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Think Your Tree Is Perfect For Rockefeller Center How About The Vanderbilt Museum

Since 1987, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has placed a very large tree in the Mansion Courtyard and decorated it for the holidays.

Every year, we’ve invited the community to join us on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, to light the tree and inaugurate the holiday season. It’s a very popular, free community event that draws several hundred people every year.

For many years, we were able to harvest large pines and spruces from the wooded areas of the 43-acre Vanderbilt Estate.
This fall, we’re looking for a local family that can donate one of its own trees for this year’s celebration. It must be local, from your property, and from 20 to 25 feet high. The tree must be deliverable to the Vanderbilt Estate by no later than Wednesday, November 20. Vanderbilt staff will cut down the tree and transport it to the Museum.
We will acknowledge your gift with a sign next to the tree, and will publicize your donation to the media, along with our other holiday events and programs.
This year’s Tree Lighting will be held on Saturday, November 30, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The event includes carol singing, an ornament-making workshop for children, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus (a great photo opportunity). Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
If you are interested, please contact Jim Munson, the Vanderbilt Museum’s operations supervisor:

Looking forward to seeing you at the Tree Lighting.


Gurwin's Ventilator Patients Take Road Trip To Meet NY Mets


Commack, NY — Want to go to a baseball game? Most people can just pick up and go…but for residents who reside in the Ventilator Unit at the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack, a trip to see a game is not an easy undertaking.  Until now.   

New cutting-edge technology rolled out at the facility enabled four baseball fans at Gurwin to head out to Citifield in Flushing, NY, to enjoy a New York Mets game this past Monday night.   The technology, dubbed “VOCSN” by Ventec Life Systems, is a compact, portable ventilator that provides mobility for individuals who depend on ventilators for life support.  

According to Delta Young, RRT, Director of Respiratory Therapy in Gurwin’s 28-bed Ventilator Care Unit, a Mets game was not necessarily a wish-list item when the equipment was rolled out in mid-September.  “We were really just looking forward to the VOCSN technology to not only help us provide enhanced care, but also to help our residents be a little more mobile, leave their rooms for a bit, be a little more social and have a little better quality of life.  We never imagined that we’d be able to take them out to the ballgame!” 

In most skilled nursing settings, ventilators are cumbersome as they require tethering to an electrical outlet and typically utilize additional equipment to meet the needs of their medically complex users.  VOCSN’s one-of-a-kind technology provides ventilation, oxygen, cough, suction, and nebulization in one integrated and lightweight unit, offering the possibility of life untethered to the walls of a facility.  Gurwin is the only long-term care facility for adults in the New York metro area equipped with this technology. 

For Gus, an 82-year-old Gurwin resident and lifelong athlete who just last year was playing soccer on a team with his son, a recent ALS diagnosis (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) dashed his hopes of ever seeing his grandson ever play baseball again.  With the VOCSN unit in tow, Gus cheered on the Mets at Citifield from his luxury suite seat, flanked by his son and two grandsons.  “It was a great night,” said Gus. 

The trip to Citifield marked the first time in three years that 65-year-old Janie, paralyzed from a stroke, had left Gurwin’s facility.   Janie’s daughters are encouraged by the baseball outing, and have new hopes for additional excursions with their beloved mother.  “She really needed this night at the stadium,” said her daughter.  “She needs something to look forward to.”

Other Gurwin residents at the game were 39-year-old Scott who is living with ALS, and 72-year-old James who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, both outfitted in Mets gear donated by Modell’s Sporting Goods.  The long-time baseball fans were happy to be at Citifield, to meet Mr. Met and enjoy a baseball game with their loved ones.

“This technology is truly a home run for our residents,” said Shua Sauer, Chief Operating Officer.  “We were certain when we partnered with Ventec Life Systems that their technology would be the innovation needed to enhance care for our residents who use ventilators.   The VOCSN units were installed only two weeks ago and already we are able to demonstrate the quality of life they provide.   What better way to celebrate our residents’ newfound mobility than a night at the ballpark to see the Amazin’ Mets!”   See more photos at

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The Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is a 460-bed nursing care facility in Commack, Long Island, and is part of the Gurwin Healthcare System, a renowned health-care provider offering a full continuum of healthcare and senior living services for the frail and elderly. The Center was named by Fortune Magazine as the #1 Best Workplace in the nation for Aging Services, and is the 2019 Best of Long Island award winner for rehabilitation, adult day care, health aides and assisted living. Services provided at the Center include skilled nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, advanced care, ventilator and respiratory care, on-site dialysis and infusion therapy, memory care, and palliative and hospice care, as well as both medical and social adult day programs and home care programs. The 34-acre campus is also home to Gurwin Jewish~ Fay J. Lindner Residences assisted living community, and a proposed independent living community, Fountaingate Gardens. For more information, visit, Follow Gurwin on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@GurwinJewish).


Hauppauge BS Troop 343 Cleans Up Long Beach On National Beach Clean Up Day

On Saturday September 21, four Boy Scouts  and three adult scouting volunteer leaders from Boy Scout Troop 343 (Hauppauge) participated in National Beach Clean Up Day.  They spent their time in a beach clean up at Smithtown’s Long Beach town park, where they cleaned the beach for about two hours and collected fifteen pounds of litter. The items they picked up included cigarettes, straws, plastic bags, bottles, cans, fishing lines, plastic, and bottle caps As they cleaned the beach they collected data of the materials that were found on the beach. The data will be sent to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.   The Troop 343 scouts that participated were Anthony Sicurelli, Liam Maggio, Ian McAlister and William Burns. Adult Scouting volunteers were Eric McAlister, Neil Maggio and Maggie Sicurelli. 


Long Island Cares Goes Solar Helping 50 Families With Energy Needs

HAUPPAUGE, NY - SEPTEMBER 16, 2019: As part of an ambitious solar power initiative unfolding at Long Island’s largest industrial park, Long Island Cares – one of the region’s premiere charitable institutions – is completing the installation of solar panels on the 35,000 square-foot roof of its headquarters at the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH).
Starting in October, 100 percent of the renewable energy generated on Long Island Cares’ roof at 10 Davids Drive – amounting to 350,000 kilowatt hours annually – will be sent offsite to service the electrical needs of approximately 50 households experiencing hardship and food insecurity. 
The power pass-along is facilitated through an energy management practice called “community solar,” whereby electricity generated by a solar power installation is shared by multiple households, companies, or institutions. 
The project represents the first major milestone for the HIA-LI Solar Task Force launched last year by HIA-LI, one of the region’s most-prominent business associations. The task force is led by Co-Chairs Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems, one of Long Island’s largest installers of solar panels and equipment, and Jack Kulka, President of Kulka, LLC, a major development and construction firm.
“This solar project represents a direct extension of the humanitarian work of Long Island Cares,” said Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares. “Part of Long Island Cares’ energy focuses on providing emergency food relief to hungry and food-insecure Long Islanders through the Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank. But we also engage in direct service programs that address the humanitarian human needs of veterans, seniors, immigrants, and others struggling with economic and social challenges.
“By taking the entire energy output of our solar installation and sending it offsite to provide discounted power to homes occupied by our lower-income neighbors, these households will have new found income to address some of their immediate needs.”
“Second in size only to California’s Silicon Valley, the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is truly the heartbeat of Long Island’s economy,” said Scott Maskin. “As such, it has a unique opportunity to bring forward both technology and value in a substantial way. From an energy perspective, the park can act as a responsible, shining example for all of Long Island.
“Through the successful embrace of this program,” Maskin added, “our park can distinguish itself as Long Island’s single largest energy producer, delivering revenue to its building owners while helping achieve New York State’s renewable energy goals. It’s a win-win all around.” 
“Energy costs are an important factor in determining economic competitiveness here on Long Island or in any region,” said Mr. Kulka. “Fortunately, we now live in an era where we are finding bolder and more aggressive ways to curtail these costs, and our task force is actively pursuing new savings through solar power.
“By using the ‘community solar’ approach, Long Island Cares is also showing us that we can cut energy spending and be more sustainable, while at the same time act in an inclusive way. It’s now not only possible to reap savings, we can also share savings with others in real need. Solar power can be a community builder.”
The HIA-LI Solar Task Force offers the opportunity to install solar power on buildings in the PSEG-LI territory, with a special focus on roof space situated within the LI-IPH. The park consists of more than 20 million square feet of unutilized roof space with a solar capacity exceeding 80 megawatts. For context, a megawatt of solar energy can fit on an average 100,000-square-foot building. Each megawatt is able to serve about 125 Long Island homes.
Capitalizing upon previously unattainable economies of scale, the initiative allows building owners to take advantage of the economic advantages of solar energy either through community solar programs or through traditionally net metered systems for properties requiring on-site power. The park is able to reduce electricity consumption, generate revenue, and play a role in achieving New York State’s aggressive sustainable energy initiatives. Formed in 2018, the solar initiative expects to be instrumental in helping the industrial park achieve 100-percent-reliance on renewable energy by 2040.
The solar program helps businesses implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity demand and install solar panels that will either provide the property with lower-cost energy or sell energy to “off-takers” who pay to rent an owner’s rooftop solar installation. The initiative also helps owners secure project financing, process utility rebates, obtain guidance on tax credits and other incentives, and explore various ownership and energy management options. 
“The HIA-LI solar program is exciting and ambitious, and, better yet, there’s no reason why it has to be such a unique enterprise here on Long Island,” said Terri Alessi-Miceli, President and CEO of HIA-LI. “There are dozens of building clusters and multi-structure, institutional land parcels of all kinds across Nassau and Suffolk counties that could emulate our example. Long island would reap big benefits if other grouped properties used the LI-IPH solar agenda as a template for action.” 
“While it makes a lot of sense to focus on the cost savings associated with solar power, it’s also important to highlight the contribution that renewable energy makes to sustainability,” said Joe Campolo, Managing Partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP and Chairman of the HIA-LI Board of Directors. “Across America, emerging generations of executives are ever more deeply tuned in to the message of environmental stewardship. The HIA-LI solar initiative sends the right message to tomorrow’s business leaders across America: Long Island is a place where we unite to build a sustainable future.”
Making this project even more special is the unique collaboration of leading local energy companies including Edgewise Energy, Entersolar, Harvest Power, Empower Solar, Top Cat Consulting, H2M Engineering, and Greenstreet Power Partners. Combined, these entities have designed and deployed hundreds of megawatts of solar power.



Half Hollow Hills Students Hold Diaper Drive For Stony Brook Children's Hospital 

Half Hollow Hills West students in support of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital hosted a successful diaper drive on Sunday, September 15th at ShopRite in Commack. As shoppers entered the store students handed them a flyer and requested a diaper donation. A trip to the diaper aisle showed how successful the drive was. Navigation in the diaper aisle became difficult as people pushed their carts down the aisle and grabbed a package.  Several women said they were buying for the diaper drive and that being back in the aisle reminded them of their baby days. All were glad to help out. Half Hollow Hill West sophomores Callie Schatz, Hayden Schneider, Julia Velocci, Jade Morrell and Alexa Weisfeld

Donations from this first-ever diaper drive will go directly to Stony Brook Medicine’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program, which provides food packages and information about nutrition to low-income pregnant women, brand new and breastfeeding mothers, and their babies and children up to five years of age.

Nearly 600 mothers and more than 650 infants (0-12 months) are enrolled in Stony Brook’s WIC Program. The director of the program says one of the most requested items on a daily basis are diapers. 

Studies show that on average, babies require up to 12 diapers a day, toddlers about eight. And, the average cost can total $70-$80 per month, per baby.

National Diaper Week is September 23-30th.  

  • 1 in 3 American families reports experiencing diaper need.

  • 5.2 million children in the U.S. aged three or younger live in poor or low-income families.

  • Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, toddlers about 8.

  • Disposable diapers can cost $70 to $80 per month per baby.

  • No state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers.

  • Without transportation, buying diapers at a convenience store rather than a large “big box” store can significantly increase the monthly cost of diapers.

  • Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers.

In recognition of and as a lead up to National Diaper Need Awareness Week (September 23-29), the effort by Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and compassionate community members will continue to increase the awareness of the diaper need and help those affected. For more information, visit