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port jefferson rotary club

Golfers dressed as caddies at a previous Putt & Pub Crawl. Photo from PJ Rotary Club

By Julianne Mosher

It’s going to be a “hole” lot of fun. 

The Port Jefferson Rotary’s Winter Golf Classic fundraiser is usually held every January, but for 2021 they’re taking it to the village on Sunday, Sept. 12.

The fourth annual Putt and Pub Crawl is a community favorite where golfers from amateurs to professionals can golf inside and outside of nine of their favorite restaurants and bars in downtown Port Jeff. 

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers,” said president of the rotary, Robert Dooley. “It’s a bunch of likeminded people who come out to have fun and support our local businesses.”

The Port Jeff Rotary Club serves the local communities of Port Jefferson, Belle Terre, Port Jefferson Station and Mount Sinai. The club’s foundation gives awards and scholarships to local students, works to alleviate hunger in the community through food drives and collections and helps support local nonprofits. 

According to Dooley, the Putt and Pub Crawl started a few years ago when the Rotarians were thinking of new ways to fundraise and help local people, businesses and the community. Normally held during the village’s off-season, the golf outing is geared to bring business to the restaurant scene during a slower time of the year. 

“Port Jeff in the winter is normally a slower season,” he said. “So we let those businesses kill it in the summer, and if there’s any way we can help create a bump in sales during the winter, we’re there to help.”

That’s when the rotary teamed up with business owners to set up golf holes inside and outside their stores, so people could play, drink and eat in an easy, slow-paced event that appeals to everyone. The first outing was in January 2017.

“We tried to do something a little more active, presented this idea, and it turned out that 100 people came that first year,” he said. 

This year, the event was rescheduled from January to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You go at your own pace to restaurant to bar to restaurant,” Dooley explained. “It’s nothing that’s overly competitive — just having a good time and raising some money in a fun, casual setting.” Each restaurant creates its own setup, and many get creative with it. Some fan favorites include a station outside the Port Jefferson Brewery, Tommy’s Place and one inside Barito Tacos & Cocktails. 

Upon arrival and check-in at Danfords Hotel, golfers receive an itinerary with three drink tickets and appetizers for participating locations. 

Starting at 10:30 a.m. and concluding at 6 p.m., the Putt and Pub Crawl is an all-day event where participants can come and go as they please. The event wraps with a reception where various awards are given out including best dressed team and best and worst golfers.

“People are chomping at the bits to help people and organizations in need, and to have fun with their loved ones,” he added. “This is an opportunity to help the community and have fun while doing so.” 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.portjeffrotary.com. Please note this event is for individuals 21 years of age or older.

PJMS Principal Dr. Bob Neidig, Mike Viviano, Gianna Viviano, Teresa Viviano, social studies teacher Phil Gianussa, PJ Rotary President Rob Dooley; Rotarian Dennis Brennan. Photo from the Port Jefferson Rotary

On Tuesday, June 8, at their first “in-person only” meeting at Cafe Spiga in Mt. Sinai in more than a year, Port Jefferson Rotary members celebrated the opportunity to see new and old faces “live” once again. 

They also welcomed and honored this month’s Port Jeff Middle School Most Motivated Student, 7th grader Gianna Viviano. 

Gianna was accompanied by her parents, Mike and Teresa Viviano, as well as Port Jefferson school officials.

A true role model for her peers, Gianna is quite inquisitive, thoughtful and engaged. A talented writer, this 7th grader recently had an entry of hers selected to be published in the high school’s literary magazine. 

Despite this especially difficult school year, Gianna not only possesses a unique excitement and enthusiasm for learning, but she is a voracious reader, and she has shared her opinions both respectfully and passionately. What’s more, she was the star of the Middle School’s recent Drama Production, “Junie B. Jones,” playing Junie, a feisty, funny six-year-old whose outspoken honesty gets her into trouble at school and home. 

Memorably Junie says, “A little glitter can turn the whole day around.” Principal Bob Neidig said that though a stretch for Gianna to play a part like this, it demonstrates how far she will go to entertain all at the school. He closed his remarks by calling Gianna, “the glitter making the days, especially the ones this year, better!” 

Photo by Kimberly Brown

By Kimberly Brown

Locals recreationally use Chandler Estate Preserve trails on a daily basis. 

Whether if it’s for exercise, walking the dog, or taking in the beautiful views, maintenance has become an integral part of keeping the trails useable. 

For that reason, Port Jefferson Rotarian Pat Sabo, has created and inspired the Port Jefferson Rotary Club to take on the beautification of Chandler Estate Preserve in Mount Sinai. 

“It used to be more open with a lot of fields and trails, but over the years it just all grew in so we maintain it now to clear it up again,” he said. “People won’t use it if they have to go through the brush so that’s why we want to open it back up.”

The members are currently focusing on the beautification of Chandler Estate Preserve due to its tremendous size of 44-acres.

With the club’s hard work, they have successfully cleared two-thirds of the land so far. 

“This preserve is overwhelming,” Sabo said. “Maintaining this park could be a full-time job for some.” 

Club members have mostly been working throughout the winter to help clean up the preserve by cutting down hazardous branches, clearing the trails and removing any garbage that has been dumped. 

“It’s nice to help people connect with the land because with work and dedication this land is going to continue to be preserved and not become just houses along the road,” Club member and village Trustee Rebecca Kassay said. 

One of the club’s goals is to mount trail marker signs. Although the locals who use the trail daily know where to go, Sabo says there are a lot of new people who come to the park every day who may get lost, so putting up markers could be helpful. 

The club happily welcomes anyone who would like to help participate in their projects. 

For more information about the Chandler Estate Preserve to assist in clean up and attend walk-around meetings, visit portjeffrotary.org.

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Josef ‘Max’ Joyner with his social studies teacher Graceanne Fallon

At their Feb. 9 luncheon at Cafe Spiga in Mt. Sinai and via Zoom, members of the Port Jefferson Rotary Club welcomed their newest Most Motivated Student of the Month, Port Jefferson Middle School student Josef “Max” Joyner.  

Max was joined by proud guests including his parents, his social studies teacher Mrs. Graceanne Fallon and middle school principal Dr. Robert Neidig. 

It was Neidig who introduced the youngster and explained why the school’s faculty chose Max for this Rotary honor.  Max, who boasts an extremely high GPA, was praised by his teachers as a school leader who is always helpful in a respectful manner.  

His Algebra I teacher noted that Max “is always willing to offer insightful responses that are both thought-provoking and exhibit conceptual understanding of the topic.” 

Other teachers pointed out that Max helps and motivates his peers in all classes, is described as hardworking, conscientious, kind, a joy to teach — a student who is a very social person, a natural leader, who looks out not only for himself but also for the well-being of others.  

He completes his classwork thoroughly, and even requests extra work before vacations so that he can be better-prepared to learn more and build on previous learning upon the return to school.  

Last year, Max was a Science Olympiad participant.  He has endeared himself to all of his teachers who are thrilled to have this opportunity to honor him because he is such an exceptional, mature, dedicated student.  

Dr. Neidig summarized the reasons for celebrating Max. 

“His maturity, thirst for knowledge, compassionate nature, and leadership abilities will continue to propel him to accomplish great things in his schooling and beyond,” he said. “Thank you for inspiring all of us.”

Courtesy of the Port Jefferson Rotary Club