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The Bates House

By Kyle Barr

The Bates House in Setauket is gearing up to host a night of intrigue and mystery in order to support a local horse sanctuary in need.

The nonprofit Twin Oaks Horse Sanctuary in Manorville will hold a murder mystery event at the Setauket venue on Sunday, Nov. 11 to raise funds for repairs to a barn roof, among others. The farm shelters close to 30 horses, some of which have suffered from abuse, neglect, injury or simply the ravages of time and age. 

“We take them in and they live out their lives,” said Cynthia Steinmann, one of the two main sanctuary volunteers. “You never know their stories before you get them.”

From left, Jennifer Zalak with Maggie the horse and Cynthia Steinmann with Frankie the cat

Horses range in age, but all were saved from worse fates or were taken in when they had no other place to go. Two Friesian brothers Jan and Attilla were brought into the sanctuary after a period where they were nearly starved, kept in the same barn as a dead horse. Another horse named Journey was brought to the sanctuary after a very difficult childbirth in Pennsylvania. Dealer was brought to the sanctuary by caring riding students after becoming too old to be used for lessons.

The sanctuary, which is run by a group of just three women, is looking to get in front of a number of issues before winter season sets in. A recent storm blew the roof off of one of the barn buildings on site and there is a need for a drainage system to prevent flooding as well as to create new boards for horses to walk on if the rains soften the ground too much. 

Several of the horse shelters on site could use renovations, including one that needs to be rebuilt, and the sanctuary is always looking for new wood to reconstruct the pens that some of the larger horses can knock down with only a slight nudge of their huge frames.

“When it’s cold you want them to have a place to get out of the wind,” said Jennifer Zalak, Steinmann’s cousin and volunteer at the sanctuary. “I would just like them to have a nice dry spot to go to if the ground is muddy.”

Journey

The staff take turns alternating between the mornings and evenings, and each in turn is there close to six days a week or more depending on what work is needed. In previous years, when snow storms closed off roads and blanketed their small farm in foot after foot of muddy snow, the volunteers have also slept there to make sure the horses were alright come morning.

Most of the horses are older, around 20 to 30 years old. It means most are past their prime, and they are treated more like members of a retirement community. “With our guys being senior citizens, they really don’t care about moving around too much,” Zalak laughed.

Bates House Manager Lise Hintz said she took a road trip out to the sanctuary and was amazed at how much such a small group of people have been able to accomplish. “When I went out there I could not believe what I saw,” said Hintz “How do you not help a group like that? This sanctuary is in such need of repair and help.”

If Zalak and Steinmann had the opportunity and the funds, their dream would be to open the sanctuary to the public, not necessarily for lessons due to the age of most of the horses, but for therapy reasons, where people come to interact with the horses in quiet and peace. Steinmann said she has seen just how much of a calming effect the horses can have on individuals, especially for people experiencing depression or for those with other mental issues.

“My ultimate dream would be to do a bed and breakfast on the sanctuary with therapy programs for veterans and retired police officers, people with social disabilities, anxiety, depression and others” Steinmann said. “Some people get something spiritual out of it, some people get something relaxing out of it.”

The Nov. 11 murder mystery event, run by the nationally based Murder Mystery Company, will put local residents into a 1920s-themed scenario in which one person has committed a murder most foul. Titled “Crime and Pun-ishment,” the audience has to figure out who the murderer is before he or she gets away. Participants are encouraged to dress for the occasion in either flapper dresses, zoot suits or whatever attire one thinks is appropriate to the time. 

The Bates House is located at 1 Bates Road in Setauket. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the show will start at 6 p.m. An assortment of Italian food will be served buffet style along with a variety of wines, soft drinks, dessert, coffee and tea. In addition, there will be a silent auction, and a raffle for local artist Dino Rinaldi to personally paint a picture of one winner’s family pet.

Tickets are $35 per person and must be purchased before Oct. 29. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-sold basis and can be purchased at www.twinoakshorsesanctuary.org, by mail at P.O. Box 284, Lake Grove, NY 11755 or by phone at 631-874-4913. If you are mailing a check please write “Murder Mystery Ticket” in the memo. No tickets will be sold at the door.

For further information call 631-689-7054.

All photos by Kyle Barr

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Sometimes one gets by with a little help from their friends, or in other cases, book lovers, foodies and wine aficionados.

Times Beacon Record News Media hosted the Cooks, Books & Corks Fundraiser at The Bates House in Setauket June 12. Attendees had the opportunity to sample a variety of dishes from restaurants and caterers from across the North Shore, meet local authors and sample wines from Whisper Vineyards. The proceeds raised from the event will underwrite a summer internship with TBR News Media for a student from Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism.

Howard Schneider, founding dean of SBU’s School of Journalism, talked to the audience about the importance of the summer internship and journalism in today’s world. He referenced a recent Gallup poll where 60 percent of Americans said it’s difficult to decide what’s true, and they are overwhelmed by the information and misinformation they read.

“So, I tell you this because the fundraising portion of this dinner is to support a young journalist who will work with the Times Beacon Record newspapers, who will learn their craft and also do some important local journalism,” he said. “Because good journalism is not only about Albany and Washington, it’s about holding our local officials accountable for how they spend our money; it’s about whether we’re drinking safe water here in this community; it’s about whether our children are safe in school. And we need good journalists on the ground, starting here, to do that.”

The event featured keynote speakers Carl Safina and chef Guy Reuge. Safina, the first endowed professor for nature and humanities at SBU, has written several books about what he calls the nonhuman world. Reuge, owner of Mirabelle Restaurant in Stony Brook, recently penned the book, “A Chef’s Odyssey.”

Safina read an excerpt from his most recent book “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel,” a piece he said he picked to honor Father’s Day. He said part of the book is about wolves, which he said are very instructive.

Reuge spoke to the audience about the process of writing and publishing his book with his wife’s uncle Philip Palmedo, which he said was rewarding in many ways.

“It was easy,” he said about the writing. “It took about seven or eight months to do. It really wasn’t that difficult.”

He said the recipes were tricky though, because one has to be precise, and he wanted to make sure he included some from his restaurant.

One of the authors who had a table at the event was TBR News Media proofreader John Broven. He said he appreciated the opportunity to chat with potential readers and listening to the speakers.

“It was a privilege to be a part of such a harmonious evening for an excellent cause,” he said. “Howard Schneider’s stirring speech in defense of real journalism was appropriately thought-provoking during the fundraiser.”

Publisher Leah Dunaief said TBR News Media looks forward to the second Cooks, Books & Corks next year. The event was coordinated by Evelyn Costello and sponsored by Michael Ardolino, George Rehn, The Bates House and Simple Party Designs. For more photos, visit www.tbrnewsmedia.com.

The Bates House in Setauket will host Camp Kesem at Stony Brook University's fundraising event. File photo

Camp Kesem at Stony Brook University is planning its annual fundraising gala, Make the Magic. The event will be held at The Bates House in Setauket April 21 starting at 5 p.m.

The gala will include a cocktail hour, dinner, silent auction, paddle raise, prizes and more. Tickets are $65 per person or $500 for a table of eight.

Vacation prizes include a Zulu reserve trip to Africa for two, Royal Caribbean International cruise for two, a Florida trip to the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront for four and a Martha Clara Vineyards wine trip for six.

Camp Kesem is a nonprofit organization run by college students who are committed to providing programs and free summer camp to support children in the Long Island community who are impacted by a parent’s cancer.

For more information, contact Camp Kesem members at 631-716-5173 or email stonybrook.mtm@campkesem.org. To learn more about Camp Kesem, visit www.campkesem.org/stonybrook. 99The Bates House is located at 1 Bates Road in Setauket.

This year the real March Madness wasn’t basketball. It was the number of nor’easters we in the Northeast endured. This will forever be the year of the nor’easters, one right after the other with snowfalls, flooding and especially the high winds. Many old trees are no longer with us. As the first quarter of the new year ends, we are hopeful that the old adage, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” will prove to be true. The forecasts are promising.

We have some exciting plans for the community that we believe will further enliven the next quarter of the year. On June 12, TBR News Media — that’s us — will offer a new event. It is called Cooks, Books & Corks, and it will be held at the Bates House in Setauket. For those who might not know the location, it is that lovely house inside Frank Melville Park, near the Mill Pond, usually used for wedding receptions, and it can be reached via a driveway opposite the Emma Clark Library and just past the two entrance roads to Strong’s Neck. We will have balloons and signage marking the way.

So what is Cooks, Books & Corks? It is to be a grand marriage of mind and body on a joyful June Tuesday evening, from 6 to 9 p.m., that will combine good food from local restaurants with good books by local authors, all of which will go down easily with some good wine. We are encouraging the restauranteurs to bring tastings of their favorite dishes and the authors to offer their books for sale throughout the event. The views from the bluestone patio and the picture window are beautiful and serene in the middle of the woods, and we will hope for a soft, summer breeze to erase all memories of past nor’easters.

Besides being just plain fun and a forum for our local restaurants, local wineries and celebrated authors, Cooks, Books & Corks is a fundraiser intended to pay for an intern from the Stony Brook University School of Journalism this summer. We have held such fundraisers for that purpose in the past, and the internships have helped launch several young journalists into their careers. Tickets will be $50 per person for the food and wine, and although not tax deductible, all funds will go toward paying the intern. The cost of any books you might choose to buy will be up to you. We hope there will be irresistible books for children offered for sale as well as for us adults.

Further, a ticket to Cooks, Books & Corks will enable the purchaser to have a reserved seat at the Stony Brook premiere of our film, “One Life to Give,” to be held on June 24, a Sunday evening. The film is a prequel of sorts to the story of the Culper Spy Ring that played a vital role in the Revolutionary War. Headquartered in Setauket, Washington’s spies fed critical intelligence to the Patriots of such high value that, in one instance, information enabled French soldiers to disembark safely from their ships and join the fight in the colonies. The cable channel, AMC, ran popular stories of the spies, “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” for four seasons, which ended last year. Our full-length film, by contrast, endeavors to be historically authentic.

More details about the premiere will be forthcoming. I do want to give you this heads-up for the coming enjoyable events we have planned for the community. We think they will make you proud of where you live. And why do we do this? That’s easy. We’re committed to strengthening the sense of community because we are the community paper. And website. And social media. And now producers of historical films. Happy Spring!

Rebecca Holt and Lucia Buscemi, above, are hosting a soup cookoff, Sunday, March 18, at The Bates House in Setauket. Photo from Lucia Buscemi

Ward Melville High School students Rebecca Holt and Lucia Buscemi are spearheading a fundraiser to raise $30,000 to build a school in Malawi this summer in conjunction with the nonprofit buildOn, and they are hoping the Three Village Community will join them in their efforts.

On March 18, they will host a soup cookoff at The Bates House in Setauket. Attendees can enter their best soup for a chance to win a first place prize of $150. Entry fee for the contest is $30. Participants will enjoy homemade soups and be able to vote for their favorite. The event will also include basket raffles and live music.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Tickets can also be purchased at the door but will be $5 more than tickets bought in advance. The On Soup Cookoff will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on March 18. To buy tickets or enter a soup, email the organizers at wmbuildon@gmail.com. The Bates House is located at 1 Bates Road, Setauket.

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Join the Cavi Gras March 4 at Setauket's Bates House. Photo from Cavalier Rescue USA

The tristate Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Facebook and Meetup groups invite the public to Cavi Gras, a fundraiser at The Bates House Sunday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will support Cavalier Rescue USA, a nonprofit that is dedicated to finding loving families for Cavaliers who are in need of new homes. Attendees can enjoy the tastes of New Orleans at the Mardi Gras-themed party that will include music, live auction, Chinese auction and best mask contest.

Tickets are $20 at the door. To RSVP email irishraven328@aol.com. For more information, call Erin at 516-246-4327, Dena at 631-796-3825 or Angela at 631-664-1211. The Bates House is located at 1 Bates Road in Setauket.

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The Three Village school district will hire an additional guidance counselor at Ward Melville High School, above, as well as a psychologist to administer tests throughout the district. Photo by Greg Catalano

The Three Village Drug & Alcohol Awareness Program will host an open Q&A forum with two guest speakers Thursday, Jan. 25, at The Bates House.

Heather Reilly, certified drug and alcohol counselor for the Three Village Central School District, will be on hand to answer parents’ questions about services provided for students and parents in the Three Village schools.

Also attending the meeting will be Lauren Grady, a private practice clinician and social work investigator for the New York State Department of Health, who works at B.E.S.T. PLLC located in Deer Park. The facility is planning to open another location on Technology Drive in Setauket, tentatively late February or early March.

B.E.S.T. treats those 18 and older and provides counseling for family members who have a loved one addicted to alcohol or drugs. Grady will answer questions regarding the facility coming to the Three Village area. She will discuss the national and local epidemic of substance abuse, the barriers and obstacles present in identifying and receiving treatment, various treatment modalities and options, and the mobilization of resources to reach and treat those afflicted by this issue.

The meeting will be held at 1 Bates Road, Setauket, at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. For more information, call 631-689-7054. To speak confidentially with a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor, call Merrit Hartblay at 516-852-8478.

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