Community Columns

Aquebogue-Jamesport news: Church holds soup collection

Old Steeple Community Church is currently collecting canned soup to donate to the Long Island Council of Churches’ food pantry. The drive is called “Souper Bowl” — a timely name, especially for sports fans. The collection will end Feb. 12. For more details and directions to drop-off donations, call the church at 631-722-3070.

Even though we’ve had a very mild winter — except for the one blizzard — there is still a great need to help our homeless community. Maureen’s Haven operates local shelters in most of the churches on the North Fork. From November through March volunteers at local churches provide shelter, food and support, treating clients with the respect and dignity they deserve. Maureen’s Haven also offers day programs in addition to the local shelters. Even if you can’t help out at a local church, you can donate directly to the program via their website at or by calling 631-727-6831.

From Feb. 24 to March 19, wineries on the North Fork will be participating in Long Island Winterfest, “Live on the Vine.” This series of live music concerts at the wineries is a great way to beat the winter doldrums and plan some nice weekend outings right here at home. The concert schedule with a list of locations has not yet been verified. For more information and to check for an updated schedule, visit

I would like to take a moment to congratulate Dee Dellaquila of Dellaquila Beauty in Jamesport on the matriculation of her beautiful golden Canine Companions for Independence puppy, Wellington. Dee raised Wellington for the past 20 months for CCI so that he could be trained as a service dog for adults and children with disabilities. Wellington will be in advanced training for six to nine months at CCI’s Miller Family Campus in Medford, where he will be paired with a trainer to learn service commands. Wellington is a familiar face in Dee and Frank Dellaquila’s shop. We wish him well and congratulate Dee and Frank for all their dedication and hard work!

The official matriculation ceremony will be held as part of CCI’s February graduation Friday, Feb. 10, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Genesis Center in Medford. For more information, call 1-800-572-BARK or visit If you have never been to a CCI graduation, bring some tissues. You can also view the graduation online at the same web address.

I hope you’re having a lovely and quiet winter. Johanna and I are gathering supplies to plant some bulbs inside so we can enjoy an early spring. It’s a nice project that adds a little color to the gray winter days.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day and hug someone you love!

R031209_Benthal_R.jpgContact Aquebogue-Jamesport columnist Eileen Benthal at [email protected] or 631-833-1897.