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Get Thee To A Winery - Book Signing At Whisper Vineyards

BOOK SIGNING AT WHISPER VINEYARDS - SAT., DEC. 27 - Jeb Ladouceur to introduce Balkans-based novel at L.I.’s newest winery ( Photos by Debbie Lange Fifer)


In what promises to be the literary event of the holiday season, Jeb Ladouceur Smithtown novelist Jeb Ladouceur will conduct a book-signing at Smithtown’s handsome Whisper Vineyard on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 27. The free event is slated for 2:00 PM at the lovely, new, Edgewood Avenue location just west of Route 25-A.

Ladouceur will present his ninth and newest novel, “Harvest,” to the Whisper audience. His prepared remarks last 20 minutes, after which he will answer questions and chat with attendees.

An award-winning writer, Jeb Ladouceur is Smithtown’s favorite novelist, and his theater and book reviews appear in several major L.I. publications. “Harvest” involves an American doctor who is seized by a gang of sinister organ traffickers in The Balkans and ordered to perform illegal surgeries.

Jeb Ladouceur is recognized throughout Long Island for his career in advertising, public relations, and publishing. When one of the Whisper event planners inquired whether there is a particular venue where he’s dreamed of speaking but has not yet been invited, Ladouceur answered, “Yes!…and this is it! Ever since Barbara Perrotta, and Laura and Steve Gallagher opened their gorgeous facility on Edgewood Avenue, I’ve been hoping they’d ask me to speak at the popular Wine Boutique.”

The long-time Borella’s produce patron added, “The beautiful venue is literally around the corner from our home on Stony Hill Path, and I’m thrilled to be visiting as an author.”         


Elaine Renner Receives 12th LD Community Activist Of The Year Award

December 16, 2014:  Yesterday, at both the final Suffolk County Legislative General Session of 2014 and Legislator John M. Kennedy Jr.’s legislative career, Legislator John M. Kennedy, Jr. (12th LD, Nesconset) honored long-time resident, activist and volunteer to the community, Elaine Renner with the 12th Legislative District Community Activist of the Year Award.

Elaine has been a long term member of the Radiology Department at Saint Catherine’s of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown and has dedicated herself to the community as an “unofficial” representative to them, keeping the residents well informed on local issues of importance and selflessly aiding her fellow residents whenever they ask. 

“Elaine is an integral part of the local community, and as the Legislator for the 12th Legislative District, she has been not just a wonderful asset who is always willing to help, but is a close friend who can be counted on in both good and bad times to help the Office and residents whenever called upon,” said Legislator Kennedy.

“It is my distinct privilege to be able to honor Elaine for all of the work she has done in the community as well as all the help she has given to my office, but this proclamation is especially significant because Elaine Renner is the recipient of my very last proclamation as Legislator for the 12th Legislative District,” Kennedy concluded.           


St. James Native Cara Hallahan Stepping Her Way To World Irish Step Dancing Competition

Stepping Up and Stepping Out

(click on photos to enlarge)

by Maureen Rossi

Cara Hallahan is a St. James native who will be stepping up to Canada – well she’ll actually be flying, but she will be stepping out onto the stage to compete in the World Irish Step dancing competition in Montreal, Canada this spring.

“I recently competed at the regionals and came in 14th qualifying me for the world,” said the vibrant twenty-two year old.

A recent graduate of Geneseo, Cara is presently employed as a substitute teacher at Terryville Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station. She is very happy there saying she adores the school and kids and would love to get a permanent position at the school.   

One of three children, she is the only one interested in Irish dance.  “My sister took it for one year but it didn’t capture her interest, she’s an artist and very musical,” says Cara.  The young dancer said the entire family is enormously proud of her work.  “My mom was sobbing tears of joy in the audience when I qualified for the World Competition,” she shared. 

The dancer says being in the competition is a life-long dream come true.  Dancing from the age of six, she says it is a dream come true for the whole family.    “Everyone was thrilled to pieces, they watched me work for it, training four days a week two hours a day and then practicing on my own,” she explained.

Irish Step-Dancing has long roots. It gained enormous popularity here in the states when the Riverdance team galvanized Americans from all backgrounds. There were sold out shows around the country and the world.

Irish step-dance is a style of dance with its roots in traditional Irish dance. It can be performed solo or by troupes. Two types of shoes are worn: hard shoes, which make sounds similar to tap shoes, and soft shoes, which are similar to ballet slippers. Dancers stiffen their upper bodies while performing quick, intricate footwork. Costumes are considered important for stage presence in competitive Irish step-dance. There are several levels of competition available for both individuals and groups.

An Irish step-dancing competition is called a Feis (but pronounced FESH).  There are old tales that date  Irish step-dancing  back to Pre-christian Ireland. 

Dancers are known for their intricate hair styles; however, because of the enormous time and cost of getting a girl’s hair done in customary fashion, most purchase the traditional style wigs.  The costumes are equally festive and costly. 

Irish-step dancing began to become popular in the states as Irish immigrants arrived. It is said the first classes were taught  in Philadelphia.  

Hallahan is over the moon excited about the World Competition, but is very committed to her rigorous training until April.   “ It’s all ability, doesn’t matter where you are from, just bring your best competition,” she added.   She said there are competitors from Africa, England, Scotland, Canada and of course Ireland.   “I’m going to do my best, be my best; really I’m just so honored to be in the Worlds,” she laughed.

Hallahan says this event is like the Olympics for her. Her whole family will be attending including her boyfriend and two best friends from college.   

All of Smithtown wishes Cara good luck or as they say in Ireland, Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat!




Kings Park Brownie Troop #2720 At St. Catherine's With Smiles And Homemade Blankets

Kings Park Brownie Troops Become Philanthropists

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Far Left, Director of Community Relations Heather Reynolds and Brownie Troop Leader Lisa Wolf. Far Right, Erin Bourguignon, RN and Brownie Troop Leader Jennifer Kehoe.Kings Park Brownie Troop #2720 showed up at St. Catherine of Siena Nursing and Rehabilitation Care Center with bright smiles, festive attire and two bags filled with handmade blankets ready to donate to residents. The Parkview Elementary School students made 17 gorgeous fleece blankets and they were all so thrilled to donate them to others. 

“Throughout the year, we have been teaching our girls about devoting time to philanthropy through service and learning,” said Brownie Troup Leader Jennifer Kehoe. “Making the blankets was a service project to help them better understand what philanthropy is all about.” Erin Bourguignon, RN, was onsite to meet the young philanthropists and commented, “The festive and warm blankets will be greatly welcomed by the residents this holiday season.”

After the brownie troops delivered their blankets they were off to sing Christmas carols for the residents at the nursing home. 

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



Smithtown's Christina Antico Receives Recognition For Commitment To Finding A Cure For Cancer

Mount club receives Collegiate Philanthropy Award

Members of the Mount Saint Mary College chapter of Colleges Against Cancer club recieved the Collegiate Philanthropy Award on Friday, November 1 (L-R) Christina Antico of Smithtown, N.Y.; Diana Pernicano of Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Anthony Cona of Farmingdale, N.Y.; and Laura Corveleyn of Union N.J.NEWBURGH, N.Y. – November 2014 – In recognition of their commitment to a cancer cure, the Mount Saint Mary College chapter of Colleges Against Cancer club received the Collegiate Philanthropy Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter, on Friday, November 14 – National Philanthropy Day.

Club members were presented the award at a ceremony at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

Officers of the Mount’s Colleges Against Cancer club are:

-          President: Christina Antico of Smithtown, N.Y., a math major

-          Vice president: Diana Pernicano of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., a nursing major

-          Treasurer: Anthony Cona of Farmingdale, N.Y., a media studies major

-          Secretary: Laura Corveleyn of Union N.J., a nursing major

-          Advisor: Caitlin Houlihan, assistant director of student activities at the Mount

Colleges Against Cancer recently collaborated with the Mount’s soccer teams to raise money for cancer research. During a men’s team game, CAC held a raffle, with the proceeds going towards ovarian cancer research. They followed suit with the college’s women’s soccer team a week later.