By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

As many of you know, because we have been publicizing it and because it created a bit of a buzz in town, we recently had a reception at the Three Village Inn for well over 100 guests. The purpose was to celebrate the winners of the Readers’ Choice contest in which their customers voted these select businesses the best in their business categories. It was a relaxed and fun evening where everyone seemed delighted to be there and party together and, in some cases, even to do business with each other. We had our talented videographer filming the proceedings.

What you may not know is that the video, with the winners walking the red carpet to accept their awards and to explain how they got into their respective businesses, is now up on our website for viewing. Just go to our website and you will find the window, labeled TBR Readers’ Choice 2019 Reception Videos, on the top right-hand side of the home page. When you click on that, it will open to reveal a choice. You can just watch the film in its entirety, fairly long, or by clicking on the prompts you can bring up the playlist and advance to any one of the recipients or hopscotch throughout the video. You can also pause anywhere to watch the rest later or to share.

I hope you enjoy this second look if you were there — or perhaps first look if you weren’t — at this jolly community event, which we will make an annual. It is an index of some of the best businesses in the local area and, I hope, an encouragement to shop locally.

We are now clearly in the events business. Readers’ Choice was our third theme, the other two being the longstanding reception for People of the Year, our 44th, coming up March 22 at the Three Village Inn, and Cooks, Books & Corks, our other annual event, at which we have delicious tastings from local restaurants combined with books presented for sale by local authors. “Corks,” of course, refers to the libations that accompany the meals. CB&C will again be held in September at the Bates House in Setauket.

Now you might be surprised that we have wholeheartedly embraced the events business. It certainly is a wonder to me. We started our professional life here on the North Shore of Long Island as a community newspaper. I liked to write, didn’t like to be edited up the line, as I was when I was working at Times Inc. in New York City, loved the villages and meeting residents, and felt we had something to offer that wasn’t already here. Over the past four-plus decades, we have taken pride in advancing the interests of our hometown, communicating the news, issues and entertainment offerings, and strengthening the sense of community. We have also struggled mightily to stay afloat financially so that we could do all those things.

We all know that newspapers — and other news media as well — have been totally disrupted by progress. The publishing industry has changed; retail, the backbone of newspapers, has been disrupted by the digital world, and we have had to grow and change, too. Those who resist change are left behind.

So just as we are now in the moviemaking business (“One Life to Give,” prequel to the Culper Spy story — be sure to see it when it screens next as it’s quite a story and will make you proud of where you live), and the video business, we can assert that we are in the events sector. These activities fit with our mission to inform our residents because they offer something of interest, and they enhance our sense of community. They also help us to do our main job of relaying the news and to pay our bills. Therefore, we are beginning to plan for our next event, Rising Stars, and you will be hearing and reading more about that soon. Please stay tuned.