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Heritage Park in Mount Sinai

Over 100 community members raced through the paths of Heritage Park on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the inaugural Mount Sinai 5K Turkey Trot Walk/Run.

North Shore Youth Council hosted the event, with proceeds supporting local families on Thanksgiving. Bobby Woods, executive director of NSYC, detailed the motivations for putting the event together.

“I also own a few gyms, so a lot of my members wanted to do something to raise funds for local families,” he said. “The proceeds of this event are going to be used, in partnership with Crossover Christian Church [in Mount Sinai], to feed 100 families next Thursday on Thanksgiving.”

Partnerships such as these are carried out fairly often by NSYC, a 42-year-old nonprofit charity dedicated to assisting youth and families throughout the area. The council offers after-school programs, affordable child care, mental health services and community-building events, among other initiatives.

“Today, we have a little over 100 participants,” Woods said. “They’re going to try to get in a little over 3 miles, and it’s just for fun, too.”

The executive director said his two passions in life are fitness and community-building. For him, the Turkey Trot event is a way to integrate these passions and “leverage both of these platforms.” However, the event is not only a way to get fit but to support community members in need.

“The families that we’re feeding, to put yourself in their shoes, there are going to be people that wake up that are unable to feed their kids, and there’s a lot of gravity to that,” Woods said. “There are going to be 100 families that can wake up now and have a great day with their kids, and I think that’s the youth council’s mission statement — and it has always been my statement at the gym.”

Another of NSYC’s central goals is to inspire community youth to be active, motivated and stewards for positive change. Lawrence Kogel, NSYC president, offered how the 5K event plays into that broader theme.

“The other focus of the youth council is to have a vehicle to allow youth to have something to do other than playing video games and getting in trouble,” he said. “All these activities — which are spread from Shoreham, Wading River, through Rocky Point and Miller Place, to Mount Sinai and Sound Beach — are to help the youth in the community. That’s really what our organization is all about.”

Runners, joggers and walkers of all ages completed 3 1/2 circumnavigations of Heritage Park for a total of 5 kilometers. The location of the Turkey Trot carried symbolic meaning, according to Kogel, fulfilling the original intent for creating this central community hub.

“It’s a partnership between the county, the Town of Brookhaven, our organization and the civic associations and other community groups that participate in the use of the building, which was the original vision of the Heritage Park,” he said.

To follow other upcoming community events coordinated by the youth council, visit the website www.nsyc.com.

File photo by Erika Karp

Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai Coram Road, Mt. Sinai celebrates fall with its Fall into Fun Carnival on Oct. 1 from 6 to 11 p.m. (fireworks), Oct. 2 from noon to 11 p.m. and Oct. 3 from noon to 7 p.m. Enjoy rides, games and food in a beautiful park. Free admission and parking. Order tickets for rides at www.newtonshows.com. For more information, call 631-509-0882.

Nick Dattilo, a salesperson for Nesconset-based electrical supplies company Kelly & Hayes, during his presentation to the village board Nov. 18. Photo by Kyle Barr

Port Jeff village officials are considering installing an electric car charger into an existing parking space toward the west end of the lot off Barnum Avenue.

Nick Dattilo, a salesperson for Nesconset-based electrical supplies company Kelly & Hayes, presented to the village board Nov. 18 about the possibility of installing a Charge Point electric vehicle charging station. Each station comes with two extendable charging ports and can be accessed with either an app or with a device that usually comes with a standard electric vehicle.

Kevin Wood, parking and mobility administrator, said the village is looking to make use of a New York State Energy Research and Development grant, which will provide up to an 80 percent rebate for such projects, from $250,000 up to a max of $500,000. The village would have to put the money upfront to be reimbursed. Mayor Margot Garant said she wanted to make sure the grant was in place before signing any contract for Charge Point.

Wood said the village could benefit, as the demographic of electric car owners is on the rise.

“As soon as you drive in [to the parking lot] you drive right into these,” Wood said. “I just like the idea that a person could come to Rocketship Park with their kids and charge their car.”

Officials said the hope is people with electric vehicles would shop while waiting for their car to charge. Each charge takes from three to five hours for a full charge.

The station includes an 18-foot retractable cord that winds up like a vacuum electric cord.

Though each station comes with two ports, Wood said he would like to see only one port be used with one space as a pilot. He added the village’s parking committee is usually hesitant to give up even a single space.

“If we saw it being used a lot, we’d open the second one up,” he said. “This town can’t afford to give away spaces.”

There are several electric vehicle charging stations in the immediate area. One set is in the parking lot of Heritage Park in Mount Sinai, and another set is provided at Stony Brook University, whose services are not billed for use.

The village board would still have to decide upon cost to the driver, with the rate depending on how long a car is being charged. Garant mentioned, depending on cost, the service could be offered free to attract people into downtown Port Jeff.

The board plans to reassess the feasibility of the charging station at the next board meeting, Dec. 2.

Wood said his goal is for installation of the charger next to Rocketship Park to take place in the first quarter of 2020.


Interested in growing your own vegetables but have limited space at home? The Mount Sinai Garden Club has a number of community garden plots available at Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Road in Mount Sinai this year. Each 4-foot by 8-foot plot, located behind the Heritage Center, is available for $25. Water is available. For more info, call Walter at 631-331-0689.