Nonprofits

Sharon Gatz-Philbrick, Christian Neubert and Erika Gronenthal are striving to help their neighbors in need. Photo by Ottilie Philbrick

By Courtney Rehfeldt

When three residents of Port Jefferson saw COVID-19 presenting a financial impact on community members, they decided to come together and form Hometown Hope Port Jefferson. 

Launched by Sharon Gatz-Philbrick, Erika Gronenthal and Christian Neubert, the trio works to assist those in need while bringing the community together during a difficult time.  

“At the peak of the pandemic, businesses and schools closed, leaving families struggling to make ends meet,” Gatz-Philbrick said. “Families faced much uncertainty as bills piled up, and paychecks didn’t come. There was a struggle to put food on the table, and grocery shelves were bare. The list of worries seemed endless and the need for support and hope became apparent.”

Remembering the kindness she personally experienced from Port Jefferson locals, Gatz-Philbrick wanted to return the favor. 

“In the midst of a challenging time, residents from the village did so many amazing things for my children and me,” she said. “I wanted to create an organization that continued these amazing acts of kindness. Alone we can do so little, and together we can do so much more.”

Besides providing a helping hand, Hometown Hope has connected local volunteers and businesses in a joint effort. 

“Port Jefferson village is a small town,” Neubert said. “In a place where everyone knows your name, we wanted to allow neighbors to help neighbors. One small act of kindness can lead to an entire town of encouraging acts of goodness and positive change.”

Hometown Hope provided Thanksgiving meal boxes and collected gift donations for the holidays, teaming up with Torte Jeff Pie Co. and other local businesses to fulfill their mission. Mather Hospital has provided donations, and the group has gotten support from Infant Jesus food kitchen and Rima Potter Designs.

“There comes a time in all our lives where we need assistance, it is a humbling moment, and we are hoping to pay it forward in our community,” Gatz-Philbrick said. “A little bit of kindness goes a long way. We don’t always see who is hurting or why, but we want to be there for them if they need extra help or assistance. We believe having a strong support structure is perhaps one of the most important steps to healing.”

In addition to collecting monetary or specific item donations, Hometown Hope Port Jefferson is also looking for volunteers to donate their time to help collect and distribute items as well as assist with future initiatives in the new year. 

People who live in the Port Jefferson Village who need to apply for help can be nominated through the organization’s website, or can contact the group through social media. The organization can be found on Facebook by searching Hometown Hope Port Jefferson. or online at hometownhopepj.org.

Beverly C. Tyler and Donna Smith at the grave of Culper Spy Abraham Woodhull. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The Three Village Historical Society presents a virtual lecture via Zoom titled SPIES!  How a Group of Long Island Patriots helped George Washington Win the Revolution on Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Join historian Bev Tyler and educator Donna Smith as they guide you through the Society’s SPIES! exhibit and bring to life the dramatic stories of Long Island’s Culper Spy Ring through photographs, maps and original documents. A Q&A will follow. $5 suggested donation. Free for TVHS members. To register, visit www.tvhs.org.

Priya Kapoor. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The Smithtown Historical Society has received a grant of $2,000 from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for expenses generated during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order, New York State on PAUSE. The announcement was made in a press release on Jan. 4.

“We received the grant in 2020 when the times were rough, and we had canceled all our fundraising events due to COVID-19. We used the grant money at a very crucial time,” said Executive Director Priya Kapoor. “We are grateful to the Gardiner Foundation for their support during these extraordinary times!”

A BLAST FROM THE PAST The Huntington Historical Society presents a lecture on the town’s famed bobsled races on Jan. 21. Photo from HHS

Lunch and Learn 

Join the Huntington Historical Society for a virtual Lunch and Learn program titled Huntington’s Bobsled Races on Jan. 21 at noon. Enjoy your own lunch while learning about this Huntington tradition, which was held between 1907 and 1920 as part of Huntington’s annual Winter Carnivals. Suggested donation is $10. To register, visit www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org. For more information, call 427-7045, ext. 401.

Eagle’s Nest, the Mansion of William K. Vanderbilt II. Vanderbilt Museum photo

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has received assistance from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation – a grant of $2,000 from its Reimbursement Operating Support (ROS) program.

Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan, executive director of the Vanderbilt, said the Gardiner grant helped with the cost of the Museum’s service contract for website and IT support.

“The pandemic created an immediate need for increased technical support for our Education Department,” Wayland-Morgan said. “Our educators needed to transition quickly from on-site educational programs to virtual learning. Their expertise in instruction and program creation allowed them to produce new videos and collections-based projects for learning in school and at home.”

“We were able to creatively increase our capacity to serve schoolchildren, families, and other constituents throughout Long Island and well beyond. The Gardiner grant gave us necessary support to make that happen,” she added.

Kathryn Curran, executive director of the Gardiner Foundation, said it created the ROS program to counter the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on “Long Island’s historic stewards.” The awards were for reimbursement for institutional expenses incurred in 2020.

The Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987 in Hampton Bays, supports the study of Long Island history, with an emphasis on Suffolk County.

'Queens Lace' by Ty Stroudsburg

By Tara Mae

As a reprieve from the gray of winter and the tedious, yet terrifying drudgery of a pandemic, Gallery North’s latest exhibit, Filtered Light, offers a glimpse of brightness and hope. Featuring the work of two local artists, Ty Stroudsburg and Marceil Kazickas, the show, which opens Jan. 14, explores the connection between the realistic beauty and abstract wonder of nature, especially as it exists on Long Island.

Open to the public in person and available for online viewing, the collection consists of mostly oil paintings, a form both artists prefer. 

“Oil paint is seductive, sensual, and uplifting,” said Kazickas during a recent interview, adding that the medium enables textures, movement, and depth that can be harder to achieve by other means, such as acrylic paint. Several pastel sketches are also included. 

‘It Bears Repeating’ by Marceil Kazickas

These creations are related by certain themes — an appreciation of the outdoors and an examination of light, color, and texture. The exhibit features abstract expressionist pieces and images inspired by the vibrant landscapes of the region. 

This venture is the culmination of Gallery North’s commitment to connecting and maintaining relationships with its patrons and the art community during the pandemic, according to Kazickas. Although the pieces in the exhibit were largely made before the pandemic, the art reflects the outside world’s current altered state of reality, merging the tangible with the ephemeral. 

“Ty, because she has been working continuously for 50 years, and Marceil, who was very influenced by [late artist] Stan Brodsky, are very influenced by the ideas of abstract expressionism: nature is embodied in the human, who is a reflection of nature and our role within it,” explained Gallery North’s Executive Director Ned Puchner.

Both artists cite nature and color as primary sources of inspiration, but they approach it differently. Stroudsburg’s work is somewhat abstract, but her paintings are based in landscape form and normally have horizon lines.

“My work is still based on plant forms and things I see in the environment. My big focus has always been color. If I put my foot on the brake when I am driving around, it is because something is very colorful and has grabbed my attention. Color is the jumping off point for my canvas,” Stroudsburg said. 

‘Coreopsis’ by Ty Stroudsburg

Kazickas’ featured artwork, all abstract, is rooted in vertical sight lines and the beauty found beyond her front door. “I am painting a feeling [but] am inspired by Long Island; there is a vista everywhere … Mother Nature is so spectacular,” said the artist, who resides in Sands Point. 

Kazickas starts first with dark hues and then adds bright colors. “Most of my paintings are about dark and light and the magic that happens when they play against each other,” she explained. Having endured chronic pain for many years, Kazickas sees this process as a reflection of the bleakness of constant agony transformed into the relief experiences in creating art. “My paintings are full of color because it’s what I need to see,” she added. 

The versatility of the art in the exhibit extends beyond the lights and shadows to the unmistakable texture and expansive scope of the images. Movement on the canvases is expressed through the strong brush strokes. The vibrancy catches the eye, whether in person or on a screen, according to Assistant Curator Kate Schwarting. 

Stroudsburg has been exhibiting her art since the 1960s and had an existing relationship with the gallery. She moved from the South Fork of the Island to Southold on the North fork in 1985, drawn to the “non-social atmosphere.” Her work was already being displayed across the island, at institutions like the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington , as well as galleries in New York City and throughout the country.

‘Awakening’ by Marceil Kazickas

Attracted to the art community of Stony Brook and Setauket, Stroudsburg met and connected with former Gallery North Executive Director Colleen Hanson. She facilitated an exhibit of Stroudsburg’s work at the gallery and helped arrange for her art to be on display at Stony Brook University Hospital, where four of her large canvases reside. Stroudsburg networked with galleries and other artists, among them the late Joseph Reboli. 

Kazickas has exhibited her work at the Art Guild and at galleries throughout Long Island. She studied at the Roslyn School of Painting and began working as an artist more recently. Her art first caught the attention of Schwarting after she participated in many of the gallery’s ongoing virtual events.

“I met Marceil through some of our virtual programs,” said Schwarting. “We realized that Marceil’s work was a perfect combination with Ty’s work. The art is slightly different, but there is a conversation that happens between the works that makes sense.”

Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket presents Filtered Light from Jan. 14 through Feb. 25. The exhibit will be open to the public during the gallery’s normal hours, Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Social distancing will be observed and masks are mandatory for entry. Additionally the full show will be available online at www.gallerynorth.org. A virtual reception will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, please call 631-751-2676 or visit www.gallerynorth.org.

The Sunshine Prevention Center in Port Jefferson Station has worked to make sure its students had coursework during the pandemic, even driving materials home to students. Photo by Kyle Barr

When the first weeks of the pandemic hit, when everything from restaurants to gyms to playgrounds were being shut down, schools were forced closed as well.

As the many different districts across Long Island scrambled to implement distance learning, a new crisis loomed. For the many men and women who still worked, especially those on the frontlines in hospitals or elder care facilities, they could no longer depend on school districts to take care of their children for most of the day. 

George Duffy, the CEO of SCOPE Education Services, was instrumental in providing child care during the pandemic’s early months. Photo from SCOPE

And as parents scrambled to find ways to take care of their children, a few groups stepped up to the plate. Many parents owe a great deal to those organizations that took care of their children during the pandemic’s worst months, many of whom were trailblazers for what kids would come to expect when schools finally reopened in later months.

Organizations from all over kept their child care services going when they were needed most. The Huntington YMCA, while suspending many of its other youth and adult programs, kept running its child care services and food pickups for families. This was even amongst huge economic hardship caused by the loss of membership dues. 

Eileen Knauer, senior vice president of operations for YMCA of Long Island, said their child care programs ran for four months out of their Huntington facility as well as a school in the South Huntington school district, up until their summer camp programs started again. While it initially ran free of charge for parents, having been supported by stipends from the school district and Northwell Health, they did end up having to charge parents some cost for the program. For those parents who did not have enough to pay, they fundraised to help support their children.

“The ‘Y’ is here for our community — we respond to what the community tells us we need,” Knauer said. 

SCOPE Education Services, a Smithtown-based nonprofit chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, operates child care programs all over Long Island. Though SCOPE normally works with school districts from all over, in March, when districts were mandated to provide child care even while their buildings were closed to normal activity, they turned to SCOPE, according to George Duffy, executive director. 

The nonprofit operated 25 locations throughout Long Island to provide that child care, with more than 800 children in total enrolled. From March through August, SCOPE workers kept children in safe spaces, allowing them an opportunity to socialize when many were feeling the emotional constraints of isolation.

Though districts pay a weekly stipend to help run the program, for parents who desperately needed people to take care of their children while working, it was effectively free.

Lori Innella-Venne, a district manager for SCOPE operating in the Huntington area, said it was soon after the closures were coming into effect that she and her workers sat together to come up with a plan, creating something entirely new on the fly, even when restrictions and medical advice seemed to be changing on a daily basis. Despite all that, the program never saw a positive COVID-19 case amongst its children, she said.

“We took one breath when schools closed and we immediately got to work, reimagining how we did everything,” Innella-Venne said.

Over in Rocky Point, the North Shore Youth Council, a nonprofit that services districts from Mount Sinai to Shoreham-Wading River, was also caught up in that first COVID wave that crashed upon Suffolk County. Their summer camp, which featured 100 kids, was so effective in its procedures that it did not see a positive case in the several months the program ran.

NSYC Executive Director Robert Woods said they also had the benefit of good relationships with the Rocky Point school district, and that it was the district’s custodial staff who were “rock stars” in helping to prepare children for these activities. 

It was difficult, of course. Children could not even play board games together. Innella-Venne said they had to draw up an entirely new curriculum. Activities had to focus on being spaced apart. Equipment that was once shared now had to be restricted to individuals, and then sanitized after use.

“When we were still waiting for guidelines to come out, we already had a fully realized program, one that we found well within the guidelines and in some cases exceeded them,” she said. “There was fear in the beginning, but also incredible pride for what we were able to accomplish.”

The Huntington YMCA struggled during the pandemic but still offered childcare during the peak months. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Once school started again, the demand for child care did not relax. The youth council’s afterschool program now follows in the footsteps of the local school districts’ cohort system, following those so that they don’t mix students who may have been kept separate for a significant time. They also developed a kind of study hall for those students in the hybrid model who are studying electronically, allowing parents to work even when their children are not allowed inside schools, according to Cyndi Donaldson, the youth council’s school-age child care program director.

Knauer said the YMCA has also started a program to allow children a place to do their remote work while their parents are at their jobs. Though that program had stalled once students were allowed back in school full time, it will likely start up again after December as the number of COVID cases climb and local districts expect to take a longer-than-normal Christmas break.

“If you’re a working parent, you don’t have the luxury of taking time off,” she said.

There are so many stressors with young people having to deal with so much, whether it was hearing the news and the number of people dying, or it was seeing the anxieties of their parents. It was especially hard on more at-risk kids, the kind of population serviced by The Sunshine Center in Port Jefferson Station. Carol Carter, CEO/co-founder of the organization, said they had to transfer much of their child care services online once the pandemic struck, whether it was live on Facebook or YouTube, or constant calls to catch up with parents and their children on what was happening. They took to driving out to children’s households with homework and activities or even food, trying to keep those participants engaged. The center created a blessing box where needy parents could pick up supplies and food that were donated by the wider community.

“We knew immediately how important support was through this time,” she said. “Our main focus was on positive social skills. People were feeling anxiety and other tough feelings, so developing coping skills, problem-solving skills and communication skills that kids could use during this time was important.”

All program directors agreed that their services provided a kind of stability for children during a tumultuous year.

“A parent said to me the other day that our programs are the only constant in their childs’ lives,” Woods said. “Their children look forward to coming to our programs, they are able to socialize in a different way. They are a thriving testament to what [our organization] does.”

Just like many businesses and other organizations during the pandemic, COVID has hurt their bottom line. Knauer said the YMCA is currently running at 50% below their normal revenue, as membership dues have dropped off significantly. She said anybody looking to start memberships or to donate can contact her through the YMCA at 631-421-4242.

Other programs also operated at a loss.

“SCOPE ended up losing money,” Duffy said. “We thought they were going to be running this for four-to-six weeks. We ended up running it for six months.”

But for the nonprofit service, the point was to provide that niche when it was needed.

NSYC camp councilors stood with 100 young people who participated in this year’s Summer Buddies camp, where there were no reported infections. Photo from NSYC

“We felt it was a valuable service that benefited families and the community,” Duffy said. “We were happy to do it — it kept people employed who would have been forced to do something drastic, like leave their job.”

The child care services were truly the first bulwark of dealing with children and students in a pandemic. Both SCOPE and NSYC officials said school districts reached out to them when coming up with their own procedures when reopening in September.

“A lot of school districts looked at what we did over the summer, asked for our input, and a lot of what they’re doing now is what we did in March,” Duffy said. 

The work of these and other groups has been recognized by both school districts and parents. SCOPE has received numerous positive comments from superintendents from Brentwood to Middle Country to Comsewogue. One of the districts SCOPE operated in was Miller Place, where Marianne Cartisano, the MP superintendent, said her district would not have been able to come out of the first-wave months still with their feet under them if it weren’t for Duffy and his program.

“Parents would come back and say, ‘I didn’t worry about my child today,’” Cartisano said.

Jefferson’s Ferry CEO Bob Caulfield and Jefferson’s Ferry board member and Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright at the Dec. 10 groundbreaking. Photo from Jefferson's Ferry

South Setauket retirement community Jefferson’s Ferry broke ground Dec. 10 on a $89 million expansion and renovation project creating 60 new apartment-style homes and more amenities to its One Jefferson Ferry Drive facility.

Once completed, the 165,000 square foot project will add 60 new independent living one- and two-bedroom, plus den apartment homes with open floor plans to Jefferson’s Ferry’s existing 220 apartments and 28 cottages. Plans also call for a new marketplace café, bistro-bar, destination dining room with alternating types of cuisines. Part of the project includes renovations, additions and the construction of a new 28,520 square foot building.

In a release, Jefferson’s Ferry CEO Bob Caulfield said the new facility will “enhance the lifestyle and experience for current residents and appeal to the desires and needs of a whole new generation of Long Islanders planning for retirement.”

The new project is partially due to tax-exempt bonds secured from the Town of Brookhaven Local Development Corporation. At its Oct. 20 public hearing for the proposed bonds, the LDC said the bonds were expected to be $100,000,000 and up to and not to exceed $125,000,000. The bond issuer is also expected to provide additional financial assistance with mortgage recording taxes exemptions for financing or refinancing of the project, according to the hearing minutes.

“The Brookhaven Local Development Corporation is pleased to play a small part in the expansion of this outstanding residence and health care facility,” Frederick C. Braun III, chairman of the Brookhaven LDC, said in a release. 

Last August, the retirement community was awarded low-cost energy by the ReCharge NY energy program to support the multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project. 

Jefferson’s Ferry currently employs 350 people and is expected to add 41 jobs in exchange for 435 kilowatts of power for a 7-year period. 

“The cost savings are significant to Jefferson’s Ferry, and, in turn, to residents living on fixed incomes,” Caulfield said. “Reducing our energy costs through this program goes a long way in helping us control the amount of fees we charge our members, giving them peace of mind about their future.” 

The new Healthy Living Center will incorporate a modern and fully equipped gym and fitness room with access to professional trainers, plus a state of the art wellness and rehabilitation center. Residents can continue to access preventive care from a team of wellness experts in audiology, internal medicine, cardiology, dentistry, podiatry, psychiatry and ear, nose and throat specialists. Lab services and assistance with making medical appointments and filling prescriptions are also available.

“Our community is designed for aging better for longer, whether you live in independent living, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing,” Caulfield said.

The construction project includes an addition to the existing Vincent Bove Health Center, including a new assisted living building designed for residents living with Alzheimer’s dementia and other memory impairing diseases. Existing dining, activities and community spaces in the assisted living and the skilled nursing center will be renovated to allow more space in a kind of open air environment, according to Jefferson’s Ferry.

John Guido, of Sound Beach, stands in front of the bench that honors his mother, Jane Guido. He. along with his family, started a nonprofit foundation to continue her legacy of giving back. Photo by Kyle Barr

For years, if one wanted to talk to somebody in Sound Beach about donating or giving, that person was Jane Guido.

She was a volunteer and later the outreach director for St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church in Sound Beach’s food pantry for well over 30 years, and even while she worked as an administrator at Brookhaven National Laboratory, she was in charge of its food drives. It was something her children couldn’t help but notice, and they were soon sucked into that world of giving back. She would do that work even as she struggled with diabetes. 

“What I used to do is I used to always help her out over there, it was a volunteer thing for everybody,” said John Guido, Jane’s son, who said in later years she was working at that place 80 or so hours a week. Some of her work went beyond food, even helping to provide oil to heat a person’s home in the winter. John, a senior manager at a real estate firm, said together with his friends and compatriots, he would help gather food or donations for whatever his mother’s outreach center needed at any one moment. 

After being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2017, Jane passed in August 2018 at the age of 74. In all those years, she never stopped giving. Her name now adorns the outside of the outreach center of the church she worked from, as well as a bench just outside its doors.

“She did that until the day she died,” John said. “The number of families she helped was huge.”

It was after her death that John and other members of her family decided they needed to do something to honor that legacy. That would come in the form of a nonprofit foundation bearing his mother’s name.

“The purpose of it was to help memorialize my mom, but it was also to keep her mission, keep her drive going,” he said. “Knowing that eventually, people are going to forget who Jane Guido is, but her drive and her mission will always be out there.”

The family organized and created a nonprofit in 2018, the Jane Guido Foundation and has worked since to provide people with food and other necessities, often working with established organizations such as the Port Jefferson Lions Club, who during this Thanksgiving season the Jane Guido Foundation donated 100 turkeys for the club’s annual drive. The foundation also donated toys and presents to 20 families through the Lions Club’s Christmas Magic program. It has also worked with Lighthouse Mission, which operates mobile food pantries all over Suffolk County, including in Port Jefferson Station and Rocky Point. Overall, John Guido said they touch about 70 families and a dozen different organizations through their efforts, and they are looking to grow those numbers.

The organization is looking for additional donations to help them grow its outreach efforts. People can offer support using the foundation’s website at janeguidofoundation.org or by contacting them at 631-258-8787 or [email protected] John Guido said they also plan to host several events in 2021, one for spring, summer and fall. A calendar of events should be available on the website starting in the new year.

Tom Manuel, second from left, and The Jazz Loft's Brass Equity Band

By Heidi Sutton

The T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park in Stony Brook suffered extensive wind damage during Tropical Storm Isaias on Aug. 4. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Last Thursday, Nov. 12, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) hosted a New Beginnings Virtual Party fundraiser to benefit the restoration and maintenance of a very special place — the T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park aka the Stony Brook Duck Pond. Located along Main Street in Stony Brook Village adjacent to the Grist Mill, the charming park has been enjoyed by countless families over the years.

This past summer Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the park and uprooted over a dozen trees. There was also major damage to the park’s Braille engraved handrails, the borders maintaining the gardens and the walkways along the pond.

The 90 minute live Zoom event was hosted by Richard Wiese, President of The Explorer’s Club in NYC and host of PBS’s Born to Explore and co-host of Weekends with Yankee.

News 12 reporter Elisa DiStefano

Now living in Connecticut, Wiese grew up in Head of the Harbor and has always had a special connection to the park. “I just have so many fond memories of the Mill Pond. The more I travel around the world, the more I see how special and unique the Stony Brook area is. I can actually say that the Village of Stony Brook may be even prettier than it was in the 1960s when I first became familiar with it,” he said.

The fun evening included an appearance by award-winning reporter and News 12 host of Road Trip Close to Home, Elisa DiStefano; and host of Fox Nation: Celebrate America and five-time New York Times bestselling author, including George Washington’s Secret Six, Brian Kilmeade. The event also featured performances by Tom Manuel and The Jazz Loft’s Equity Brass Band; America’s Got Talent finalist, Sal “the Voice” Valentinetti; and comedian Rich Walker.

Comedian Rich Walker

DiStefano, who grew up in Hauppauge, visited the park right after the storm and covered the story for News 12. “Stony Brook Village I grew up going to as a treat … Because of the extensive damage [from the storm] it looked like a war zone that day but meeting Gloria Rocchio [President of the WMHO] and her team and seeing their positivity, there was no doubt in my mind that they would do everything they could to restore the area to what it was before,” she said.

Kilmeade, who hosted the evening’s interactive history challenge, “A History Mystery,” lauded Rocchio and the WMHO for keeping the past and Ward Melville’s vision alive. “You can go to [Stony Brook Village] and you really think you’ve gone back 200 years … during the holidays it looks like a movie set. I believe that’s what Ward Melville wanted. He wanted everyone to remember what it was like. While we move forward with progress we can still go back in time.”

Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti

The virtual party was the perfect instrument to introduce the WMHO’s New Beginnings online auction to raise money for this wonderful cause. Available through Dec. 16, it features items starting at $50 and covers everything from travel, fashion, art, antiques, food and wine, health and wellness and unique experiences. Generously donated auction items include a private four-person fishing charter, a family portrait session, a military tank ride, dinner for 4 aboard a superyacht, pizza every month for a year, a golf outing for four, an exclusive champagne toast and drinks for six at the Explorer’s Club with Richard Wiese, a trip to Barbados and much, much more.

The New Beginnings Online Auction is as easy as eBay with free registration to bid on the auction items. You will be notified if someone outbids you and you can bid again and again. The successful bidder’s card will not be charged until the last day of the auction — at midnight on Dec. 16, giving guests plenty of time to compete for a good cause.

100% of the funds generated from this event will support the restoration and maintenance of the T. Bayles Minuse Mill Pond Park.

To register for the New Beginnings Online Auction, please visit wmho.org/the-ward-melville-heritage-organization/virtualbenefit/. For more information, please call 631-751-2244.