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 People in the News


Hauppauge Graduate Swims The English Channel

Richard Wilde swimming the English Channel September 12, 2016Hauppauge HS graduate Richard Wilde class of 1990 swims. Richard has been swimming since he was seven years old when he was a member of the Hauppauge Sea Eagles. During his years of swimming Richard developed the goal of swimming the English Channel (21 miles  depending on the swimming pattern may be as much as 26 miles). 

Fast forward to September 12, 2016 the date that Richard Wilde completed his goal and swam the English Channel from England to France in twelve hours and twenty two minutes.

After completing this remarkable feat he said he was very cold for many hours in the beginning of this endeavor dealing with strong winds and rough seas.  He very much appreciated all the support he had from his wife, son, family, friends and most all of Hauppauge.

How important was the support of the Hauppauge community? Wilde said he couldn’t have done it without the continued encouragement from them.  During his stay in England preparing for his swim he received numerous emails and texts from the people in Hauppauge which helped him to stay strong and accomplish his dream.

Hauppauge’s Richard Wilde had a dream come true because of his tireless commitment and a little help from the people of Hauppauge.

Richard Wilde is a Lieutenant in the NYC Fire Department and currently lives in Brooklyn.



Garrett VanderBrink IV of Smithtown Becomes an Eagle Scout

L-R Legislator Rob Trotta. Garrett VanderBrink IV, Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick
(Smithtown, NY)…Garrett H. VanderBrink IV, a member of Boy Scout Troop 656, celebrated his earning of the Eagle Scout award at a ceremony at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church on August 14. Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta presented Garrett with a proclamation recognizing his accomplishment.

Garrett’s Eagle Scout project was to build a storage facility for his church, Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Fort Salonga, New York. He designed the plans for the construction of the shed, as well as overseeing the building of the facility. 

“Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout will stay with Garrett for the rest of his life, and the skills and leadership qualities he attained through scouting will guide him in his future endeavors,” said Legislator Rob Trotta.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (left) and New York State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (right) congratulate Eagle Scout Garrett H. VanderBrink IV on this significant achievement.


Smithtown's Victoria Snak Named All-American Scholar By WGCA

NCAA Women’s Golf: Four Hofstra Student-Athletes Named WGCA All-American Scholars

Hempstead, NY - Four members of the Hofstra University Women’s Golf team - Victoria SnakJai GhumanAndrea Neilson and Amanda Bigger - have been named All-American Scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. The four are part of 830 women’s golfers from around the country who earned the distinction, which requires a minimum 3.50 cumulative grade point average.

Victoria Snak (photo courtesy Hofstra Pride)Snak, a junior majoring in international business, is making her third appearance on the WGCA All-America Scholar Team. The Smithtown, New York, native has been a multiple-time Provost’s List selection at Hofstra and owns a 3.97 overall GPA.

Ghuman, a Chandigarh, India, native, is now a two-time WGCA All-American Scholar after earning the honor in 2014-15 as well. A junior majoring in psychology with a minor in journalism, Ghuman has a 3.55 overall GPA.

Neilson, a junior from Oakley, California, is a three-time WGCA All-American Scholar. She possesses a 3.50 grade point average as a marketing major. 

Bigger, a sophomore, earned her second consecutive WGCA All-America Scholar Team selection in 2015-16. An Alexandria, Minnesota, native, Bigger owns a 3.76 grade point average while majoring in engineering science with a minor in mathematics.

In addition to the minimum grade point average requirement, WGCA All-American Scholars must play in at least 50 percent of their teams scheduled competitive rounds. 



Smithtown Resident Kathy Albrecht Receives NYS Gift Of Life Medal Of Honor

Fitzpatrick, Assembly Republican Conference Award Albrecht With NYS Gift of Life Medal of Honor

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and Assemblymen Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) and Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) present Kathy Albrecht with the New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor in the State Capitol on June 14. 

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) and the Assembly Republican Conference presented Kathy Albrecht with the New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor in the State Capitol on June 14. Albrecht donated a kidney to save the life of a 28 year old woman with a rare disorder.

“Kathy Albrecht’s selfless act in donating her kidney to save the life of another human being is inspiring and should encourage us all to consider how precious every life is,” said Fitzpatrick. “Kathy has always been a great advocate for increasing organ donations and saving lives as a blood donor and registered bone marrow donor.” 

Albrecht was awarded the New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor, an award established by former Gov. Pataki’s tenure. The medal was created to recognize those who give life-saving organ donations and to encourage others to consider becoming donors.


Left to right: Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua), Kathy Albrecht, Assemblymen Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) and Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning)

Earlier this year, Albrecht donated her kidney to Rachel Eisensen who suffered from familial dysautonomia. More information about organ donation and the New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor can be found at: www.alliancefordonation.org.


St. James Veteran Edward Springer Inducted Into NYS Senate Hall Of Fame

Senator Flanagan Honors St. James Veteran

Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently had the privilege of presenting Mr. Edward Springer as his 2016 honoree for induction into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.  Mr. Springer joined Senator Flanagan for a special ceremony in Albany during which he was honored for his service to his country during the Vietnam War and for his community efforts since his honorable discharge.

Mr. Springer, of St. James, has spent the majority of his life dedicating himself to his community, his county and his country.  In 1972, he joined the United States Army to serve in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War.  After serving his nation, he was honorably discharged in 1975 with the rank of Sergeant.

Returning home in 1975, he rejoined the St. James Fire Department, where he began his service in 1971 at age 18, ultimately leading to his becoming Chief in 1988 and serving as the President of the fire department. Since joining the St. James Fire Department, he has continually served his fellow residents in numerous ways for over 45 years including over 25 years as an Emergency Technician.

In addition to his volunteer efforts, Mr. Springer has also spent 40 years dedicating himself to Suffolk County residents.  He began his career as a Northport VA hospital firefighter in 1976 and was named Chief in 1984.

In 1988, he switched over to the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services as a Fire Marshal.  His efforts, which include running the only Suffolk County Arson Detection K9 program, led to his being named the Chief County Fire Marshal in 2011.  He held that position until he retired in January 2016.

Though retired, Mr. Springer continues to serve his community as the Commissioner of the St. James Fire District.  He also serves his fellow veterans by serving as the Commander of the American Legion Post 1152 in St. James.

Mr. Springer and his wife, Therese, are the parents of current St.James Fire Department Chief Edward Springer, Jr. and his wife Christine; and daughter Christine Amato and husband Anthony Amato.  They are also the proud grandparents of six.

 “It is my privilege to recognize Mr. Springer for his efforts in our community as well as his service to our nation.  He is truly a man who has embraced community service and his efforts have left an indelible mark.  He is most assuredly deserving of this honor and it is my hope that this will in some small way reflect how appreciative we are of all of his efforts on our behalf,” stated Senator Flanagan.