Dorothy (Kate Keating) greets theatergoer Selah, age 4, of Nesconset, after a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport on Oct. 1. The children’s show runs through Nov. 6.
Dorothy (Kate Keating) greets theatergoer Selah, age 4, of Nesconset, after a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport on Oct. 1. The children’s show runs through Nov. 6.
The Long Island Apple Festival returned to the Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket on Sept. 25 for its 27th year. Presented by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, Homestead Arts and the Greater Port Jefferson–Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, the event celebrated the humble apple. One of the highlights of the day was the apple pie contest. First place went to Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella of East Setauket (see their recipe below), Erin Lovett of Lake Ronkonkoma took home second place and Christopher McAndrews of Belle Terre placed third. Liana and Gabrielle Lofaso of Belle Terre won for Best Looking Pie. Congratulations to all!
YIELD: Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 6 to 8
Crust: 2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup ice water
8 cups cored, peeled, sliced apples (Granny Smith or Cortland)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for top of crust
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
Splash of water
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 F. In a food processor, using a metal blade, pulse your flour, sugar and salt together. Add in cold, cubed butter and pulse. Slowly drizzle in ice water, one tablespoon at a time. You should have a course, crumbly mixture. (If you don’t have a food processor, combine ingredients in a large bowl using a pastry blender or fork.) Before the dough has formed a ball, remove the blade and take dough out, bringing it together by hand. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It is very important to work with cold dough. In a large bowl, toss apples in lemon juice, flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
Once dough is cold, take dough out of plastic wrap and divide in half. Return one half, in plastic wrap, to the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll your ½ of dough out into a circle, 12 to 14 inches round and about ¼ inch thick. Gently take the corners, lift the dough and transfer it to pie pan. Lightly press sides against the bottom and sides of pan. Trim overhanging dough so that you’re left with ½ inch and fold excess under the edge of the pan. Pour apple mixture into pie pan and cover the top of the apples with pats of butter. T
ake second half of dough from fridge and repeat process of rolling it out to a 12 to 14 inch circle, ¼ inch thick. Cover the entire pie with remaining rolled-out dough. Pierce holes in the top of dough to allow heat to escape (so there isn’t a steam buildup inside the pie.) Seal the edges of the pie by fluting the dough (stamping the dough with a fork) around the edge of the pie pan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and add a splash of water. Brush the egg mixture all over the top of the crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Recipe courtesy of Sabrina Sloan and Chris Muscarella of East Setauket.
On Saturday, Oct. 22 from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook will celebrate its blockbuster summer exhibition Long Island in the Sixties with a full-day symposium of the same name.
By the close of the 1960s, although the Long Island region had become more economically prosperous than 27 states, it was experiencing a wide array of social, political and cultural changes that went beyond demographic shifts and industrial development.
Five guest speakers will explore some of the most trenchant developments that occurred across the region during the 1960s. Join them to examine and more deeply understand the lasting impact that suburban and economic trends, the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the local Civil Rights Movement, regional architecture and Long Island’s popular music made on this local area and in the United States at large.
Presenters will include Stephen Patnode, associate professor of history and acting chair of Farmingdale State College’s Department of Science, Technology and Sociology; Christopher Verga, professor of history at Suffolk County Community College and author of “Civil Rights on Long Island,” Arcadia Publishing Inc.; Caroline Rob Zaleski, preservationist and architectural historian and author of “Long Island Modernism, 1930-1980,” SPLIA and W.W. Norton; Lawrence R. Samuel, independent scholar and American cultural historian and author of “The End of the Innocence: The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair,” Syracuse University Press; and John Broven, music historian and custodian of the family-owned Golden Crest Records and author of the award-winning “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans,” Pelican Press, and “Record Makers and Breakers,” University of Illinois Press.
Participants will enjoy Q-and-A sessions with all speakers, lunch break and optional self-guided tour of the Gilding the Coasts exhibition. Admission is $12 adults, $10 for students, seniors and museum members (there is an additional, optional $10 lunch fee). Preregistration and prepayment are required. All fees include general museum admission. For more information, call The Long Island Museum’s Education Director Lisa Unander at 631-751-0066, ext. 212.
By Heidi Sutton
‘How glorious it is to paint in the open fields, to hear the birds singing around you, to draw in the fresh air – how thankful it makes one.’ — William Sidney Mount, May 1848
The cooler weather, shorter days and leaves of autumn reds, oranges and gold signal the arrival of the Three Village Historical Society’s annual Spirits Tour. Now in its 22nd year, this year’s event, with the theme “William Sidney Mount: Family, Friends & Ideas,” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 with tours starting at 5 p.m.
Born in Setauket in 1807, William Sidney Mount was an incredible artist best known for his genre paintings (portraits and scenes from everyday life) of Long Island, most notably “Dance of the Haymakers,” (1845) “Farmers Nooning” (1836) and “Dancing on the Barn Floor” (1831). His paintings often commented on American social and political issues and by the middle of the nineteenth century, he was one of the most renowned artists in America. He is buried at the Setauket Presbyterian Church across from the Village Green. The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook boasts the largest collection of Mount’s paintings, thanks to gifts by philanthropists Ward and Dorothy Melville, along with his diaries.
Guided walking tours will lead guests through the historic cemeteries of the Setauket Presbyterian Church and the Caroline Church of Brookhaven. The “spirit” of William Sidney Mount with his family and friends will greet visitors along the way. Actors in period costumes supplied by Antiques Costume & Prop Rental by Nan Guzzetta will play the parts of Mount’s mother, brothers Henry and Shepard, his sister Ruth along with people who commissioned paintings from him, including Lumen Reed, his principal sponsor in New York. Reed would eventually donate his collection of the artist’s paintings to the New York Historical Society. Rachel Holland Hart, played by Bonnie Duvall, who is featured in Mount’s classic painting, “Eel Spearing at Setauket,” will also make an appearance. As a special treat, the tour will include a visit with members of the Setalcott Nation, Helen “Morningstar” Sells and Nellie Edwards, on the Village Green.
Frank Turano, co-chair of the committee and Historical Society Trustee, wrote the script for this year’s event. According to Turano, the Spirits Tour serves as both an educational event for the community and a fundraiser for the Three Village Historical Society. Previous tours have explored themes such as the Culper Spy Ring and Service to Country and Community as well as featuring prominent families in the area such as the Strongs.
The decision to celebrate William Sidney Mount this year was an easy one. “Mount is a significant artist from mid-19th century,” said Turano. “His work … leads into the Hudson River School … as a significant art movement. Long Island was used extensively by artists, both in [Mount’s] time and later times. We had all the big guns here at one point in the 19th century: the Moran Brothers, Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase — they all followed Mount.” Aside from having been born here, Turano said one of Mount’s attractions to the area was the high quality of the light. “He often commented on the high clarity of the atmosphere and true colors.”
“Mount painted the [local] community, the people he saw, the people he grew up with. The end result was that you have a good representation of the life of the people here,” said Turano, adding, “Mount also came from an enormously talented family. He was taught sign painting by his older brother Henry, his younger brother Shepard Alonzo was an unbelievable portrait painter and they were all musicians.”
“Mount was a man for all seasons in the 19th century,” said Turano. Along with being very influential in the art world, with sponsors in New York, “he invented a violin named the Cradle of Harmony, which was designed to be louder than the typical fiddle of the day.” Turano said Mount’s paintings also give us good insight into the manner and dress of the people in Setauket in the early 1800s as a rural farming settlement. “How did the common people dress? What did they look like? He’s a character bigger than the community and that’s why he’s the focal point here,” said Turano.
Tours will leave from the Setauket Presbyterian Church, 5 Caroline Ave., Setauket every 15 minutes starting at 5 p.m. and last for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The last tour departs at 7:45 p.m. It is advised to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight. Tickets in advance are $18 adults, $15 members; $10 children under 12, $8 members. Tickets on the night of the event are $25 adults, $20 members; $12 children under 12, $10 members. Copies of the Three Village Historical Society’s book, “William Sidney Mount: Family, Friends and Ideas” will be available for purchase for $3 on the night of the event. Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 23. To order tickets, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.
In conjunction with the tour, the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook will showcase its current exhibit in the Art Museum on the hill: “Drawn from Life: Objects and Stories from William Sidney Mount’s Paintings” and Mora’s Fine Wines will host a wine and spirit tasting event with hors d’ouevres at Madiran the Wine Bar, 209 Main St., E. Setauket on Oct. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets for the wine tasting are $39.99. To order, please visit www.moraswines.com.
By Heidi Sutton
The month of October means that the classic tale of the “Wizard of Oz” is back on the Engeman’s stage in Northport. Presented every year at this time with the support of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the beloved children’s theater musical only gets better with age. Suzanne Mason, who played the Wicked Witch of the West in last year’s production, sits in the director’s chair this time and leads an adult cast of eight through an hour and half of pure “joy and rapture.”
Based on the children’s books by L. Frank Baum, “The Wizard of Oz” tells the story of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, who are swept out of Kansas by a tornado and transported over the rainbow to a magical land of munchkins, witches and ruby slippers. Engeman’s “Wizard” gives us an abridged version of the classic tale (no poppies here) but tackles it with such enthusiasm that will make audiences fall in love with Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow all over again.
Kate Keating reprises her role as Dorothy Gale and treats the audience to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the very beginning of the show. Keating’s enthusiastic performance is truly wonderful and at times she sounds just like a young Judy Garland. Jackie Hughes tackles the role of Scarecrow with ease, wobbly legs and all, giving us a sweet rendition of “If I Only Had a Brain,” and Danny Meglio is a terrific Tin Man on a quest to get a heart. Samm Carroll plays the dual role of meanies Ms. Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West with just the right amount of grouchiness.
However, it is Andrew McCluskey as Cowardly Lion who steals the show. In pure comedic form, he delivers a performance that would make Bert Lahr proud. Stephanie Krasner in the role of Nico the Monkey Bat, Joshua Cahn as the Wizard and Courtney Fekete as Glinda round out the supporting cast and do a fine job.
A nice touch is the constant interaction between the actors and the audience. During the frequent set changes, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man walk through the aisles asking the children which way they should go to see the Wizard. Even the Wicked Witch suddenly appears from around the corner, causing many young audience members to jump out of their seats.
Designed by Jess Costagliola, the costumes are exactly what one would expect, from Dorothy’s iconic blue gingham dress to Glinda’s beautiful pink gown. That is until the munchkins come out and mix things up a bit. With giant hats and big googly eyes, their rendition of “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!” is hilarious. Wings flap on Nico the Monkey Bat and wait until you see the Wizard!
With familiar music, lots of humor and not-too-scary special effects, this “Wizard of Oz” is the perfect show with which to introduce a young child to live theater. So turn off the televisions, iPads and cell phones and start your journey down the Yellow Brick Road as soon as you can — this production is not to be missed. Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for photos and autographs. (An autograph page is conveniently located at the back of the program.) Running time is 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport will present “The Wizard of Oz” through Nov. 6 followed by a holiday favorite, “Frosty,” from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. All tickets are $15. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.
By Heidi Sutton
Last Thursday evening was a night to remember, literally, as The Ward Melville Heritage Organization in Stony Brook hosted a fundraising dinner at its Cultural & Educational Center to introduce a new program for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients on Long Island and their caregivers, aptly titled Young at Heart. The dinner, which was catered by The Three Village Inn, attracted many health care professionals in the community who were eager to learn more about this exciting new initiative. Live music was provided by Rich Iacaona on piano, Keenan Zach on bass and Tom Manuel on trumpet.
The 26-week-long series, set to begin in November, is a collaborative effort between The WMHO, Stony Brook Medicine, the Long Island State Veterans Home and The Jazz Loft along with sponsors The Bristal Assisted Living and Aging Flower. The memory care enrichment program will feature music and memory, art, poetry and comedy. Programs will be held alternatively at The Jazz Loft and the Cultural & Educational Center. A facilitator who specializes in geriatrics and a certified nurse will be present at each program.
Senator Kemp Hannon, chair of the Senate Health Committee, regarded nationally as an expert in the health care industry, helped kicked off the program and was honored for spearheading both the reauthorization of the Health Care Reform Act and the development of New York’s Assisted Living Program.
“In our society there are causes that are popular and attract a great deal of support. [However] there are critical issues that are overlooked,” said Gloria Rocchio, president of The WMHO. “One of them is the reason we are here tonight — a disease affecting people of all ages — dementia and Alzheimer’s — which is not getting the support it should with the exception of Senator Kemp Hannon whose [Care Act] legislation brings positive steps in the right direction.”
“You are doing something very special tonight,” said Hannon. “You’re focusing on a need and you’re doing it as a community. You’re forming a consciousness that I have not heard ever before for this big, big topic.” The senator received a recognition award from The WMHO for his compassionate leadership.
Tom Manuel, founder and president of The Jazz Loft, said the initial vision for The Jazz Loft always included programs for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s and children with special needs. “I have seen firsthand how magical [music therapy can be].” Laura Landor Stiegelmaier, director of Education and Community Outreach at The Jazz Loft agreed, adding, “This is so important to us. We truly believe that we are setting an example for our community and our community at large for all that we can do for those who are suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
Barbara Heaphy, recreation director at The Bristal Assisted Living in East Northport summed it up perfectly, saying “There’s such a need for this multifaceted program and the enrichment that it will offer people all over Long Island.”
The Young At Heart committee will host a community forum to discuss memory loss at The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, 97P Main St., Stony Brook on Oct. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Facilitated by Dr. Stephen G. Post of Stony Brook Medicine, the public is invited to participate in a round table discussion with medical professionals discussing solutions and caregivers talking about peaks and valleys of their experiences. Learn about the Young at Heart series and its upcoming events. Guest speakers will include Stony Brook Medicine’s Dr. Lisa Strano-Paul and Dr. Lory E. Bright-Long, Dan Cohen, founding executive director of Music & Memory Inc. and caregivers Don Estes and Karin Wile. Refreshments will be served. For more information on this free event or to RSVP, call 631-689-5888.
For more information about the Young at Heart program, please call 631-751-2244.
Cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves and the familiar scent of pumpkin pie spice are all signs of fall. Whether you’re hosting a pumpkin carving party or decorating sweet treats with family, celebrate the season with pumpkin patch cupcakes and maple-flavored leaf-shaped cookies.
Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
YIELD: Makes 24 cupcakes
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
4 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
2 boxes (16 ounces each) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, divided 1/2 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, divided
24 unfrosted cupcakes
12 regular marshmallows, halved crosswise
12 small chocolate-flavored taffy roll (Tootsie Roll), halved crosswise
DIRECTIONS: Beat butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Remove 2 cups of the frosting into medium microwavable bowl. Tint frosting orange using 1 teaspoon of the Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon of the Berry color. Set aside.
Tint remaining frosting green using another 1/2 teaspoon of the Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon of the Berry color. Spread top of cupcakes with green frosting. Using a fork, gently touch frosting in different directions to resemble grass spikes. To make the pumpkins, microwave the orange frosting on HIGH 10 to 20 seconds or until runny. Using a fork, dip marshmallow halves into frosting mixture, then place on top of frosted cupcakes. Let stand until pumpkin frosting has dried. Press a Tootsie Roll half in center of each pumpkin for the stem. Decorate leaves and vines with remaining green frosting, if desired.
Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies
YIELD: Makes 36 cookies
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons maple extract
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and maple extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Roll dough on generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with 2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
To glaze cookies, hold a cookie by its edge and dip the top into the glaze. Place iced cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet to dry. Let stand until glaze is set. For the variations below, dissolve the designated amount of the Color from Nature Food Colors with water in small bowl. Stir in any remaining ingredients until smooth.
Maroon Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
Forest Green Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color and 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
Pumpkin Cookie Glaze: Use 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature — Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color) and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar.
By Heidi Sutton
Just in time for Halloween, Theatre Three brings us “Pumpkin Patch Magic” or “If at First You Don’t Succeed,” a spooktacular musical for young children that is as sweet as a Kit Kat bar. Written over 20 years ago, the play has emerged from the shadows with a complete makeover and returned to the stage last Saturday. With fresh new lyrics and music by Jules Cohen, wonderful direction by Jeffrey Sanzel, a brilliant script chock full of rhyme, and a cast that is top notch, this show is sure to become an annual tradition.
It’s October in the Land of Halloween and everyone has certain chores in order for pumpkins to end up in pumpkin patches all over the world. The gnomes, known for their homegrown gnome poems, have to grow the pumpkins, the witches have to fly the pumpkins to the patch, the ghosts have to place the pumpkins in the patch without being seen and the rulers of the land have to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Fairy Loquacious Chattelot, played by Jessica Contino, serves as narrator and introduces the audience to four citizens of the Land of Halloween who are trying to help but can’t. Norman Gnome (Steven Uihlein) has trouble growing a pumpkin — during one attempt he ends up growing a head of lettuce! “I’m all thumbs and none of them are green,” he laments. His fellow gnomes, Nemo (Kyle Breitenbach) and Nathan (Dylan Poulos) feel Norman is useless and in the way. Ermengarde Broomwellsweepalot (Emily Gates), the witch, doesn’t know how to fly so is tasked by her fellow witch Ethel Broomwellsweepalot (Zoe Dunmire) with taking care of all the other chores including painting broom handles.
Graham Ghost (Jason Furnari) can’t seem to turn himself invisible — his conversations with Harvey the invisible ghost are hilarious! — and Princess Pumpkin (Melanie Acampora) is a nervous mess who has trouble making decisions and therefore can’t rule the Queendom, much to the dismay of her mother Queen Honoria (Ginger Dalton). Tensions run high. Will the Fairy Loquacious Chattelot help them with some good advice? Or will her advice backfire? Will the children find pumpkins in the pumpkin patch to decorate or will Halloween be ruined?
The musical numbers, with their jazzy undertones, are the heart of the show. From the opening number, “It’s Halloween!” by the whole company, to the clever “I’m All Thumbs,” sung by the gnomes, to Graham Ghost’s solo, “I’m Gettin’ Out [Moving to a Ghost Town],” each song, accompanied on piano by Steve McCoy, is better than the next. Costumes by Teresa Matteson are another highlight of the production with noticeable effort and attention to detail. Choreography by Sari Feldman is fun and hip, especially during “Not Easy Being Me.”
Children are encouraged to come to the show in their Halloween costumes. Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for photo-ops. Running time is 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission. Theatre Three, 412 Man St., Port Jefferson will present “Pumpkin Patch Magic” through Oct. 29. A special sensory-sensitive performance is scheduled for Oct. 9 where the house lights will remain on throughout the performance and children may move around the theater. Next up is the 13th anniversary of “Barnaby Saves Christmas” from Nov. 25 to Dec. 30 (sensory-sensitive performance on Nov. 27.) All tickets are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.
We have a winner!
Karin Bagan of Setauket is the winner of our latest adult coloring contest! Karin’s intricate nautical-themed graphic was chosen over many other entries, and she wins a three-year subscription to Times Beacon Record Newspapers. Congratulations and thank you to all who entered! See page B23 in the Septemberto color in Karin’s picture and to enter our next contest.
Enter to win! Why should kids have all the fun? Color in this image by Karin Bagan of Setauket and enter to win a three-year subscription to the Times Beacon Record (a $99 value). Mail your winning entry to Times Beacon Record Newspapers, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733 or email a high-resolution image to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to enter is Oct. 15. Contest open to ages 21 and older. The winner will be announced in the issue of Oct. 20. Questions? Call 631-751-7744, ext. 109.
Village to raise awareness about breast cancer and breast health
Paint Port Pink, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital’s month-long breast cancer awareness community outreach, returns in October with new events, initiatives and community partners.
A tree lighting ceremony in front of Village Hall Sept. 28 kicked off the event. Presented by Astoria Bank, the event’s mission is to stress the importance of screening, early detection and education about breast cancer and to help raise funds for the Fortunato Breast Health Center Fund for the Uninsured at Mather.
The Village of Port Jefferson will be all aglow as more than 80 storefronts will be decorated in mini pink lights and pink banners. Local schools will hold fundraisers and restaurants will offer pink drinks.
This year’s outreach will also include an art show at the Port Jefferson Free Library from Oct. 1 to 31, the 10th annual Pink Rock Golf Classic at the Baiting Hollow Golf Club on Oct. 3. Mather Hospital’s 51st annual Gala, One Enchanted Evening: A Night of Entertainment featuring the Edwards Twins, will be held on Oct. 14 at East Wind Caterers in Wading River at 7 p.m. The gala will include the presentation of the Community Service Award and Theodore Roosevelt Awards for service to the hospital and the community. The month-long event will conclude with Mather Hospital’s free educational health and wellness HealthyU seminar series and health fair on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 a.m.
Paint Port Pink is sponsored by Long Island Physician Associates, LI Anesthesia Physicians, Long Island Bone and Joint, People’s United Bank, Empire Bank, North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates, C.Tech Collections, Peconic Auto Wreckers and The Pie with the cooperation of the Village of Port Jefferson, the Port Jefferson School District, Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and other local groups.
A story of survival
The photograph is one of light and serenity, of calm waters and clouds and a bridge between darkness and light. It is a perfect metaphor for what Diane Towers was feeling when she captured the scene in Ocean City, Maryland following her final treatment for breast cancer.
“To me, getting through it meant seeing something good every day, that there’s beauty all around you and every sunset is something you appreciate more and more,” said Towers, a Mount Sinai resident who was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago. “It was my first vacation after I had done chemo and I had my bald head and reconstructed body and we went away to Maryland. That picture was taken right outside our hotel room and the lights had just come on and it was just breathtaking to me. I was coming out of a dark time and seeing the light.”
Towers, a 28-year employee of John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, had discovered a lump in one of her breasts through self-examination. “It was a total shock,” she said, adding that there was no family history of breast cancer. She went to the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather and had a mammography and an ultrasound, but the results of both tests were negative, she said. Working with her doctor there, she had a biopsy taken and the cancer diagnosis was confirmed, she said.
“One of the things that came out of the experience for me is don’t put all your trust in technology. You have to be diligent. You are your best advocate for your health. You know your body,” she said.
After consulting with Drs. Joseph Carrucciu and Michelle Price at Fortunato, Towers elected to have a bilateral mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery. “They were wonderful advocates and just guided me,” she said. “I have to say the people at this hospital got me through this. They were amazing from the secretary when you first walked in to people in the lab. The compassion that comes out of people when you go through something like this really is amazing.”
“Here I am seven years later, finished with everything and in total remission,” Towers said. “I’ve had two children married and three grandbabies on the way and a lot of beautiful things have happened. So there is life after cancer.”
Towers entered her photo, “Light My Way,” in the Paint Port Pink’s art show. “It’s A Good Day,” at Port Jefferson Free Library. An art exhibit reception will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m., with viewing of the exhibit open to the public during normal library hours through Oct. 31. Artwork may be purchased for $50 per piece at the reception. After Oct. 5, please call Mather Hospital’s Public Affairs Office at 631-476-2723 if you would like to purchase a piece. Art work will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a complete list of Paint Port Pink events, partners and sponsors and to see all the entries in the art show, visit www.paintportpink.org.