aquebogue. More than 70 attendees enjoyed Christmas carols performed by the Riverhead High School Choir, directed by Dena Tishin. Past president Mary Yarusso introduced PBMC Foundation board chairman Gordon Huszah, who installed officers for 2015-17: Thelma Booker, president; Theresa DiTucci, first vice president; Eileen McNell, second vice president; Lyn Tyler, secretary; and Maureen Tobin, treasurer. The new president then recognized members-at-large Brigida DiMaio, Florence Policastro, Victoria Woolley and Gerald Fraiser for their dedicated service to PBMC. President and CEO Andrew Mitchell was also on hand to recognize the hospital’s volunteers. Even Santa Claus made an appearance, handing out gifts to the volunteers and choir members.

Congratulations to Jen and Freddie Boese on the birth of their third child, Henry Brigham, born at 12:16 a.m. Oct. 2. Henry weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Big sister Adelaide and big brother Freddie could not be more in love with their new sibling.

Kathleen Evans wants to let her family and friends know that she’s doing quite well at PBMC. Get well wishes to you, Kathleen. Hope you’re up and about soon.

Happy birthday to George Goettlmann of Riverhead, who turns 95 years young Dec. 22 and is still going strong. He was a fighter pilot in Europe during World War II and flew P-51 Mustangs and several other fighter aircraft, making close to 100 missions. So a very happy birthday to George from his wife, Anna; all his friends in his community of Olde Vine Estates; and especially from his next door neighbors, Joanne and Eddie Raffel.

I had the pleasure of doing my rehab at PBMC after surgery on my right hip by Dr. Peter Sultan. To my delight, I was able to help decorate two Christmas trees in the Riverhead Skilled Nursing Center, along with patients and residents and under the guidance of Kim Ligon. Danny Murphy, a member of NYFD Rescue 2, was gracious enough to hang all the ornaments and trim the tree with garlands while we listened to Christmas music. It was a fun afternoon for everyone.

Meet local author Izzy Doroski Saturday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 p.m. at Riverhead Free Library. Readers will be drawn into his book, “The Inverted Mask,” by the intrigue and mystery of Dr. E. Hilcraft, a renowned physicist who disappeared from a research lab many years ago. You can purchase an autographed copy for yourself and pick up an extra copy for a Christmas gift or a special someone. Register in person, by phone at 727-3228 or online at

The third-graders at St. Isidore School collected cards and letters for Santa this Christmas season. For each card collected, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The students collected 211 letters, generating $211 from Macy’s for this great charity.

Happy birthday wishes to Karen Fleischman and triplets Ashley, Mark and Sean Kwasna on Dec. 18; Rose Haupt and Caroline Stepnoski, Dec. 19; Gregg Heppner, Christine Bouchard and Robert Doremus, who turns 7, Dec. 20; Rich Campbell, Debra Koroleski and Rich Milleron, Dec. 21; Jason Galka, who turns 31, on Dec. 22; Tommy Reichel Sr., Gerry Hegner, Kathy Soto, Teresa Dioguardo, Rachael Ollivierre, Dec. 23; and Ann Reichel, Dec. 24.

Happy anniversary wishes to Kelli and Tony Naugles Dec. 23.

All news items you have for my Dec. 25 column, the last of this year, must be submitted to me by 8 p.m. tonight, Dec. 18. I will return in the issue of Jan. 22.

Berezny_RContact Riverhead columnist Kathy Berezny at 727-6148 at [email protected].