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Town of Smithtown

The Town of Smithtown Recreation & Senior Citizens Departments will host the annual Tender Years Treasury, holiday shopping experience for children on Saturday, December 2 at the Eugene Cannataro Senior Citizens Center, 420 Middle Country Road, Smithtown from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The popular event allows kids to independently shop for family gifts, all handmade by local seniors, modestly priced at $5 and under.

“This is such a special event, where our older, very talented generations present homemade gift items to our youngest residents. The kids love the thrill of shopping independently, while surprising family and school friends with a special gift they hand picked with allowance money. All of the items are handmade with care, by local, incredibly talented senior citizens, reasonably priced at $5 or less. The team at Smithtown Recreation & the Senior Citizens Department love putting this annual event together and it shows on the faces of everyone participating. I love taking my grandkids to this event every year. If you haven’t experienced it yet… I highly recommend you save the date,” said Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The festivities include an upscale boutique, cookie decorating, holiday crafts, a homemade quilt raffle, balloon sculptures, and free gift wrapping. Adults can relax in a waiting area while kids independently choose their holiday gifts for family and friends. Additionally, children can bring a letter to Santa Claus, with return address information to receive a letter from the North Pole in return.

Children, grades K-5, are chaperoned by Smithtown Senior Center & Recreation Department staff as they make their own decisions on purchasing handcrafted gifts made by local senior citizens. The gift items are all priced at five dollars and under. Parents and/or older siblings will have the option of walking extra little shoppers around after 12:45 p.m. For further details, call Smithtown Recreation at 631-360-7644.


Callahan Beach. Photo from Town of Smithtown
Callahan Beach. Photo from Town of Smithtown

Callahan’s Beach in Fort Salonga has now reopened to Smithtown residents. The announcement was made in a press release on Nov. 7. Major infrastructure repairs were necessary after the seawall collapsed as a result of Tropical Depression Ida and a second storm which caused further damage shortly after. All new drainage infrastructure was installed, along with the total reconstruction of the seawall. The stairs have been rebuilt, with platforms in between stories. The bluff had to be completely rehabilitated and features rows of plantings. All new walkways, curbing, and asphalt have also been completely paved.

“Callahan’s Beach is absolutely stunning. People have been walking the beach and commenting all day about how gorgeous of a job the Town did. I’d like to personally thank the Parks Department, Jim Longworth, Pioneer Asphalt, Hayduk Engineering, and our Department of Environment and Waterways, who worked with DEC to get the permit process moving. This was a massive undertaking. One that was met with obstacles like supply chain issues, and red tape. However, the incredible amount of teamwork involved solidified a beautiful end result… one that Smithtown residents will enjoy for years to come,” said Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The facility will remain open to the public, while the Parks Department will begin constructing a new playground and pickle ball courts at Callahan’s Beach. Construction work on the playground and pickleball areas will be contained so that public access will not be interrupted.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, at podium, announces new downtown revitalization stimulus funds for Smithtown communities. Photo from Bellone’s Flickr page

By Sabrina Artusa

Suffolk County is giving Kings Park, St. James and Smithtown a sizable chunk of downtown revitalization stimulus.

These funds, made available by the pandemic economic recovery allotments, will help revitalize the downtown districts while investing in developing infrastructure in downtown areas.

Through the JumpSMART Small Business Downtown Investment Program, which awards money to nonprofits, organizations and businesses, and the Jumpstart program, which awards money to towns and municipalities, the county gave $5.5 million to improve the local downtown economies.

“We recognize that our long-term economic prosperity is dependent to an extent on the success of our downtowns,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D). “Our downtowns are the places where we have the vibrancy we need to keep and attract young people in our community.”

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center was awarded $500,000, and Celebrate St. James, a leading organization in preserving arts and culture in St. James, was awarded a $100,000 JumpSMART grant. The town was additionally given a $900,000 JumpStart grant for the acquisition and restoration of the century-old Calderone Theatre, which is currently in disrepair.

Kings Park, Bellone said, has one of the most prosperous downtowns in Suffolk County. The Agape Community Sports Services was awarded a $1.45 million JumpSMART Award. Bellone described the organization as a “major regional tourism asset” expected to attract 350,000 people to Kings Park.

The Town of Smithtown was also awarded $2.5 million for traffic and street improvements in Kings Park.

“Every single penny we receive will be well spent, and it will be to benefit the Smithtown community,” Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said.

“This is how we are able to raise local talent, invest in local communities and, more importantly, put your tax dollars back in your hands, which is why we are doing it.” Minority Leader Jason Richberg (D-West Babylon) added.

Also in attendance were legislators Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) and Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), Suffolk County’s commissioner of Economic Development and Planning Sarah Lansdale, and Jonathan Keyes, director of downtown revitalization and transit-oriented development.

“Without the Legislature voting to put these funds in place in this year’s operating budget and in the capital budget over the last couple of years, this wouldn’t be possible,” Bellone said.

Photo from Town of Smithtown

The Town of Smithtown was joined by local community leaders, the Greater Commack Chamber of Commerce, State and local officials to cut a ribbon on completed renovations at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve located at 200 New Highway in Commack. Upgrades to the grounds included the installation of brand new bocce courts, pavilions, and picnic area. Renovations were also made to the playground, bathrooms, all new surfacing, concrete walkways, drainage, and retaining wall. The makeover compliments the popularity of the grounds where concerts are hosted and large scale events take place, for the community throughout the calendar year.

“There’s been quite a bit of renovations here at our flagship park. This makeover compliments the popularity of Hoyt Farm, where concerts are hosted and large scale events take place, for the community throughout the calendar year… And it really symbolizes what the Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve is all about. Community, collaboration and celebration. It is an oasis for the whole community to enjoy. And that’s why we invested in these wonderful renovations,” said Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Earlier this year, the Town of Smithtown Planning Department, and the team at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve coordinated with Cosentino Realty Group on the total restoration and installation of the water tower. The project was donated to the Town of Smithtown by Cosentino Realty Group in memory of local resident, Vietnam veteran and builder, John E. Baker.  At the beginning of the Summer, Hoyt family members; Tom and Mitch Stokes drove from Massachusetts towing a utility trailer which contained large fieldstones, embedded with bronze plaques to pay homage to their Mother and Aunt. The team at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve, also upgraded the butterfly garden areas to be deer-proof over the Summer. The project was spearheaded by Dominick Guadio who raised the walls and added an array of native plants which is nicely accented by the flowing waterfall.

A Brief History of the Hoyt Family Farm: The Town of Smithtown purchased the property in 1965 from Maria Hoyt, and the 133 acres of land developed into Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve. Today, the Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve Team, led by Jeff Gumin works to keep the Hoyt Family legacy alive and well with various educational programs, events, concerts, and historic tours of the Hoyt House and grounds. Educational programs range from marine, wildlife and indigenous plant life on Long island, to Native American artifacts, and maple sugaring classes. Additionally, the preserve boasts beautiful nature trails, pollinator gardens, mature oak forests, pastures, ponds, the picnic grounds, playground & pavilion and is home to historic buildings and monuments such as two World War I cannons, formerly located at Town Hall, the Hoyt House and the Water Tower, which was recently restored by the Cosentino Family in honor local Veteran, Smithtown Resident and Builder; John Baker.

The Flowerfield Fairgrounds in St. James. File photo by Heidi Sutton
By Samantha Rutt

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently advised the Town of Smithtown of its consideration to acquire Flowerfield Fairgrounds, a St. James community staple. Town Supervisor Edward Wehrheim (R) has stated no objection to NYSDEC acquiring the property.

Community residents strongly feel the importance of protecting this rural area from overdevelopment. The potential state acquisition signifies a breakthrough in the longstanding controversy over a proposal for sprawling commercial development on-site.

“This is a huge step forward in the fight to preserve Flowerfield Fairgrounds for future generations,” Judith Ogden, a Village of Head of the Harbor trustee and spokesperson for the Saint James-Head of the Harbor Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, said in a statement.

NYSDEC proposed using the Environmental Protection Fund to obtain the property. 

“New York State is committed to the conservation and protection of the state’s natural resources and recognizes the significant conservation values of the Gyrodyne property,” a NYSDEC official said. “The Environmental Protection Fund is one of the sources used to acquire lands identified as conservation priorities in the New York State Open Space Plan.” 

The Flowerfield property would then be used for open space preservation and conservation, potentially including active-use recreation amenities such as biking and walking trails.

“I am certainly happy about this development,” said Joe Bollhofer, also a member of the coalition. “We’ve been working on this for almost three years now.”

If not acquired by NYSDEC, the property has been proposed to facilitate a multistory, 125-room hotel, 175,000 square feet of office space, 250 assisted living housing units, a 7-acre sewage treatment plant and parking for more than 2,000 vehicles. 

The development plan was initially proposed by St. James-based Gyrodyne, a real estate investment trust firm that owns, leases and manages commercial properties along the Eastern Seaboard.

The state’s interest in preserving the land comes from discussions between NYSDEC, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D), former New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and the Peconic Land Trust.

“The state has a tremendous interest in what happens to Stony Brook Harbor,” Englebright said. “The state owns 90% of the bottom” of Stony Brook Harbor.

“The water chemistry of the harbor is pristine right now, or nearly, so it will not be if they build what they have proposed for the Flowerfield property,” Englebright added. “It’s really a matter of protecting the state’s interest and the community’s interest.”

Interactions between the state and town regarding state efforts to preserve the open space portion of the site occurred several months after the Town of Smithtown rejected a controversial proposal to develop a congregate-care facility on nearby Bull Run Farm, citing the desire to protect the area’s rural character.

“Part of comprehensive planning in a community is thinking about how you’re going to develop space so that it works and you protect the integrity of the community,” Ogden said. “So if we look at that area, we don’t need to add more traffic volumes.”

The agreement between the state and town comes as the legal challenge brought upon by the Village of Head of the Harbor and nearby property owners opposing preliminary approval of the controversial plan remains tied up in the state Supreme Court. “Unfortunately, there are other issues involved here — environmental, et cetera,” Bollhofer noted.

Local residents have contributed generously to fund the coalition’s lawsuit to block Gyrodyne’s development plans from moving forward. In a press release in April 2021, Gyrodyne announced that it planned to sell the property and would consider offers for portions of the property or the entire site.

“There’s a lot of water under the bridge here,” Bollhofer said. “And we’re finally having some kind of movement from the state,” adding, “We don’t know if there’ll be other organizations that are going to be involved in helping to manage the property if it is purchased. But there are 48 acres, there’s still open space. … That’s really what we’re concentrating on right now.”

According to a recent statement by a NYSDEC representative, “The DEC has been involved in preliminary discussions with stakeholders regarding the property’s future conservation.”

Tender Years Treasury. Photo from Town of Smithtown

The Smithtown Senior Citizens and Recreation Departments are actively seeking crafters to book tables and showcase their offerings at the annual Tender Years Treasury event. The special shopping experience for children to purchase affordable, handcrafted holiday gifts for their families will be held on Saturday, December 2nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the Eugene Cannataro Senior Citizens Center located at 420 Middle Country Road in Smithtown. Senior crafters can reserve a table at no cost to them through the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department or by calling 631-360-7616.

“This event is always so well received by the community. We have so many incredibly gifted senior residents, all of whom are remarkably talented at making hand-crafted gift items. I had the pleasure of speaking with a few of our center’s quilters last week. The quality in craftsmanship leaves you speechless. I can’t wait to see who participates this year… The Tender Years Treasury gives kids the chance to shop for family and friends using their own allowance money, without ruining the surprise. The lesson in independence, combined with multiple generations of Smithtown community members, all coming together to keep the magic of the holiday season an everlasting tradition, makes this event truly unique and beloved by all,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The Tender Years Treasury is an award-winning program for children, hosted by the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department and the Recreation Department with support from the Youth Bureau. Senior residents within the Town of Smithtown create handmade items, which are available for purchase, and must be priced at $5 and under. The Youth Bureau’s volunteer students chaperone young gifters through the shopping experience, so they may choose holiday gifts for family and friends, without ruining the surprise. Popular handcrafted gift items may include jewelry, scarves, hats, wreaths, ornaments, pot holders, key chains, etc. There is no charge for crafters tables, and all monies collected belong to the crafter.

To Reserve a Craft Table:

For questions or more information about booking a craft table for the Tender Years Treasury, call Patty or Mae at the Senior Citizens Department at (631)360-7616.

  • ●  Participating crafters must be Smithtown residents and a senior citizen (60 years of age and older.)
  • ●  All proceeds from the sale of goods belong to the seller.
  • ●  All items on the selling floor must be priced at $5 or less.
  • ●  There is no charge for tables.

    The Smithtown Senior Citizens Department located at 420 Middle Country Road, Smithtown

The Town of Smithtown hosted its Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on Sept. 7. Photo from Town of Smithtown

On Thursday September 7, local officials joined together with Smithtown Central School District, local parent advocate and Solving Kids Cancer partner; Amy Beach, families and friends to kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with the annual ‘Go Gold’ Tree lighting ceremony at Town Hall.

The tree at Town Hall is adorned in gold bows, bearing the names of local children who are actively fighting cancer, in remission or have since passed away. The lights and ribbons on the Tree were originally donated to the Town courtesy of Katia Conte, founder of the Daniela Conte foundation in 2021.

Additionally, life size gold awareness ribbons, donated by the Thomas Scully Foundation are on display at the Smithtown Bull Monument, at Town Hall, the Parks Department and at the Highway Department through the month of September. Local mom and advocate of Solving Kids Cancer; Amy Beach distributed gold laces as a part of the “Lace up for Kids” partnership, in honor of her son Dylan. Additionally the Town distributed and donated approximately 200 gold ribbon charms for the School to distribute with the “Lace up for Kids” initiative on September 22nd.

“Many of the families here with us tonight will tell you, cancer doesn’t take a day off. That is why we are all here tonight as one community, one family… to let every parent, or caregiver, with a child diagnosed with cancer know that you are not alone. We are here to fight for you, cry with you, laugh with you, pray with you and hopefully work to discover more humane treatments and an eventual cure. Only then can we truly celebrate with you,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Each year, the Town of Smithtown raises awareness for Childhood Cancers in the month of September through various activities and events. These efforts are intended to help fund and raise awareness, identify breakthroughs and fill gaps in the treatment landscape, and direct research to the areas with the greatest need.

“The mission of the Thomas Scully Foundation is to bring A Little Bit of Happiness to children with cancer today, while supporting a cure for tomorrow. The foundation delivers care packages to bring comfort and joy to children, while they’re in local NY hospitals. They also support a cure for tomorrow, by providing A Little Bit of Hope grants. These are given to families seeking innovative treatments for their child… The Thomas Scully Foundation would like to thank the Town of Smithtown, for helping to bring awareness to childhood cancer by going gold for the third year in a row. Not only are you helping to bring awareness but you’re also letting everyone know that you support those children and families who have been affected. We thank you for that,” added Debbie Scully, Thomas Scully Foundation (Read by Amy Beach on Behalf of Debbie Scully)

“One in five children diagnosed with Cancer in the United States will not survive. And for the ones that do the battle is never over. The majority of childhood cancer survivors have chronic health problems because of the treatments they had as kids. Childhood cancer research is consistently under funded, with less than 4% of the federal budget for cancer research in the United States of America is dedicated to childhood cancer. Solving Kids Cancer is an organization that finds, funds and advocates for breakthrough treatment options to cure children with the most fatal pediatric cancers. They help accelerate new, next generation treatments, including immunotherapy, cancer vaccines and new drugs, by applying an understanding of the entire childhood cancer landscape to wisely invest in innovative treatments,” said Amy Beach of Solving Kids Cancer Childhood Cancer Research Advocate, and a Smithtown Parent.

“All September long, Smithtown Schools will be swapping out our regular shoe laces for gold ones. The Smithtown Central School District students will receive gold laces at each of their respective school buildings. Fall sports teams will be participating in the lace up for kids campaign. And on Friday September 22nd, we will have a district wide Go Gold day. We invite all of you as well to care, wear and share your gold throughout this month of September… We look forward to many more years of partnership, awareness and advocacy until one day, there is a cure. Be Bold. Go Gold. Because every kid deserves a chance to grow up.”


Local officials, community leaders, and a packed park filled with Lanieri family members and neighbors came together over Labor Day weekend to dedicate the playground & park at the former site of St Anthony’s School (aka San Remo Park & Playground) in memory of “John John” Lanieri. On Saturday, September 2nd, 2023 Supervisor Ed Wehrheim led the dedication ceremony together with Anthony Lanieri, with support from fellow local officials, members of the Parks Department & Public Safety. Approximately fifty members of the Lanieri family, the Vita family, and neighbors of the Kings Park community cut a ribbon commemorating the dedication in front of the new park sign. 

“Kings Park is a special place to call home. We’re a very proud community, with a true appreciation for our history and giving back to our hometown. The Lanieri family embodies these roots. Throughout all five generations, many have worked in public service, at the former hospital, or right here in local government. They’ve served our Country, volunteered as first responders, and contributed to the enrichment of our future generations. That tradition of service is at the very core of what makes this community so special. It’s a privilege to commemorate this special occasion here today… which I hope and believe will inspire future generations to follow in your footsteps.,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The Lanieri Family has a long history in the hamlet of Kings Park, with almost a century, and five generations of calling the Township of Smithtown home. In 1980, John Lanieri, fondly remembered as “John John,” was struck and tragically killed by a drunk driver at the tender age of fifteen, in front of the old St. Anthony’s School. Years later, an attempt to rename the street “John’s Way” was never brought to fruition, when the old St. Anthony School was torn down, and eventually constructed into a residential development. The request to rededicate the park where John and his siblings grew up playing was formalized by Anthony Lanieri earlier this year. In the request, Lanieri referenced his family members who had passed away before their time and how he dreamed of a place where the youngest generation; his first grandson, would come to play and learn all about his legacy. 

“It’s a great tribute to all of the Lanieri generations, past, present and future, for this to be happening today. Obviously we wouldn’t all be here today if not for my brother John. And I think he’s with us today, together with my son, and my father, smiling in celebration on this gorgeous sunny day,” added Anthony Lanieri.

Arrangements and logistics to facilitate the park rededication were orchestrated by Mitch Crowley, Director of Traffic Safety, Joe Arico, Director of Parks, Buildings & Grounds, Tom Heester, Assistant Town Park Maintenance Director, and Michael Grosskopf, Project Manager.

Over 550 local youth athletes spent a sunny Sunday honing their crafts on the ball field at Flynn Memorial Park. On Sunday, August 27th, Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and NYS Senator Mario Mattera teamed up again with Hero’s 4 Our Heroes for the second year in a row to present the free event for male and female youths. All of the proceeds raised by Hero’s 4 Our Heroes is being donated to renovate the Community Living Center courtyard at the Northport VA Medical Center. Event partners included support from MLB, NY Life, The Rotary Club of Smithtown Sunrise, Smithtown School District, Smithtown Recreation, Smithtown Parks Department, The Department of Public Safety, the Smithtown Youth Bureau, Smithtown Softball, Kings Park Youth, Northport H.S. Varsity Baseball, Nesconset Fire Department, County Clerk Vincent Puleo, Catholic Health, St. Catherine of Siena & St. Charles Hospitals. Additional assistance from Senator Mattera’s office included staff spouses, Lia Crowley and Cat Amicizia who volunteered throughout the day. Jazz Singer, Camille Saturday performed the National Anthem and God Bless America.

“What a day for our community! This event has become a very special tradition to pay homage to our Veterans while giving local families an unforgettable experience. Hero’s 4 Our Heroes did an unbelievable job fundraising to renovate the Northport VA courtyard, so Veterans living in the nursing home can soon enjoy time with friends & family in a stunning outdoor setting worthy of their sacrifice and service… I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Senator Mattera, his staff, the incredible team at Parks, Buildings & Grounds, Smithtown Recreation, the Youth Bureau, event partners and all of our local Schools, Sports leagues and Coaches who devoted their summers to delivering a truly memorable event for the community. It’s truly fitting that we come together every year to honor our Veterans and inspire our youth at the ballpark named after a legendary athlete who walked away from a professional ball career, and sacrificed his life in defense of our Nation,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Former MLB stars; Art Shamsky, Frank Catalanotto, Fred Cambria, Kevin Baez, Frank Tepedino, Don Demola, Sal Agostinelli and Charles Galliano coached kids (ages 6-18) alongside Bryan Goelz (Los Angeles Dodgers, & the Boston Red Sox Organization) Island Slow Pitch’s Keith Fasciana, Elwood Asst Varsity Coach Bill Reidel, Smithtown West HS Coach Al Nucci with assistance from the Smithtown H.S. West Varsity Players, Smithtown Softball’s Vinny Simeone, Kings Park Youth Coaches, John Fitzgerald and Donny Schulze, Northport HS Varsity coaches, Rich Castellano and Bob Castellano, with assistance from Northport HS Varsity baseball players, Smithtown Recreation Director Tom McCaffery, Smithtown Recreation Supervisor Brandon Modrov, Smithtown Recreation Camp Assistants Vischnu Padmanaban and Aiden Kuschel.

“It was my absolute pleasure to host the Second Annual Field of Heroes Youth Clinic with Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim this past Sunday that benefited the renovation of the Community Living Center courtyard at the Northport VA Medical Center… This day connects kids to the richness of America’s favorite sports – baseball and softball – and the great outdoors while also teaching future generations the importance of supporting our veterans. I’m proud to be part of this great community event with Supervisor Wehrheim while honoring the real heroes who reside at the Northport VA. I’m very thankful to the MLB retired players, for their support, Donato Panico and Gerard Leonard from Heros For Our Heroes for their endless dedication to help our veterans,” said New York State Senator Mario Mattera.

The opening ceremony paid tribute to American heroes on the field named in honor of Daniel J. Flynn, a member of the 725th Military Police Battalion, C Company, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War. Guest speaker, Carl Superina, talked about his “Battlefields to Ballfields” program which awards scholarships for Veterans and active duty servicemen to become Football Officials. The ceremony closed with a surprise presentation for Corey Phelan’s family, who live locally. Phelan was a left-handed pitcher in the Phillies’ Minor League system, who passed away at the age of 20, after a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His family began Corey’s Promise, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to financially helping families coping with Pediatric Cancer so that they may spend precious time with their child.

Children were assigned to each field based on age groups and choice of baseball or softball after the opening ceremony. Each participant received a personalized baseball/softball playing card, and baseball. Families and participants received a complimentary lunch, provided by Hero’s 4 Our Heroes.

Photo Rendering of the proposed renovation for the Courtyard at the Northport VA – Designed by Carmine Grasso, R.A. of Cataldo Grasso Architects, P.C.

About the Project: 

Heros 4 Our Heroes has begun fundraising efforts to rebuild the Nursing Home’s outdoor courtyard located at building 92, on the Northport VA campus. Tentative plans, which have been created by Carmine Grasso, R.A. of Cataldo Grasso Architects, P.C. include a peaceful waterfall, picnic area, park benches, decorative lighting and a brick hero walkway, which will adorn the names of local Veterans. Every year, Heros 4 Our Heroes hosts Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner distribution efforts at the Northport VA. The courtyard project was born during a tour after last year’s Thanksgiving meal distribution. Heros 4 Our Heroes hopes to raise enough funds over the course of the next year to begin the process of renovating the courtyard.

About Heros 4 Our Heroes Foundation:

The day after 9/11, the Panico’s wanted to do something to aid our rescue workers, so they loaded up a mobile catering truck full of food from their market in Smithtown and drove to Ground Zero. They cooked for ten straight days at the World Trade Center site and continued to provide free meals to first responders and frontline workers for the next 21 years. Every September 11th, Heros 4 Our Heroes prepares and gives away over 3,000 heroes to firefighters, policemen and veterans. During the holidays, Heros 4 Our Heroes distributes turkey dinners on Thanksgiving and ham or turkey dinners for Christmas at the VA Medical Center. Since September 11th, 2001, the Panico’s have served as an inspiration to the people of Smithtown by serving thousands of complimentary meals to frontline workers at hospitals, nursing homes, veterans facilities and dozens of other entities, in honor of the thousands of heroes who serve us every day.

To Learn More visit: www.heros4ourheroes.org

By Steven Zaitz

Country came to Commack.

Nathan Dean & The Damn Band moseyed onto the Hoyt Farm concert stage Saturday night, Aug. 26, and thrilled the crowd of about 300.

Playing mostly original material as well as crowd-pleasing covers from Shania Twain and Tracy Chapman, the foursome headed by Dean on lead vocals/guitar had the crowd, young and old, up on their feet and dancing in front of the stage for much of the evening.

Founded in Arizona in 2005, Dean’s group plays well over 200 shows a year and tours across the country. The quartet has shared the stage with artists such Dylan Scott, LOCASH, Big & Rich, Cody Johnson, Randy Rogers Band, Diamond Rio and Eric Church. The Dean band was recently nominated for three Josie awards for entertainer, artist and group of the year. The Josie Music Awards honors excellence and outstanding talents and creativity across the independent music industry.

In the month of August alone, the band has graced stages in places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Chicago, and Grand Junction, Colorado. The group features Dean, Jason Judd (lead guitar and backup vocals), Bill Bogan (drums and backup vocals) and Chris Duke (bass guitar).

The concert was the finale of the Hoyt Farm summer concert series for 2023.