Karly Eberly

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Phoenix Repertory Theatre Group: The Actors’ Theatre

Kelly Schmidt in "The Children's Hour" (Photo by James Gorman)

Rising above the ashes of dated performances and uninspired casts, Long Island’s newest community theatre is excited to bring an innovative perspective to the performing arts.

The Phoenix Repertory Theatre Group, now the official theatre in residence at the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts (BACCA) in Lindenhurst, is a self-declared proponent of the nontraditional.  

“The conceit was to bring shows to Long Island specifically for actors and directors,” says Paul Lichtman, president of the Phoenix board of directors. “We’re here to offer shows that these passionate local performers have been dying to do, but haven’t had the opportunity.”

The Phoenix’s inaugural show, Steel Magnolias, directed by Edward Cress, was held in May at The Onyx Theatre next to the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre, an intimate space where the crowd was thoroughly impressed.

“It was a treat from start to finish,” one viewer said. “The entire production had much more of a regional theatrical feel compared to the usual community theatre I have experienced … I was fairly surprised and impressed.”

While poignant social commentaries and difficult subject matters often make other theatres hesitate, it is this sense of emotion that Phoenix Repertory is actively seeking.

Most recently, in producing Lillian Hellman’s drama The Children’s Hour, the theatre found both financial success and critical acclaim in a compelling production befitting of its sensitive theme.

Continuing its season with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in September and October, the Phoenix has big goals for the coming year. Planning to offer master classes and cabarets in addition to establishing a children’s theater and classes for teens, it seems the Phoenix is well on its way.

“Right now we’re the little theatre that could, but we have big ambitions and I’m happy to say in a short time we’ve gathered a strong group of individuals who not only believe in our mission, but are willing to devote their time and efforts to make our dreams a reality,” says Lichtman.

Inviting actors of all ethnicities, gender identities, and orientations, the Phoenix encourages all to be a part of its journey.

The Phoenix Repertory Theatre Group, BACCA Arts Center, 149 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst phoenixrepertorytheatre.com

16 Long Island Farms To Visit This Harvest Season

Families pick their own pumpkins at an LI farm (Photo by Bob Giglione)

Brightwaters Farms

Brightwaters Farms

Operating since the late 1600s, Brightwaters Farms has everything from perennials and trees to fresh veggies, pumpkins, and hay. They have Apple cider, homemade baked goods, orchard apples, pumpkins, gourds, mums, straw bales, and corn stalks available through October. 1624 Manatuck Blvd., Bay Shore brightwatersfarms.com

Brookville Nurseries

Brookville Nurseries

Fall flowers including mums and fall asters. Find a beautiful selection of seasonal flowers and mums to spruce up your garden! 5300 Northern Blvd., Glen Head 516-626-0018.

Crossroads Farm at Grossmann’s 

Crossroads Farm at Grossmanns

With organic produce, vegan eats, and gluten-free sweets, this charming nonprofit farmstand is the perfect place to find a treat! They have Long Island sweet corn, lettuces, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squashes and collard greens (zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and blackberries available in early fall). 480 Hempstead Ave., Malverne xroadsfarmliny.com

Elwood Pumpkin FarmPlucking pumpkins right off the vine, hay rides, and a corn maze will get the entire family in the fall spirit. 1500 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington elwoodpumpkinfarm.com

F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm

F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm

Go on a quest to pick the perfect pumpkin, stopping at the Haunted House, getting lost in the maze, or riding a pony along the way! They also have a playground & inflatables, children’s haunted mansion walk-through, and a nighttime adult haunted house. 26 Pinelawn Rd., Mellville schmittfarms.com

Hank’s Pumpkintown

Hanks Pumpkintown

Right out of a storybook, a big red barn sets the stage for a day filled with apple and pumpkin picking. They also have a wooden playground, freshly baked fall treats, corn maze, tractor and hay rides, face painting, and gem mining. 240 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill hankspumpkintown.com

Harbes Orchard

Harbes Orchard

Go in the a.m. for the vineyard and the orchard and come back after hours for a spooky nighttime maze! They also have pumpkins, apple cider and baked goods. 5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead harbesfamilyfarm.com

Heritage Farm & Garden

Heritage Farm & Garden

Seasonal decor, expert advice, and a wide array of greenery make Heritage Farm the ultimate spot for green thumbs. They also have pumpkin picking, jam, baked goods, corn, mums. 6050 Northern Blvd., East Norwich heritagefarmandgarden.com

Jericho Cider Mill

Jericho Cider Mill

A local gem. Enjoy a crisp fall day with a freshly baked donut and a steaming cup of cider. They also have gourmet candy and caramel apples, and pies. 213 Jericho Oyster Bay Rd., Jericho jerichocider.com

Kerber’s Farm

Kerbers Farm

Artisinal jams and hand-poured candles are among the perfect holiday gifts to be found at Kerber’s. They also have tomatoes, herbs, eggs, baked goods, farm-fresh breakfasts and lunches. 309 W Pulaski Rd., Huntington kerbersfarm.com

Lewin FarmApple Picking on Long IslandGather apples and gourds or stop by the farmstand for a gourmet selection of fresh produce. They also have pick-your-own tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, apples, pumpkins and gourds. Plus a corn maze.812 Sound Ave., Calverton lewinfarm.com

Meyer’s Farm Stand

Meyers Farmstand

A neat old farmstand, this family run spot has homegrown veggies, produce, and smiles to go around! They have cauliflower, broccoli, winter squash, and over 30 different vegetables. Plus homemade crumb cakes, pies, and cookies. 146 Piquets Ln., Woodbury 516-364-1777

Richters Orchard

Richters Orchard

A working family owned farm with delicious cider and apples is a seasonal favorite amongst locals. Baked goods on weekends. 1 Richters Orchard Driveway, Northport 631-261-1980

Rottkamp Brothers FarmFind pumpkins, gourds, corn, and straw at this quaint stand. They also have collards, kale, mustard, turnip tops, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, and horseradish. McCouns Ln., Glen Head rottkampfarms.com

Woodside Orchard

Woodside Orchards Hard Cider
Woodside Orchards Hard Cider has variations, such as sweet, apple lemon and cinnamon apple—they’ve also had apple ginger, apple raspberry and apple pumpkin in the past. (Credit: Woodside Orchards Hard Cider/Facebook)

Semi-dwarf trees for the little ones and hard cider tastings for the not-so-little ones will fill a day of good ol’-fashioned apple picking. They also have honey, local gifts and baked goods. 729 Main Road Rt. 25, Aquebogue woodsideorchards.com

Young’s Farm 
Founded in 1892 and run by the original family, Young’s farm is stocked with produce grown onsite and locally famous pies and goodies. They have cabbage, carrots, beets, brussel sprouts and other seasonal produce. Daily baked goods from scratch, jams and fall decor. 91 Hegemans Ln., Glen Head youngs.farm

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center: 20 Years Strong

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center hosts big-name acts and community theatre. (Photo by Allison Frost)

Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center has grown from a forgotten theater to a premiere destination.

Big names such as Vanessa Williams and Rufus Wainwright grace the stage this summer. This fall the center is excited to host three comedic idols: Eddie Izzard, Tom Papa, and Howie Mandel. But beyond its slew of headliners, the theater also boasts a softer side, offering programs and shows for the whole family. Recent family friendly performances included Pinkalicious and The Peking Acrobats.

“A group of concerned citizens saw this place as a demolished cinema and didn’t see an albatross,” said Julienne Penza-Boone, director of the theater’s esteemed Arts Academy. “Instead, they saw an opportunity.”

While the main stage concerts are incredible, the true crowning jewel of the center is its year-round Arts Academy. From theater troupes to master classes, it is no wonder that the Academy attracts 10,000 students annually.

“We’ve done The Sound of Music with our 7-to-11-year-olds, Bye Bye Birdie with our teen company, Nutcracker with 85 kids in the fall, and we sell out four of those performances,” she says. “So we have the family friendly performances that we are bringing in and the family friendly performances that we are producing with kids.”

Beyond a commitment to instill a greater appreciation of the arts, the theater aims to serve the community. Offering a school-day performance program, the theater presents 24 curriculum-based performances a year for schools from Montauk to Nassau County.

“We offer scholarships in our school-day performances program,” she says. “We never turn away a child based on financial need. We will always make scholarship tickets available.”

After 20 successful years, attracting performers from across the world, visitors from across the country, and students from across New York, things are looking very bright for the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

“Really, the goal for the future is, we don’t want people to come based on a show,” she says. “We want people to come because they want to be at the performing arts center because it’s a great place to be, that they trust we are going to pick something really fantastic to put on our stage.”

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 76 Main St. Westhampton Beach. They can be reached at whbpac.org or 631-288-1500

Long Island Staycation Destination Hot Spots

Backpackers walk off into the Fire Island wilderness to camp.

The Allegria Hotel

Allegria Hotel

The panoramic views from The Allegria’s rooftop pool is the cherry
on top of this idyllic beach destination! Nearby attractions include the iconic two-mile boardwalk, waterfront dining, boutique shopping, and beaches. 80 W Broadway, Long
Beach allegriahotelny.com

Baron’s Cove

Baron’s Cove

A historic 1960s hotel, this traditional and elegantly appointed wood-shake mansion is rated by Tripadvisor as the #1 hotel in Sag Harbor. Nearby attractions include galleries, acclaimed restaurants, and charming shops. 31 W Water St., Sag Harbor baronscove.com

East Hampton Art House Bed and Breakfast

East Hampton Art House Bed and Breakfast

A picturesque villa with all the amenities of a luxury hotel provides an intimate and romantic escape. Nearby attractions include the eclectic artists community of Clearwater Beach and downtown East Hampton. 9 Bon Pinck Way, East Hampton easthampton-arthouse-bedandbreakfast.com

Freeport Inn and Marina

Freeport Inn and Marina

Set on a marina with touches of blue and a nautical theme, you won’t have to go overboard for a sea-themed paradise! Located near the exciting Casino Cruise Line, Jones Beach, and the famed Nautical Mile. 445 S Main St., Freeport thefreeportinn.com

The Garden City Hotel

The Garden City Hotel

Sparkling chandeliers, a gracious ballroom, and luxurious rooms leave guests feeling pampered. Nearby attractions include picturesque downtown Garden City. Close to lovely bird sanctuary and bay beaches. 45 7th St., Garden City 

Glamping at Cedar Point County Park

It may be camping, but it’s still the Hamptons. Soft robes and cushy beds will be set under elegant canvas tents to offer guests the best of both worlds. Located near pristine beaches and nature. Opening in August. 5 Cedar Point Rd., East Hampton.

Gurney’s Inn

Gurney’s

Montauk’s only year-round resort, this oceanfront gem is home to a renowned spa, making it a fan favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. Located in the heart of downtown Montauk. 290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk Gurneysresorts.com 

The Harbor Rose Bed and Breakfast

Harbor Rose

Run by a hospitable mother and daughter, this luxury Bed and Breakfast will have you waking up each morning to an organic farm-to-table breakfast crafted with care. Located a short drive from Cold Spring Harbor shops, museums, and local eateries. 253 Harbor Rd., Cold Spring Harbor theharborrose.com

The Inn at Fox Hollow

Fox Hollow

Deep soaking tubs and gorgeous accommodations will make your stay at The Inn unforgettable. Nearby high-end shopping and fine dining options. 7755 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury thefoxhollow.com

The Inn at Great Neck

Inn at Great Neck

Inspired by the Art Deco style of Long Island’s golden years, this unique hotel combines modern amenities with the quality of the past. Convenient to business centers and a stroll away from antique shops, eateries, and galleries. 30 Cutter Mill Rd., Great Neck innatgreatneck.com

Long Island Marriott

Long Island Marriott

Party it up at The Nassau Coliseum and then step into a world of
comfort at this spacious Long Island Marriott. Close to events at Hofstra, The Coliseum, and numerous local museums. 101 James Doolittle Blvd., Uniondale marriott.com

The Mansion at Glen Cove

The Mansion at Glen Cove

A delightful Georgian Estate rests on 55 pristine acres of lush green lawns. With a pool, yoga studio, and spa, The Mansion provides the perfect ambiance for relaxation. Thirty minutes from Manhattan, manicured golf greens, charming towns and scenic drives. 200 Dosoris Ln., Glen Cove glencovemansion.com

The Montauk Manor

Montauk Manor

Elegant wood beams frame this classic Tudor where luxury meets comfort! With putting greens, tennis, and breathtaking water views, The Manor has it all. Nearby the vibrant beach community of Montauk. 236 Edgemere St., Montauk montaukmanor.com 

Oheka Castle

Oheka Castle

Commissioned by Otto Hermann in 1919, the magnificent gardens and European charm of the castle have made it a prime destination for celebrity weddings. Short drive away from Huntington’s plethora of award-winning restaurants. 135 W Gate Dr., Huntington oheka.com

The Palms Fire Island

Palms Fire Island

Three-hundred count Egyptian cotton sheets will soothe you at night after a day of using complimentary bicycles, wagons, and numerous other beachside amenities– at The Palms, guests are always first! No cars on the island make for a unique vibe. Exciting nightlife and untouched beaches. 168 Cottage Walk, Ocean Beach palmshotelfireisland.com

The Roslyn Hotel

The Roslyn Hotel

After attending a show at the legendary music venue My Father’s Place, spend the night with craft cocktails and an elegant boutique experience. Nearby charming downtown Roslyn. 1221 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn theroslynhotel.com

The 1770 House

1770 House

For over 250 years The 1770 House has served countless guests at an inn that is both intimate and elegant, with cuisine by Chef Michael Rozzi. A walk away from downtown East Hampton. Vineyards and famous beaches only short drives away.  143 Main St., East Hampton 1770house.com

Viana Hotel & Spa

A feng shui design creates a relaxing and harmonious ambiance as you rejuvenate in Viana’s spa. Near historic homes, hiking trails, golf courses, shopping malls, and beaches. 3998 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury vianahotelandspa.com

Watch Hill Campground

A full moon rises over a Watch Hill Campground on Fire Island in July 2014 (Long Island Press photo).

Bring your tent, your sleeping bag, some good company, and a whole lot of s’mores. This scenic campground is the perfect spot to hide away. No cars, no houses, no worries. Watch Hill Camp Ground, Fire Island nps.gov 

Candles For Hope Throws Birthdays for Homeless Kids

Confetti, banners, and stacks of presents wrapped with care are a birthday dream come true for children everywhere, but for homeless kids across Long Island, this dream was often elusive — until now.

Through the help of the nonprofit Candles For Hope (CFH), this dream is becoming a reality for children in LI’s shelters. Founded by Exit Realty Achieve, CFH members collaborate with parents and local shelters to anonymously provide birthday parties for displaced children.

“We are looking at this as an opportunity to really bring hope into the life of a child,” says Susan Hamblen, owner of Exit Realty Achieve and founder of CFH. “Our hope is to provide normalcy and just a sense of joy to a child. A birthday party should be a time to celebrate and we want to bring that celebration to a child’s life.”

Gift suggestions always come directly from parents, ensuring that each child receives presents reflective of their own unique interests. In keeping with the times, CFH reports their most requested gift item of late is a tablet.

“CFH has the same mission in life that I do , which is helping people,” says Jason Furnari, party coordinator for CFH. “Every day, when I get a phone call to book those parties for these children, I get a smile on my face and I can’t wait to hear the stories that they have.”

The nonprofit achieves its goal through annual fundraisers and donations, such as its most recent event in March at the Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown that raised more than $51,000. With the sponsorship of Exit Realty and the community’s avid support, CFH has formed connections with communities beyond LI.

Jeff Mistretta, vice president and co- founder of Candles For Hope, hopes CFH can continue to give the gift of hope to homeless children across the nation.

“It’s in my heart that Candles for Hope will one day be across this entire country in every single state, possibly in every single town, impacting all children who are either in a displaced environment or currently experiencing homelessness,” he says.

For more information or to make a donation, visit candlesforhope.org

20 Long Island Waterfront Restaurants ‘To Dine For’

Atlantica

From beginning to end, dining at Atlantica at the Allegria is superb.

The signature restaurant of the Allegria Hotel, Atlantica’s chic design and gourmet
menu have made it a favorite among locals. It’s also one of the few restaurants on LI
with an oceanfront view. Style: New American. 80 West Bwy., Long Beach, allegriahotelny.com 

Buoy Bar Situated along Miller’s Channel, this favorite is known for its mellow atmosphere and
delicious grub. Style: Seafood, American. 72 Bayside Dr., Point Lookout, buoybarli.com

Cardoon Mediterranean GrillStudies have shown that Greek, Mediterranean and seafood tastes even more amazing with stunning waterfront views. Style: Mediterranean 2479 Adler Ct., Seaford, facebook.com/pg/CardoonNY

Fatfish Innovative dishes and live music accompany their vast selection of local and
international that pair well with Great South Bay scenery. Style: Mediterranean,
Tapas. 28 Cottage Ave., Bay Shore, fatfish.com

Harbor MistPanoramic views provide the perfect setting to sample their wide selection of prime meats and seafoods. Style: Seafood. 105 Harbor Rd., Cold Spring Harbor, harbormistrestaurant.com

Houser’s Bar Houser’s has been serving up cocktails and surf ‘n’ turf for nearly a century, making
it the longest-operating restaurant on Fire Island. Its bayfront outdoor dining area
is unbeatable. Style: Seafood. 785 Evergreen Walk, Ocean Beach, housershotel.com

JT’s On the BayWith regular live bands, this joint offers great food, even better happy hour specials
and amazing vistas. Style: Seafood.1 Curtis Rd., Blue Point, jtsonthebay.com 

Lighthouse Waterfront CafeFeaturing continental cuisines, this cafe offers traditional dishes with a flair and a
side of beautiful scenery. Style: Seafood, American. 76 Shore Rd., Glen Cove, glencovelighthouse.com

Louie’s Grille and LiquorsSeafood Serving wholesome food to Long Islanders since 1905, this grille offers traditional fare with an eclectic edge overlooking Manhasset Bay. 395 Main St., Port Washington, louiessince1905.com

Mill Pond HouseWith an award-winning selection of wine and a historical allure, it comes as no surprise that this charming colonial was Diners’ Choice for 2018. Style: Seafood. 437 E Main St., Centerport, millpondrestaurant.com 

Ocean Organic ingredients complement a seasonal menu at this aptly named restaurant along the beach. Style: New American. 333 Bayville Ave., Bayville, cometotheocean.com

Prime

Prime: An American Kitchen & Bar
Prime: An American Kitchen & Bar epitomizes all that’s great about downtown Huntington.

The flagship restaurant of the Bohlsen Restaurant Group, this upscale eatery is
designed to resemble a classic boathouse along the Charles River. Style: Gourmet American. 117 North New York Ave., Huntington, restaurantprime.com

SALT A laid-back atmosphere with an epicurean edge, SALT is one of the newest restaurants on the South Shore. Style: New American. 3100 Whaleneck Dr.,
Merrick, saltonthewater.com  

The Clubhouse With lit-up palm trees and a Caribbean-inspired menu, The Clubhouse brings a tropical twist to classic eats right on the canal. Style: American. 134 Clubhouse Rd., Bellmore, theclubhouseli.com

The Fifth SeasonThe seasonally inspired menu features ingredients from both land and sea, inspiring flavors sourced from local farms, all within sight of the harbor. Style: American. 34 East Bwy., Port Jefferson, thefifth-season.com 

Tres Palms Started by a group of free-spirited surfers, Tres Palms, overlooking Babylon Cove, embodies the hospitality and good food encountered throughout their travels. Style: New American. 16 East Ct., Babylon, trespalms.com

View RestaurantOffering specialties from both waters and pastures, The View presents a tasteful dining experience with an artisanal touch. It lives up to the name. Style: Seafood. 3 Consuelo Pl., Oakdale, lessings.com 

Villa D’Aqua Reminiscent of northern Italy, this waterfront hideaway features authentic Italian
cooking by former Manhattanite Tom Ulaj and his experienced team. Style: Gourmet
Italian. 2565 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, villadaqua.com

Wall’s Wharf Renowned for their baked stuffed clams, Wall’s Wharf has been in business for more than 60 years thanks in large part to its amazing location. Style: Seafood, Sushi, American. 18 Greenwich Ave., Bayville, wallswharf.com

Whale’s Tale Off the beaten path, this hidden gem is proud to be known as a “locals’ secret” with incredible food,fresh ingredients, and stellar views of Northport Harbor. Style: Seafood. 81 Fort Sologna Rd., Northport, whalestalenpt.com 

Long Island Farmers Market Guide 2018

Babylon: LIRR Parking Lot, 51 Railroad Ave., Sundays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. through Nov. 18.

Bay Shore: Bay Shore Bandshell, Main St., Fridays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. through Aug. 31.

Bellport: Station Rd. and Brookhaven Ave., Saturdays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Deer Park: Tanger Outlets at the Arches, 152 The Arches Circle. Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through Oct. 27.

East Hampton: 136 North Main St.. Fridays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Sept. 7

East Meadow: 832 Merrick Ave. Fridays 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-12 p.m. July 8- Oct. 6.

Elmont: 700 Hempstead Turnpike., Thursdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July through Nov

Farmingdale: Farmingdale Village Green, 361 Main Street. Sundays 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.through Nov. 18.

Farmingville: One Independence Hill, Brookhaven Town Hall South Parking Lot. 2-6 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 25.

Freeport: Freeport Recreation Center Parking Lot, 130 Merrick Rd. Saturdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m. through Oct. 27.

Garden City: Behind State Supreme Court, 101 County Seat Dr. (off of Old Country Road). Tuesdays 7 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 20.

Greenport: 1405 Moores Ln., Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through Oct. 27.

Hampton Bays: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 165 Ponquogue Ave. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Sept. 1.

Hempstead: YALE Child Care Center, 160 Baldwin Rd. Wednesdays 3:30-6:30 p.m. through September.

Huntington: Main Street Route 25A. Sundays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 18.

Islip: Town Hall parking lot, 655 Main St. Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 17.

Kings Park: Municipal Lot. 25A and Main St., Sundays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. through Nov. 18.

Long Beach: Kennedy Plaza, 1 West Chester St., Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 21.

Montauk: Montauk Green, 742 Montauk Hwy. Thursdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Sept. 13.

Northport: Cow Harbor parking lot on corner of Main Street and Woodbine Avenue. Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 18.

Oyster Bay: 54 Audrey St., Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov.

Patchogue: East side of The Patchogue Railroad Station Parking Lot, Division St. & Ocean Ave., Sundays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 19.

Port Jefferson: Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway, Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov. 11, Wednesdays 3 p.m. to dusk through Aug. 29.

Port Washington: Town Dock, 247 Main Street. Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. through Oct. 27.

Rockville Centre: Long Beach Road & Sunrise Highway. Sundays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov.18.

Rocky Point: Old Depot Park, 115 Prince Road. Saturdays 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. through Nov.

Roslyn: Pennsylvania Ave., Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through Sept. 9.

Roosevelt: NuHealth Roosevelt Clinic Parking Lot, 380 Nassau Road. Sundays 11 a.m.-4 p.m through Oct. 30.

Sag Harbor: Bay Street. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct.

Sea Cliff: Courtyard of St.Luke’s Church, 253 Glen Ave., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. through Oct.

Seaford: Seaford Train Station, Railroad Street, corner of Washington Avenue and Sunrise Highway. Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 17.

Shelter Island: Haven’s House Museum Grounds, 16 South Ferry Rd., 2018 information coming soon

Southampton: 25 Jobs Lane. Sundays 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. through Oct. 7.

Westbury: The Piazza Ernesto Strada, corner of Post Avenue & Maple Avenue. Sundays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through Oct. 28.

Westhampton Beach: The Village Greene, Main St. and Mill Rd., Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov.

Wyandanch: New Shiloh Baptist Church, 221 Merritt Ave. Saturdays 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. July 8- Oct. 13.

The Great Neck Spirits: Friendship, Basketball and Angels at Work

The sound of basketballs echoing off the gymnasium floor fills the halls of Great Neck North Middle School long after the bells have given their final ring for the weekend.

Each Friday at 5:45 p.m., a group of high school volunteers, committed coaches, and special needs athletes come together to form what is known as the Great Neck Spirits. Operating for more than 23 years, the Spirits have become an integral part of the broader community, providing a fun support system for athletes with disabilities and their families. One athlete in particular, Alex Smooha, has been profoundly affected by his three years with this tight-knit basketball team.

“You get to meet new friends that you really enjoy, you get to spend time with them,” Smooha said with a grin.

He plans to use the skills he gained in the Great Neck Spirits to spend his upcoming summer working at John. F Kennedy camp as a counselor.

“It’s been incredible to watch Alex’s transformation,” Coach Jackie Mazur said of Smooha’s personal growth. “When he first came he stayed by his sister’s side and rarely ventured to be with others. But over time, his comfort and confidence has grown.”

For parents of children with developmental disabilities, day to day life can come with unexpected challenges.

“Some of the challenges have been Ross’s difficult behaviors, his frustration caused by his limited language, his lack of sleep and his need for constant care and attention,” said the parent of one of Alex’s fellow teammates, Laurie Rubin-Haber. “However, the rewards are numerous – particularly the incredibly caring people who have come into our lives because of Ross.”

Laurie Rubin-Haber, a recently published author, has become a champion for the autism community, using both her struggles and triumphs as a mother to write Raising Ross, a vivid and inspiring account of her experiences. With an entire section of the book is dedicated to the Great Neck Spirits and other supportive organizations.

“The coaches of the Great Neck Spirits special needs basketball program are remarkable people who truly care about the athletes,” said Rubin-Haber. “They are an example of the “Angels in Our Midst” in my book who have played an important role in raising Ross.”

By creating a bridge between the youth and developmentally disabled communities, the Spirits have aided in increasing awareness towards our special needs population on Long Island.

“Autism is no longer the fearful specter looming in the shadows,” she wrote in Raising Ross. “I am happy to say, around my neck, I wear a symbolic puzzle piece to remind me where Ross started and how far he has come, in much the same way that views on autism have evolved since his first diagnosis.”

With another successful basketball season concluding, the Great Neck Spirits have continued to bring people together, increase awareness, and most importantly facilitate the growth of its athletes and volunteers.

For more information or to get involved with the Great Neck Spirits, contact Alan Someck at asomeck@gmail.com or visit greatneckspirits.wordpress.com

Long Island St. Patrick’s Day Events 2018

Luck of The Irish Casino Night
A fun-filled night with a buffet, open bar, and DJ may end with a pot of gold if you play your cards right! East Wind Inn, 720 New York 25A, East Lobby, Wading River friendsofstpatrick.org $75 (all profits benefit the Rocky Point Parade) 7-11 p.m. Mar. 2.   

Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Featuring bagpipe bands, elaborate floats, and hundreds of enthusiastic marchers, come celebrate the luck of the Irish with Grand Marshal Sean Gann! Kings Park St.Patrick’s Day Parade, corner of Lou Avenue and Pulaski Rd., Smithtown kpstpat.com 12 p.m. Mar. 3.

East Islip St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Opting for some classic rock ’n’ roll in addition to traditional Irish ballads, this Paddy’s Day Parade will feature local rock band J Haus to make for a St.Patrick’s party! East Islip St.Patrick’s Day Parade, Main St., East Islip greaterlongisland.com 3 p.m. Mar. 3.

Mineola St. Patrick’s Day Parade
After you enjoy the parade swing by the Irish American Society Center for good food, music, and dancing! Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk, & Queens Inc., 297 Willets Ave., Mineola irishamericansoc.com 5$ to enter Center 12 p.m. Mar. 4.

27th Annual Bethpage St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Hosted by Free Players Drum & Bugle Corps. The parade route is approximately 1 mile long, Central Ave to Stewart Ave to Burkhardt Ave and right down Broadway to the Reviewing stand. 2 p.m. Mar. 4.

Bay Shore Brightwaters St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Blend in with the sea of green at Bay Shores annual St.Patty’s celebration! Bands and baton twirlers will be abound in this community gathering sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Patrick’s Parade of Greater Bay Shore, Inc, Saxon Ave., Bay Shore stpatricksparadebsbw.com 2 p.m. Mar. 10.

St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl
Get Shamrocked at the 5th Annual Huntington Bar Crawl! Not only will the Crawl allow you to sample Huntington’s premiere bar scene but St. Patrick himself would have approved as profits will benefit children with cancer. Long Island Social Events, Huntington (exact location TBD)  kidsneedmore.org  $25 + $2-4$ per drink  2-8 p.m. Mar. 10.

Patchogue St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl
Irish Ales and Lagers will be flowing at Patchogues second annual Bar Crawl! With profits going to the “Kids Need More” Foundation you can feed your spirit and enjoy the spirits! Long Island Social Events, Patchogue (exact location TBD)  kidsneedmore.org $25 + $2-4$ per drink  1-7 p.m. Mar. 10

Huntington St. Patrick’s Parade
Come and join 50,000 others in the 84-year-long tradition that has become Huntington’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! Famous for its elaborate floats and massive bands, this celebration is also the largest and longest running Saint Patrick’s Parade on the Island. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, North of New York Ave. 110 & Broadway, Huntington Station huntingtonhibernian.com 2 p.m. Mar. 11.

Rocky Point St.Patrick’s Day Parade
Founded in 1949, this historic parade brings tens of thousands together each year to celebrate the community in an elaborate show of marchers, dancers, and musicians. Friends of St.Patrick, Route 25A, Miller Place friendsofstpatrick.org 1 p.m. Mar. 11.

6th Annual Farmingdale St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Following the Parade festivities explore the many downtown merchants, restaurants & spots, for great deals & specials! Plus Shamrock Photo Op’s On The Village Green! Main St., Farmingdale. farmingdalenychamber.org 1 p.m. Mar. 11.

Ronkonkoma St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Grand Marshal John Feal. Parade starts at the corner of Portion Rd & Patchogue-Holbrook Rd. 2 p.m. Mar. 11.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dating Social
Dance a jig with your true love to be at this St.Paddy’s themed evening for singles! RSVP by Mar. 15. Houlihan’s Restaurant, 725 Merrick Ave., Westbury. 3$ + cost of meal, 6-9 p.m. Mar. 17.

St. Patrick’s Day 4 Miler and Fun Run
With a complimentary breakfast and top three prizes for each age category, you may be lucky enough to sprint past a Leprechaun! Townwide Fund of Huntington, 1 Mill Dam Rd., Huntington townwidefund.org 8:30 a.m. Mar. 17.

St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This parade will have the whole family grinning ear to ear with antique cars, scout troops, dance groups, and piper and marching bands to celebrate good Ole’ St.Patrick’s Day! St.James Chamber of Commerce, Woodlawn Avenue, St.James stjameschamber.org 1 p.m. Mar. 17.

Spring Fling St.Patty’s Day Singles Dinner and Dance
With a three course meal, DJ, and dancing the luck of the Irish will be on your side this date night! Residence Marriott 9 Gerhard Rd., Planeview 7-in-heaven.com $44-$49 6:30-10:30 p.m. Mar. 17.

Glen Cove St.Patrick’s Day Parade
One of the premier St.Patrick’s celebrations on Long Island, this renowned Parade boasts talented marching bands and beautiful floats! Glen Cove St.Patrick’s Day Parade, 4 School St., Glen Cove gcirishparade.com 1-3 p.m. Mar. 18.

May The Road Rise Up to Meet Ye 5k
Cheered on by hundreds of spirited spectators start off the St.Patty’s Day festivities bright and early with this annual 5k run and walk! Finest Fitness, 208 East Main St., Patchogue maytheroadriseuptomeetye5k.com  Check in 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Race 9:55 a.m. Mar. 19.  

Rockville Centre St.Patrick Parade March
Known as the Parade that “cares and shares” all profits raised by this celebration are divided between three charities to keep with the St.Patrick’s day spirit. Rockville Centre St.Patrick Parade March, 265 Sunrise Highway ~ Suite 1-350, Rockville Centre rvcstpatrick.com $40 12 p.m. Mar. 24.

Montauk St.Patrick’s Day Parade
Located along the water, this picturesque Parade is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the Island with an estimated 40,000 spectators attending annually! Montauk Friends of Erin, Edgmere Rd., Montauk montaukfriendsoferin.org 11:30 a.m. Mar. 25.

Long Island College Summer Registration Guide

LIU Post and other local colleges and universities are starting summer class registration soon.

Whether you’re graduating early, staying on track, or catching up, don’t let summer take you off course! From accelerated courses to study abroad programs and specialized certificates, there is a seat open for everyone at these local colleges.

UNIVERSITIES

Adelphi University
With sessions for incoming, visiting, and current students and complete access to all the services offered during the academic year, anyone can take part in an educational summer at Adelphi. They have a wide variety of courses to choose from, including opportunities to study abroad! Registration begins: March 20. 1 South Ave., Garden City. 800-233-5744. adelphi.edu

Hofstra University
Four-week course offerings and flexible scheduling will enrich your summer. With undergraduate and graduate classes available in a broad group of offerings, students will be able to take classes on campus, from the comfort of their own homes, or in one of Hofstra’s five study-abroad destinations. Registration begins: March 4. 1000 Fulton Ave., Hempstead. 516-463- 6600. hofstra.edu

LIU Post
Offering three six-week sessions, LIU Post is giving new, current, and visiting students an opportunity to get three credits over the summer vacation! The vast course selection lends itself to a wide variety of majors. Registration begins: March 5. 720 Northern  Blvd., Brookville. 516-299-2900. liu.edu/post

Stony Brook University
With a summer motto of “Get ahead and still have time to play,” SBU offers 600 courses in 90 subjects for incoming, international, and visiting students. The option to study from their state of the art main campus or beachy Southampton campus ensures a summer of learning in an incredible environment. Registration begins: April 2. 100 Nicolls Rd., Stony Brook. 631-632-6000. stonybrook.edu

COLLEGES

Farmingdale State College
In addition to a vast selection of on campus classes, online courses are also available to visiting and current students in four separate sessions, each lasting a month. 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale. Registration open. 631-420-2000. farmingdale.edu

Molloy College
Molloy’s summer offering includes opportunities to study abroad. If you prefer to stay stateside, Molloy offers an extensive selection of classes that is sure to expand your horizons. Registration begins: March. 100 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. 516-323-3000. molloy.edu

St. Joseph’s College
With flexible programs designed to be convenient to you, these summer session classes will be sure to fit into your busy schedule. Choose between online classes or their Brooklyn and Long Island campuses. Rising high-school seniors are invited to get a head start on their college careers at $50 a credit. Registration begins: April. 155 West Roe Blvd., Patchogue. 631-687-5100. sjcny.edu/long-island

Touro College
Hailing students from all over the world during the academic year, Touro boasts an equally diverse summer program accredited for its wide course selection, mission driven environment, and top-notch programs. Registration begins: April 30. 1700 Union Blvd., Bay Shore. 631-665-1600. touro.edu

New York Institute of Technology
With accelerated courses that allow you to complete three or more credits in a few weeks, NYIT’s summer session features courses in mathematics, architecture, liberal arts, the sciences, and more. Registration begins April 2. Northern Blvd. and Valentines Lane, Old Westbury. 516-686-1000. nyit.edu

SUNY Old Westbury
Old Westbury allows you to choose from a wide array of courses that includes 45 undergraduate programs and an intimate average class size of 22. Registration begins: March. 223 Store Hill Rd., Old Westbury. 516-876-3000. oldwestbury.edu

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Nassau Community College
Continue pursuing your degree during the warmer months by attending one of NCC’s three summer sessions. Open to visiting, current, and new students their summer offering will allow you to challenge yourself in new ways. Registration begins: March. 1 Education Dr., Garden City. 516-572-7501. ncc.edu

Suffolk County Community College
Make your summer count with a course offering in one of over 78 different summer classes. SCCC offers something for everyone as well as the opportunity to earn college credits that transfer to SUNY colleges and other universities. Registration begins: April. 533 College Rd., Seldon. 631-451-4110. sunysuffolk.edu

Related Story: The Complete Guide to Long Island Colleges and Universities