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Smithtown Animal Shelter


Betty – 5 years old Female/spayed American Bulldog. Betty is good with some dogs but would prefer an adult only home with no cats. Betty is sweet girl, who likes to go for long walks.  










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 People in the News


Larissa Barnes - 2014 HSW Graduate And Girl Scouts' Gold Award Recipient 

Larissa K. Barnes

“Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are part of an elite group of women who embody community leadership leaving behind a sustainable legacy.Girl Scouts org.

Larissa K. Barnes, a resident of Smithtown and a 2014 graduate at Smithtown HSW, has received Girl Scouts highest recognition the Gold Award. 

To receive the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award a Girl Scout must complete a challenging project. The focus of a Girl Scouts’ Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue that the scout is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing sustainability for the project. For her Gold Award project, Larissa set out to create awareness on the hunger problem that exists on Long Island. The first part of the project had Larissa working closely with the Island Harvest, which is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.

Larissa helped create an online food pantry directory that listed all the available resources in the geographic area. From the online version, she created a pamphlet that listed an individual area’s resources. The pamphlet included local food pantry addresses, nutritional information and recipes in English which were then translated into Spanish. The second part of the project was to create and maintain a sustainable large food producing garden. Due to hurricane Sandy, maintaining the garden was a challenge, but it still managed to produce some vegetables. The last part of the project was a food drive that Larissa organized in her community which yielded 328 pounds of nonperishable items as well as the produce that was harvested from the sustainable garden.

Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Larissa has demonstrated exceptional commitment in taking action to make the world a better place through her community service.

This fall Larissa will be heading off to Johnson and Wales University in North Carolina where she will be majoring in Restaurant, Food and Beverage Management. When Larissa heads off to school at the end of August she will be leaving behind avery proud parents David and Tara and brother Alex and a Smithtown community that is a little bit better because of this young woman’s efforts.   

Kudos to Larissa Barnes!


Nesconset's Gina Coletti - "I Love Nesconset"

By Dana Klosner

Gina ColettiNesconset resident Gina Coletti was honored by Republican Caucus Chairman John M. Kennedy, Jr. as the Suffolk County Woman of the year at a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in March.

For Coletti, former president of the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce for the last two years and board member for the last 10 years, being a community activist comes naturally.

“I’ve always been a community oriented person,” she said. “I take pride in the town I live in. I always want to improve it so I became involved in the chamber.”

Coletti has been an integral part of Nesconset. She played an integral role in the creation of the Nesconset Gazebo Park, the Nesconset Toner Water Park, the completion of the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Project and improvements along Smithtown Boulevard, including a Decorative Streetlight Project. 

Of all these, she considers the completion of the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Project her biggest accomplishment, she said.

“[I’m proud of] all the improvements along Smithtown Boulevards especially the decorative streetlight project.  From Mayfair to Southern Boulevard there are decorative streetlights, banners and sponsor tags which are where businesses have the opportunity to sponsor a street light and put their business name on a pole. During the holidays the downtown area is decorated with garland wraps and lights. It completely changes the ambiance on the street. It defines the downtown area, the stretch of business area in front of the gazebo,” she said.

The implementations of the gazebo and Toner Park behind the library are also accomplishments that make her proud. 

“It’s [Toner Park] got playgrounds, a water park and tennis courts. It’s really become the hub of the town where all the families go. There’s a concert series in the gazebo, and kids play ball on the field. I was a part of the planning of the park by being a member of the chamber. Senator Flanagan asked us for a vision of what we thought the land could be. Nesconset needed a park. I suggested the water park. Smithtown had one water park that was at Hoyt Park in Commack, we needed one of the east side. It’s great for people that don’t have pools and want their kids to run in the water in a safe place. The library used to be the old armory. It was just an eyesore. Now we created the whole park, with a walking and biking trail. It’s just a nice place to be.”

And after working with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, there are now medians along Smithtown Boulevard to slow traffic down. 

“There’s so much more volume with the library and the park, it became a little dangerous, so the medians slow traffic down,” she said. 

In the future on Smithtown Boulevard there will be more work done closer to the library. Under discussion is a traffic light, a median and a handicap ramp. There might be curb cuts which would make it much easier for people in wheelchairs and handicapped people to get across the road, she said. 

Also in the future, Coletti hopes to lengthen the decorative streetlight footprint to hopefully stretch to Lake Avenue. 

Coletti also helps run the Beautification Gala, Casino Nights, Craft Fairs, 5K runs, and the Menorah and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, all making Nesconset a better place to live, she said. 

What motivates Coletti to work so hard?

“I love Nesconset,” she said. “It’s a very family oriented community. It’s a nice place to raise a family. It’s a close knit group of people. There are so many community oriented events that create the feeling of closeness. It’s got great schools and a great neighborhood feeling.”

In addition to her role in the Nesconset Chamber of Commerce Coletti sits on three Suffolk County panels.

She represents Legislator John Kennedy for the 12th Legislative District on the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning Downtown Revitalization Citizen’s Advisory Panel. When she won the Suffolk County Woman of the Year Award she was sworn in on the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Board also representing Legislator Kennedy. She is on the Suffolk County Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board, again representing Legislator Kennedy. 

With the Chamber she runs a fundraiser for the Girls Athletic League called “LAX for M.E. and the G.A.L.S.” which benefits the Maurer Foundation for Breast Health and the Girls Athletic League of Smithtown.

She sits on the board at Stony Brook Medicine for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, where she is a committee chair.

She is the co-founder and board member of the North Shore – LIJ Health System’s Monter Cancer Center.

She has also run her own golf outing for 20 years which benefits the Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center and the North Shore LIJ Health System.

She is also committee chair and elected mentor for the Smithtown Industry Advisory Board which is part of the Smithtown Central School District. The board acts as a liaison between students, schools and companies where they offer students internships and career planning. The board works closely with the DECA clubs at the schools.  

With a 20 year successful banking and finance career with Citigroup, Coletti transitioned into the real estate industry, holding both a New York State license as a Real Estate Appraiser and a Real Estate Salesperson.  She currently works for Smith & DeGroat Real Estate who has offices in Hauppauge and Mineola.  She is also an independent consultant for Rodan & Field Dermatologists. 


Gina Coletti lives in Nesconset with her husband Robert and her daughters Jaclyn and Lauren who will both be attending Great Hollow Middle School in the fall. 


Nursing—One Day at a Time—for 44 Years - Dottie Schultz

For Dottie Schutlz,10-weeks of psychiatric rounding while in nursing school could have been the module that halted her chance of ever becoming the “baby nurse” she dreamed of since she was just a little girl, playing with her dolls.

In 1968, as a student at St. Clare’s School of Nursing, situated just walking distance from her apartment, Dottie had a second chance of fulfilling her first career passion. Years prior, Dottie, started a four year nursing program after graduating high school at the age of 17. A year and a half later, she fell in love, married and started a family. However, the nursing bug was still one that she thought of and when she learned that St. Clare’s School of Nursing offered an intense two-year program, she weighed her options and decided that working at the phone company, while a good job, was not satisfying for her.

At the age of 28, with the support of her husband and mother, she took on the challenge—after all, during those years, married women with 3 children to care for, did not typically juggle home and career. Dottie was on her way to becoming a new era woman. After passing the entrance exam, nursing school was on her radar, until she learned that she might have to participate in a 10-week away tour at the Psychiatric Hospital in Central Islip, during  the final year of the program, more than 40 miles from her Manhattan home. After sitting in orientation, she felt defeated, because there was no way she could complete the 10-week tour away from home. She had other responsibilities—her family. She went to the registrar with the intention of withdrawing from the program, and it was the woman there that said there was a strong chance the tour would be moved to a closer hospital, which would offer a commuting option, as opposed to 10 full weeks away from her family. The woman at the registrar’s office also gave Dottie advice that she still keeps with her until this day, “take it one day at a time”.  Comforted by this new possibility, without further hesitation, Dottie excelled in her courses and managed life at home. She even sat for her licensed practical nurse (LPN) exam midway through the program, which she passed with high marks. Things were going very well and her dream of nursing was promising.

The last year of the program was underway and Dottie learned there would be no change to the psychiatric tour in Central Islip. With anxiety and tears in her eyes, Dottie went to her mother, who was helping her with the three children, to tell her for the second time, that she was not going to be finishing nursing school. And with the most consoling voice her mother said, “Don’t you worry, everything will be fine—I will take care of the kids until Bill comes home at night.” She said that was something she never forgets. “I did it, and I was finally able to make my mother so proud,” said Dottie.

In 1970, Dottie started working as a registered nurse at St. Clare’s Clinic. She worked in several units from allergy, gynecology and surgical to name a few, but her love for pediatrics is where she flourished. She moved to Holbrook with her family and worked as a nurse manager of pediatrics at Smithtown General Hospital. She fulfilled the same role at the medical center as nurse manager of pediatrics for a few years and eventually transitioned to the maternity department as a staff nurse, where she has been for more than 14 years.

“Pediatrics was a whole different ball game—you had children who had all sorts of alignments—so the transition to the maternity department was an adjustment,” said Dottie. “I have always liked pediatrics—you are like an investigator with the doctors trying to figure out what is going on with the patient—I loved the challenged, but I have also loved working in maternity as well.”

Every nurse has a different story of how they become to be the “compassionate care giver”—Dottie’s is one that leaves you encouraged with a sense of perseverance and balance. She never gave up on her passion to nurse, found a love in pediatrics, a fulfilling career, loving wife and proud mother of three children, one of which is also a nurse.  “If I did not have such a supportive mother and husband, 10-weeks could have changed the course of my life,” said Dottie.

The Ridge resident will retire on August 1, 2014, after 44 years of nursing. She is sad to be leaving the maternity department, she says it is bittersweet, but is looking forward to spending time with her husband and children, traveling and organizing the house. She passes on the same words of encouragement that has and continues to help her throughout her career and life, “take it one day at a time”.

For more information about St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, please call (631) 870-3444.


Smithtown HSE Student Patrick Teese Off To China On State Department Scholarship

From Local Track to Global Trek for St. James Teen

Patrick Teese Off to China on State Department Scholarship

By Maureen Rossi

Patrick TeeseA normal summer for Patrick Teese might include a job, some projects for school and hanging out with friends.  It would be also be punctuated with trips to Short and Long Beach in his town of Smithtown and an occasional movie.  A few years back the seventeen year old volunteered at a track camp and said that was a lot of fun.

“My Aunt lives in Atlantic Beach on the South Shore one block from the beach so my cousins and I go there as well,” he shared.

This summer, however, there will be no sand in between the toes of the soon to be Smithtown East Senior; he will not be munching popcorn while catching a blockbuster hit.

Teese left for a six-week trip to China on Tuesday morning to study the language and the culture.

A recipient of a merit-based scholarship for American students to study language through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), he will be staying with a host family in Jiaxing, China.

NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  The program was launched eight years back to increase Americans’ capacity to engage with native speakers of languages deemed critical to foreign relations.  This scholarship goes to fewer than six-hundred students throughout the U.S.

The scholarship covers the cost of domestic and international travel, tuition and related academic expenses, daily language classes and supporting cultural activities, room and board and secondary health benefits.   The program also includes trips to help American students learn Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish.

  It was a dream of Teese to study abroad and he contemplated it for some time.

“I found the information on the trip online.  The State Department pays for it — it was free — so I brought it up to my mom and started applying,” he explained.   Teese said he was thrilled when he learned he was awarded the scholarship. 

Patrick C. Teese, in his tuxedo, ready for the Senior Prom.The St. James teen spent his last night prior to a two-day orientation outside of Washington, DC with his parents and relatives at a family wedding.

“My cousin Nick has dated Jessica for a very long time and I wanted go up to the wedding in Cobleskill before I left,” he added.    Right after the wedding, he flew out of Albany to Virginia for his orientation.

  Teese said the orientation would cover safety, rules and procedures before he and other teens from around the country flew to Shanghai.  When asked if he would be joined by fellow Long Islander’s the teen said it wasn’t probable.

“There is someone from Queens going to same city a me – there are other people on Long Island who received this scholarship but there are a bunch of departure dates to different countries so we won’t meet half the kids,” he continued. 

He did say there was a Facebook page for the applicants and the alumni so the scholarship winners could ask question and share concerns.

“Through the alumni page I learned it’s supposed to be very hot and the consensus was that it was going to be a life-changing experience and that I should enjoy every minute of it,” he shared.

A language aficionado, Teese had German 4, French3 and Italian 1 as part of his junior year schedule at Smithtown High School East.  He’s also in AP English and a Student Aide to his German teacher, Frau Specht.  In addition, he is a member of the National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, the German Honor Society, English Honor Society and Athletes Helping Athletes. 

His passion and interest don’t lie in academics alone.  Patrick is a Varsity athlete who partakes in the Cross Country, Winter Track and Spring Track seasons.

The 2014 Eddy Meet Champions: The Smithtown HS East 4x800 Meter Relay squad won the trophy and set a new school record of 8:05.16.  Pictured ()l-r) are Coach Kathie Borbet, Matt Whalen, Patrick Teese, Eric Herrmann, Eric Melcer, and Coach Kurt Margraf.“I absolutely love running but I’m not sure when I started running, probably in middle school when I started Cross Country in seventh grade,” he remembered.

The youngest of four siblings, all tremendous athletes, particularly when it came to volleyball, he laughed at his own feeble attempt at the game.

“I tried out for Volleyball in seventh grade but I hit the coach with the volleyball,” he shared.   “I also remember going to my brothers’ soccer games.  I was in the field and it was pretty cold and someone kicked the ball and hit me right in the face,” he shared.  Teese said he was only five or six but that might have taken away any continued interest in that sport.  

  Maybe soccer or volleyball weren’t on the radar for Teese but once he started running, it was apparent to most around him he was quite good at track. As the years went by he began to excel in the sport.  As ninth-grader, he was third in Suffolk County in the Freshman Cross Country championship.  As a sophomore, he was All-League in the Indoor 800 Meter Run.

This year, he was a key part of the Smithtown East Boys 4 x 800 Meter Relay squad that garnered the championship trophy, and a new record time for East, at the prestigious Eddy Meet in Schenectady.  He said that the event was particularly exciting. 

“We were seeded for second place and came in first and also landed a record for the school,” he explained.

  In addition to praising his athletic ability, his track coach, Kathie Borbet, praised everything about him.

“He is one in a million.  He is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met, he cares about every kid on the team, cleans up the garbage on track and on top of that he’s a really good runner,” she said.

She shared that she admires his dedication to the sport and the team and that he’s always helping and doing and she finds that amazing.

“He always helps me carry stuff to my car and at the end of the season he replaced my ratty red chair with a chair he had made for me with my name on it,” she added.

She said it was the best gift she ever received, that it was so very sweet of Patrick.

“He’s so smart, the kid has everything going for him,” said Borbet.   A school Nurse and the coach of the Cross Country, Winter and Spring Track Teams, she was the first to hear about his scholarship.

“I said ‘What did your parents say?’  He said ‘you’re the first to find out!’”  

  Peter Schieck was Teese’s German teacher in seventh grade when Patrick started his language studies. Schieck, the Smithtown West Boys Track coach, shared all of Coach Borbet’s sentiments about the young athlete.

“He’s a great kid, he’s very mature; this is a young man you want to see represent America,” said Schieck.   He added that everyone in the district is very proud of him.

In 2013, Patrick was honored by the American Association of German Teachers, Long Island Chapter, for his excellence on the National German exam.  Pictured are his German teacher, Frau Samantha Specht, Patrick, and Smithtown HS East principal Ed Thompson.   In a pre-departure interview Teese said he was enormously excited and feeling very adventurous, he said he had no trepidations about the six-week journey to a foreign land.

“I’m definitely looking forward to creating memories and I’m excited about meeting my host family and optimistically keeping a relationship them,” he shared.   Teese said the family has a fourteen-year old son.  He’s not sure if they all speak English, but said the son will probably have knowledge of it since many Chinese schools teach English.   

Teese (SHE Class of 2015) is not sure about what career he will pursue but said it will probably include something  to do with International Relations.   As to college choices, he hasn’t made any decisions yet.  He did share that he will most likely stay on the East Coast.

Patrick Teese will be blogging from China (in English not Mandarin) and we hope to share some of his adventures with our readers throughout the summer.   



Fort Salonga Resident Takes On Role As Major Gift Manager For PPHP

Jenifer Van Deinse Joins Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic as the Major Gifts Manager

Jenifer Van DeinseJenifer Van Deinse, a Fort Salonga resident with more than 20 years of development and media relations experience in the thoroughbred horse racing industry, has joined Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) as the Major Gifts Manager.

Van Deinse’s office is located at the PPHP Smithtown regional headquarters.  She will work with major gift donors in PPHP’s four counties of Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam and coordinate Suffolk-based events.

“We’re delighted that Jenifer has chosen to direct her seasoned fundraising skills into raising funds for PPHP’s mission,” said President/CEO Reina Schiffrin. “Her passion for those we serve and her ability to organize and engage community members are so important as the demand for our health care services and education programs is increasing.”

Van Deinse spent the last 13 years as Assistant Director of Development for The Jockey Club’s two charitable organizations, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation. In that role, she planned and executed all charity events, talent recruitment, donor campaigns, and meetings for The Jockey Club and its affiliate organizations. She was also the liaison to major gift donors.

She previously served as the media relations and publicity specialist for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Marketing/Publicity Chairperson for the American Miniature Horse Association. She received a BA in English from Fordham University.

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Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc. (PPHP) is the 20th largest affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and operates 11 health centers in Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties.  In 2012, PPHP provided services to more than 33,000 patients in more than 66,000 visits.  We conducted more than 1,700 education and training programs, reaching almost 29,000 youth and adults, and mobilized 17,000 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPHP has served the community for 80 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health.  PPHP is headquartered in Hawthorne, NY. For more information about PPHP services and programs, visit www.pphp.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.