Margo Arceri named LD5’s Woman of Distinction for 2024

Margo Arceri named LD5’s Woman of Distinction for 2024

Suffolk County Legislator Steven Englebright presents Margo Arceri with a Woman of Distinction proclamation at the May 7 th General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. Photo from Legislator Steven Englebright’s office

Suffolk County Legislators are asked to name a Woman of Distinction from their district to commemorate Women’s History Month in March. The award recognizes women who demonstrate leadership qualities and involvement in and commitment to their communities.

This year’s honorees were recognized at a luncheon at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on May 7. Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffery announced the women’s names at the Legislature’s General Meeting earlier that day.

When asked to choose a Woman of Distinction for Legislative District 5, the first person who came to Legislator Steven Englebright’s (D-Setauket) mind was Margo Arceri. The legislator said Arceri’s interest in preserving the Three Village area’s history and sense of place is apparent in her volunteer work and business ventures. He values how she has kept the history and true tales of Kate Wheeler Strong, an early female historian, and Revolutionary War spy Anna Smith Strong alive. Englebright also recognizes that Arceri’s work and volunteer efforts, as well as her role as president of the Strong’s Neck Civic Association, further educates residents and area visitors about the importance of Setauket Harbor from a historical perspective as well as from a natural history, water chemistry and overall ecological health perspective.

After the General Meeting, Arceri thanked the Suffolk County Legislature members and Legislator Englebright. “The Legislature has always inspired me,” she said. “To be able to carry on the history of our community in some small capacity is truly an honor. I have always felt that the community is our museum and everywhere you turn is an artifact. One of the most important parts of that museum are the docents … the people of this community who keep our history and our heritage alive for generations to come.”

Growing up in Strong’s Neck, Arceri knew historian Kate Wheeler Strong (1879-1977), the great-great-granddaughter of Anna Smith Strong. Kate’s great-great-grandmother was believed to have strategically hung her laundry on a clothesline to send messages to her fellow Setauket spies, who were part of the Culper Spy Ring, during the Revolutionary War. 

The honoree, a former vice president and past secretary of the Three Village Historical Society, continues to volunteer with the society. In 2023, she facilitated a $300,000 Suffolk County JumpSMART grant for TVHS.

In conjunction with the historical society, she created Tri-Spy Tours, where participants follow the footsteps of the Culper Spy Ring by walking, biking and/or kayaking through Setauket. Her entrepreneurship with Tri-Spy Tours fostered an even greater appreciation for local history. It inspired her to create the annual Culper Spy Day, now hosted by the Three Village Historical Society. The event features a self-guided tour where attendees visit various structures and museums in the area to learn how the Setauket spies assisted General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

She has frequently volunteered during the Setauket Harbor Task Force’s Annual Harbor Day. One of TBR News Media’s 2017 People of the Year, she is the executive producer of the television series “Redcoats and Petticoats.” Arceri is also an active member of St. James R.C. Church, serving as the parish point person to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center, a lector, healing minister and capitol campaign committee member.

Caption: Suffolk County Legislator Steven Englebright presents Margo Arceri with a Woman of Distinction proclamation at the May 7th General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. Photo from Legislator Steven Englebright’s office

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