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Rose Caracapa Senior Center

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The vehicle Bruce Brant allegedly drove into the Rose Caracappa Senior Center April 30. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

Guess he didn’t try knocking first.

Senior citizens who attend activities at Mount Sinai’s Rose Caracappa Senior Center were in for a surprise when they arrived for morning activities. The whole front door was pasted over with plywood after a man allegedly crashed his vehicle into the senior center in the early morning April 30, police said.

Bruce Brant was allegedly driving a 2012 Mazda3 northbound on North Ocean Avenue when he failed to stop at the end of the roadway and crashed the vehicle into the Rose Caracappa Senior Center, located at 739 Route 25A, at around 12:25 a.m. The vehicle came to a stop inside the building, according to Suffolk County Police.

Mount Sinai Fire Department Heavy Rescue extricated Brant from the Mazda. He was transported to John T. Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. There were no other injuries.

Town of Brookhaven workers were there at around 1 a.m. after the car had been extricated to make repairs on the front door, which were completed without interruption to center activities. A Brookhaven spokesperson said the town had not yet completed a cost estimate on repairs.

Brant, 25, of Pennsylvania, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He will be arraigned at a later date. 

Ingrid Herland, second from left, sits surrounded by family: from left, son Warren, daughter Martha and son-in-law Don Richtberg. Photo by Donna Newman

By Desirée Keegan & Donna Newman

Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) joined with the Mount Sinai Senior Citizens Club to recognize centenarian Beatrice Caravella at her 100th birthday bash on Sept. 6.

Born Beatrice Mercatante on Sept. 9, 1916, in Brooklyn to parents who emigrated from Sicily, she met her husband Fred while attending church, and together they had two children, Marilyn and Richard.

Beatrice and Fred Caravella were instrumental in spearheading a Pentecostal Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They lived in Richmond Hill and Franklin Square before retiring to Miller Place. She was widowed in 1985, after 41 years of marriage.

Caravella is an avid reader and in retirement happily volunteered her time and service in hospitals, nursing homes and churches to help those less fortunate than herself.

Today she has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She still lives in her own home and celebrated her milestone birthday with her family and friends.

Beatrice Caravella, center, celebrates her 100th birthday with Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Councilwoman Jane Bonner and other family and friends. Photo from Town of Brookhaven
Beatrice Caravella, center, celebrates her 100th birthday with Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Councilwoman Jane Bonner and other family and friends. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

The Mount Sinai Senior Citizen Club celebrated Caravella’s centennial birthday with coffee and cake at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai. Romaine and Bonner presented her with a proclamation declaring Sept. 9, 2016, as Beatrice Caravella day in the Town of Brookhaven.

Out in Setauket, the Energizer bunny has got nothing on Ingrid Herland.

She celebrated her 106th birthday Sept. 18 with a whole weekend of partying. She shared birthday cake with her friends at Sunrise of East Setauket on Saturday and planned to spend Sunday with family at her daughter’s home.

Herland is an inspirational example of the power of positive thinking. A poetry lover, she recites verse from memory, some that she has written herself and some favorite poems — with a little Shakespeare thrown in for good measure.

Ingrid attended New York University, and said biology was her favorite subject. She left before graduation to marry and raise a family. She has three children: Warren and twins, born on Washington’s Birthday, George and Martha; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild she is looking forward to meeting at Christmastime.

Asked if she could share the secret for long life, she replied, “I never thought about it at all. I took it one year at a time. I went with the flow.” And that’s the secret. Son-in-law Don Richtberg said, “She is the most accepting person I have ever known. She seems to find the good in everyone — and everything.” And the best way to handle getting old? “You just have to be a good sport about it,” she said.