Tags Posts tagged with "New York State Senator Mario Mattera"

New York State Senator Mario Mattera

Photo courtesy of The Jazz Loft

The Jazz Loft founder and president Tom Manuel recently met with New York State Senator Mario Mattera (District 2) to give the Senator a tour of the Stony Brook Village museum and performance space and to discuss some of the Loft’s musical programs. 

Members of the local business community, Jazz Loft board members and volunteers were also present. Manuel spoke about The Jazz Loft’s Young at Heart daytime concert series which is aimed at seniors, those suffering from memory loss, and their caretakers. The one-hour programs are designed to be interactive and provide a musical trip down memory lane for audience members. Live music was provided by Steve Salerno.

Pictured from left are Jazz Loft volunteers Barbara and Thom Brownsworth; musician Steve Salerno with guitar; Michael Ardolino, Jazz Loft board member and owner of Realty Connect USA; State Senator Mario Mattera; Tom Manuel, founder of the Jazz Loft; Carmine Inserra of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce and owner of ProSysCon Computer Technologies; and Mr. Inserra’s wife Sara Inserra.

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook is located just 90 minutes from New York City and is the only music venue on Long Island that features exclusively jazz music. Learn more at www.thejazzloft.org or call 631-751-1895.

The 2022 parade will be the first one in the hamlet to feature two grand marshals

The Robedee and Maher families donated Irish flags for the St. James St. Patrick's Day Parade. With the help of the town, they are now lining Lake Avenue in St. James. Photo from Kerry Weisse

This post is an updated version of The Times of Smithtown’s March 10 edition. Due to inclement weather, the St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed from March 12 to April 2.

A decades-old favorite is about to return to St. James.

State Sen. Mario Mattera, second from right, takes time out for a photo with his fellow elected officials at the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 5. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Hamlet residents were all set to celebrate the 36th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2020, when just a few days before it was to kickoff, COVID-19 mandates shut it and other activities like it down.

Once again, in 2021, the event couldn’t be held due to the lingering pandemic, and a car parade was held throughout St. James in its place. This year, events have been given the green light once again, and the parade, organized by the St. James Chamber of Commerce, will take place along Lake Avenue on April 2.

State Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) and Kerry Reilly-DeJesus will finally be able to enjoy the honor of being joint grand marshals. The two were named for the 2020 parade, and it was the first time the St. James parade committee chose two grand marshals to lead the event.

Reilly-DeJesus, who works as a call center manager for Stony Brook University’s Southampton Hospital, said she was disappointed when the 2020 parade was canceled but wasn’t surprised.

“In the interest of public health, I think our town and our local government made the best decision to keep everybody safe,” she said. “I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed, of course, but did I support the decision? Absolutely. It was the best decision for the time.”

When Mattera was first named grand marshal, he wasn’t a state senator yet. Since he took office in January 2021, he has appeared at many community events, such as the Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 5. At that event, he said he was looking forward to the parade in St. James, where he and his family have lived for more than 25 years after he and his wife moved from Nesconset. 

Kerry Reilly-DeJesus with her husband, Ralph. Photo from Reilly-DeJesus

“People are getting out,” Mattera said. “It’s very exciting. I know it’s going to be four to five people deep on Lake Avenue. I’m just honored and privileged that we’re still continuing with the parade, and we’re going to have a great day.”

While Mattera isn’t of Irish descent, Terry, his wife of nearly 30 years, is. The couple has raised two daughters in the hamlet. Before becoming state senator, he was the business agent for Plumbers Local Union 200 of Ronkonkoma. In addition to his work with the union, he was a member of the Smithtown Executive Board representing St. James, and on the boards of Community Association of Greater St. James, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the Suffolk County Consumer Affairs Plumbing, Licensing and Fire Protection. He was also a Suffolk County Workforce Housing Committee member, the plumber’s union chairman for the political PAC fund for the county and board member for the New York State Apprenticeship and Training Council.

Reilly-DeJesus has lived in St. James for more than two decades, where she and her husband, Ralph, for over 25 years, have raised four children.

The wife and mother has always been active in the community and has taught religion at St. Philip and St. James R.C. Church. She has also been involved in the Smithtown Central School District as a family living chairperson working on food drives at Mills Pond Elementary School and was vice president of the PTA at the elementary school for two years. She later went on to serve as PTA president for two years. As her children advanced in the school district, so did Reilly-DeJesus. She was PTA president at Nesaquake Middle School for three years and then did the same for six years at Smithtown High School East’s PTA. She’s continued being part of the high school’s PTA even though all of her children have graduated and is currently helping with the organization’s upcoming fundraising fashion show.

Outside of religious instruction and the school district, Reilly-DeJesus said she has been a Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts leader for her children’s troops.

While Mattera has participated in past parades with the local car club, and DeJesus has marched with the Scouts, both said they are looking forward to finally being grand marshal.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Reilly-DeJesus said. “I’m really excited about it — that it’s finally coming to fruition.” 

Mattera has another reason to look forward to the role as he said he sees parades such as the ones in Smithtown as a sign of moving forward. 

“The atmosphere — even with the Kings Park parade — people are excited to get out with their families and the kids,” he said. “They get dressed up in green, all the Irish attire. It’s just about our families.”

Reilly-DeJesus agreed that it’s what the residents need.

“This is just what our little town needs to get us back into the communal spirit,” she said.

Mattera and Reilly-DeJesus will be joined by the parade’s princesses and princes of 2022 and those from the 2020 court who missed their chance to march that year. Parade committeeperson Kerry Maher Weisse said the organizers are excited, especially after the recent renovation of Lake Avenue. Weisse, who is part of the Maher family that owns the St. James Funeral Home, said the Mahers and the Robedee family of WBR Enterprises donated Irish flags for the parade and worked together with the Smithtown Highway Department to hang them along Lake Avenue.

On behalf of the St. James Chamber of Commerce, Weisse said, “We’re excited to celebrate the green and St. Paddy’s Day, and we’re excited to be out there for the residents, excited to be out there for the businesses.” 

The St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Bands, Scouts, dance groups, fire trucks, antique cars and more will travel from the corner of Woodlawn and Lake avenues to the viewing stand by the Long Island Rail Road train station.

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SPAC will hold a benefit to raise funds to save the theater. Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center is in need of being saved.

Local elected officials and community leaders gathered at the theater Sept. 8 asking for local residents to help pitch in money to save the building. The owner of the building, Ken Washington, put it up for sale last month.

State Sen. Mario Mattera, left, joined other local elected officials and community members to talk about the importance of the Smithtown Performing Arts Center in the town. Photo by Kimberly Brown

Not only is the SPAC a place for entertainment, as well as education, but it also serves as a sentimental piece of history to the community. The theater itself was built in 1933 and aged well into its years making it 90 years old. It has become a well-known staple and has brought in families from all over the Island.

“This is like the hub of our downtown revitalization,” said state Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James). “This is history. This is history we need to make sure is secured and that will still be here for our families — our young, our middle-aged and our seniors.”

Mattera also pointed out that the educational acting programs for 17 and 18 year olds are extremely vital in this day and age. He said coming to the Smithtown Performing Arts Center is one of the few ways to get young people off their phones and learn about art and history. 

“The only way the surrounding businesses will survive is if this theater remains a hub,” said Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R). “If it does not, and it’s sold for other purposes, you will see millions of dollars in expendable income leave Smithtown and go to other places such as Patchogue, Babylon or Northport.”

Currently, a GoFundMe is set up for community members to donate to. The goal is to reach $400,000, with $6,300 raised as of Sept. 8. The board members of the Smithtown Performing Arts Center are very confident they can reach their goal as long as donations are placed and fundraisers are successful.

The Smithtown Performing Arts Council made an offer of $1.3 Million to purchase the historic theater at the time the property was listed, but are currently awaiting a decision on the matter.

With the support of the Smithtown Performing Arts Council, a nonprofit organization, a benefit performance with some of Long Island’s most talented artists will be held on Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to come and donate to the cause.

To donate to save Smithtown Performing Arts Center, visit www.gofund.me/93a0c9fe.

Stock photo

Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) and The Salvation Army of East Northport are partnering for a back-to-school supply drive from now through Friday, August 27th. During the effort, Senator Mattera’s district office, which is located at 180 East Main Street in Smithtown, will serve as a drop off location for supplies.

With the help of The Salvation Army, volunteers will fill backpacks to be distributed to children in the community. According to the Salvation Army, the most-needed supplies include: backpacks, binders, folders, notebooks, index cards, pens, pencils, glue sticks, rulers, pencils, pencil cases, crayons, highlighters, markers, and erasers.

The Salvation Army in East Northport prioritizes having a positive impact on its community through education and service; offering numerous services and events to better our communities financially, educationally, and physically. In addition to the school supply drive, the Salvation Army supports sports programs, educational programs and recreational camps.

“It is truly my privilege to partner with The Salvation Army to help school-aged children in our area.  My office is happy to partner with a purposeful, passionate group to ensure that the children of our community have the resources they need to succeed in the upcoming school year. By getting these children the supplies they need, we can help set them up for greater success and that is something every child deserves,” stated Senator Mattera.  “I thank everyone who has donated and all who will.”

For more information, please call 631-361-2154.

METRO photo
Sen. Mario Mattera. File photo

Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) recently announced that he is hosting a “Shed the Meds” event, in conjunction with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Half Hollow Hills Community Library at 600 South Service Road in Dix Hills.

The event will provide residents with an easy, confidential and safe way properly dispose of unused or expired medications.  Residents are encouraged to drop off expired and unused medications and sharps at the event site.

Residents who wish to participate can simply drive up, drop off their old or unused medications, and drive away.  All collected medication will be safely disposed of by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office to help keep these medications from polluting our environment and help eliminate the risk of these drugs getting into the hands of small children or those who might misuse them.

The event will also help raise awareness of the dangers of flushing medications down the toilet.  Improperly disposed medications pose a problem to the community’s water supply and environment.

“I thank the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office for partnering with us on this event to provide a safe way for the community to dispose of unwanted drugs and pharmaceuticals.  Participation in this program is a confidential way for everyone to safely get these substances out of their homes to protect their family, safeguard our local waterways and preserve Long Island’s water supply,” stated Senator Mattera.  “Thank you to the Library and the Sheriff’s Office for partnering with us and I invite everyone to join our office on July 24.”

Residents should contact Senator Mattera’s office at 631-361-2154 or visit mattera.nysenate.gov for additional information.