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Photo courtesy of Suffolk Federal

Suffolk Federal presented a total of $30,000 in college scholarships ($5,000 each) to six local high school seniors who will be attending Suffolk County Community College on June 6.

“Supporting our younger generation to become productive community members by providing financial assistance as they undertake their college experience is an important focus for Suffolk Federal,” said Ralph D. Spencer Jr., president & CEO of Suffolk Federal. 

“We are happy to know that the scholarships awarded will help to alleviate some of the student’s financial burden, so they can focus on their future educational and career goals.”

From the $30,000, four of the scholarship award recipients received $5,000 each as part of the Suffolk Federal Scholarship.  In addition, one student, Amber Leon, received an additional $5,000 scholarship provided by the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which was matched by Suffolk Federal for a total of $10,000. 

Also, William Clifford received $5,000 as part of the Michael E. Reilly Foundation Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Fire Science and Emergency Medical Technology, which is awarded to a student enrolled in a Fire Protection Technology program at Suffolk County Community College.

Recipients were judged based upon their academic achievements, extracurricular and community activities as well as the quality of written essays.

Scholarship recipients, pictured in the front row from left include Gabrielle Cerney of Manorville, Nicole Migliano of Selden, Amber Leon of Ridge, William Clifford of Ronkonkoma, Jaime Cusmano of Centereach and Samantha Varone of Centereach. 

This year’s scholarships are being provided as a result of a new partnership between Suffolk Federal and the Suffolk County Community College Foundation.

Above, the Centereach store off Middle Country Road. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The retail industry has suffered another blow as Dressbarn’s parent company, Ascena Retail Group Inc., announced it was shutting down and closing all 650 stores, including 17 on Long Island, by the end of the year. The announcement was made on May 20. The women’s clothing chain employs about 6,800 people.

“This decision was difficult, but necessary, as the Dressbarn chain has not been operating at an acceptable level of profitability in today’s retail environment,” said Chief Financial Officer of Dressbarn Steven Taylor in a statement.

“During the wind down process, we will continue to provide our customers with the same great experience both in-store and online, offering them even better deals and value. We will work to assist our associates through the transition and maintain existing relationships with our vendors, suppliers and other key stakeholders through this process,” he said.

Ascena has said it wants to focus on its other brands, such as Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant.

Suffolk County has nine Dressbarn stores including Centereach, Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, East Northport, Huntington Station and Riverhead.

According to the chain’s website, the company was founded in 1962 by Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe, who recognized the need of women who were entering the workforce for a convenient one-stop shop where they could find fashion at a value. The single store in Stamford, Connecticut grew to a nationwide chain.

RIBBON CUTTING

On May 24, the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the main Law Office of Heather N. Kaplan, Esq., located at 84 Nesconset Hwy., Suite 2, in Port Jefferson Station. A second office is located in Garden City.

Pictured above, Heather Kaplan, center, with husband Joshua and their three children Julia, Lily and Charlotte cut the ribbon under the business’ sign surrounded by family member Andrea Freundlinger; Chamber President Joy Pipe of East End Shirt Co.; chamber members Tess Son of Digital Marketing Consultant and Nancy Bradley of People’s United Bank; and law firm staff members Brittany Garavelli, Diane Ferrette, Ali Kaplan and Amanda Caponi.

Specializing in New York State worker’s compensations claims, Kaplan is an accomplished litigator and has achieved excellent results at the Workers’ Compensation Board, New York Supreme Court and at the Appellate Courts.

For more information, call 631-574-2624 or visit www.nyinjuredworker.com.

Owner Anthony Amen, center, celebrates with his staff, local officials, chamber members and clients last Saturday. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The Mount Sinai-Miller Place Chamber Alliance hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening for Redefine Fitness in Mount Sinai on May 4. The event was attended by friends, family, staff, clients, chamber members and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) and Leg. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai), who presented owner Anthony Amen with Certificates of Congratulations. 

“Redefine Fitness offers personal training and special weight loss programs with a unique approach to guide their clients to reach their goals. The Mount Sinai-Miller Place Chamber Alliance welcomes them to our community and wishes them all the best in their future success,” said JoAnn Klein, membership director for the chamber.

“Leg. Anker and I are major supporters of small businesses. We appreciate you having faith in Mount Sinai and opening up a business here. We wish you all the success in the world,” added Bonner.

“Redefine Fitness offers one on one training, small group training, special needs training. We’re here to help people. We just want to help everyone live happy and healthy lives. We hope to continue and grow,” said Amen. “I just want to thank everyone for their support.”

Located at 5507 Nesconset Highway in the King Kullen Shopping Center, the gym is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 631-743-9906 or visit www.redefine-fitness.com.

Stacy Davidson in her shop in Port Jefferson

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Pattern Finders/Stacy’s Finds is celebrating its 25th anniversary at 128 East Main St., Port Jefferson this May. Owner Stacy Davidson credits her longevity by keeping her inventory unique for her loyal customers and for her personal service. Faced with closing several years ago due to the change in demand for her original inventory, she reinvented her shop to contain treasures, old and new, evening wear, vintage furs, jewelry, antiques and gifts. 

Davidson’s treasure trove includes museum-quality estate jewelry from the 1800s to today’s interesting finds. In celebration of 25 years of patronage, she is offering 25 percent off any one item in the store this month. 

One of Davidson’s high points was being credited as business person of the year by this newspaper in the past. Her ongoing charity work for local needy children makes her very proud.

Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4. Closed Mondays. For more information, call 631-928-5158 or visit www.stacysfinds.com.

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Photo from NEFCU

RIBBON CUTTING

Long Island based credit union NEFCU formally opened its 19th branch on the Island with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 4. Located at 356 New York Ave., Huntington, the 2,067-square-foot location first opened for business in late January. 

The event was attended by a number of NEFCU representatives and local officials including Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) who presented NEFCU President and CEO John Deieso with a Certificate of Recognition. 

This marks the second Huntington area branch for the credit union after opening its doors in Huntington Station in 2015 at 721 Jericho Turnpike.

“We’re Long Island born and bred, and we’re continually looking for communities across this hard-working island to put down new roots,” said Deieso. “Suffolk County presents a great opportunity for us, and we’re rapidly making our name known as we move eastward. And we’re finding that existing and new members are attracted to our digital and mobile banking offerings that are augmented by an increased level of personal service.” 

In the photo, from left, Jillian Guthman, receiver of taxes, Town of Huntington; Lupinacci; Madeleine Sewell, NEFCU assistant treasurer; Deieso; Councilman Ed Smyth (R); and Michael Varriale, NEFCU branch manager.

Photo from Whole Foods

BREAD BREAKING CEREMONY

Representatives from the Northeast Regional division of Whole Foods held an official bread breaking ceremony (their version of a ribbon cutting) for its new store in Commack on April 3. Located at 120 Veterans Memorial Highway, the new 45,000-square-foot store employs 200 full- and part-time team members and is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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Photo from Gurwin Jewish

The Gurwin Family of Healthcare Services of Commack was named the 2019 Best of Long Island winner in four health and wellness categories: Rehabilitation Centers, Assisted Living, Health Aides and Adult Day Care. This is the third consecutive BOLI win for the Gurwin adult day care programs.

“We are very honored to have been voted by the Long Island community as the Best of Long Island in four of the main services we provide,” said Stuart B. Almer, Gurwin’s president and chief executive officer. “Our mantra at Gurwin is to care for each resident as if they were our own loved one. The BOLI awards recognize our exceptional programs and the skillful, compassionate care our staff provides, whether in Gurwin’s nursing and rehabilitation center, assisted living facility, in our Adult Day Care program or as part of our home care program.”

Commenting on the trifecta win for Adult Day Care, program Director Jeraldine Fedoriw said, “The BOLI award is a testament to the person-centered care our team provides for each of the 130 individuals who attend our Adult Day Health Program on a daily basis. Their concern and compassion is evident in the engaging activities they create to promote socialization, the personal and medical attention they provide, and the hot meals and nutritious snacks they prepare. We are grateful to be recognized by Long Islanders with the BOLI award for the third consecutive year for the work we do to help our program participants continue to live in the community.”

Sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and published by Long Island Press, the annual BOLI awards recognize the top local businesses and organizations selected through a tally of more than one million votes cast by Long Islanders.

Photo by Elyse Sutton

Gap Inc. announced plans last week to close 230 of its namesake brand stores over the next two years as it works to restructure. Gap will close about 130 Gap stores, or more than half of the fleet slated for closure, in 2019.

Among those affected will be the Gap in Port Jefferson, located at 100 Arden Place, which will close on April 25 after 27 years in business.

The retailer will split into two publicly traded companies: Old Navy and a yet-to-be named company that will include the Gap brand, Banana Republic, Intermix and leisure labels Athleta and Hill City.

In a statement Gap said its remaining store fleet will be a “more appropriate foundation” for future growth.

Photo from Councilman LaValle's office

JUST KEEP SWIMMING

Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) joined representatives from the Middle Country Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma), Assemblyman Douglas Smith (R-Holbrook) and residents in welcoming Goldfish Swim School to Centereach on March 2.

Owners Michael, Rodney and Blake George, Branden Yono and owner/operator Jake Atchoo received a Certificate of Congratulations from the Brookhaven Town Board; a Certificate of Recognition from Muratore and a Certificate of Merit from Smith who wished them well in their new venture.

Goldfish Swim School has 90 locations across the country. The Centereach location, located at 141 Centereach Mall off Middle Country Road, is the first in Suffolk County. Open daily, the facility offers indoor, year-round swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years along with weekly family swims and birthday parties.

Pictured from left, LaValle; Michael George; Blake George; Jake Atchoo; Branden Yono; Rodney George; Bob Martinez, chief of staff to Leg. Muratore; and Samantha Heise, general manager.

For more information, call 631-405-4111 or visit www.goldfishswimschool.com/centereach/.

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