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 People in the News


Smithtown's Kathy Albrecht Called "The Saving Grace For Humanity"

Smithtown Heroine Receives Honor from Smithtown Children’s Foundation

By Nancy Vallarella

Kathleen Albrecht is a seasoned Smithtown resident. Known to many locals as a wife, mother, grandmother, columnist, former Smithtown business owner, community volunteer, current Chef of Staff for New York State Assemblyman, Michael Fitzpatrick and most recently, a life saver.

Five months ago, Kathleen Albrecht became a living donor and helped to save the life of another Town of Smithtown resident, Rachael Eisenson.  

Christine Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation presented Kathleen with the SCF’s 2016 Kaylee Rivers Courage Award during the reception following The Friends Fore Smithtown Community Golf Outing at the Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack on October 11th.  It is the foundation’s most prestigious award, given in memory of the girl who inspired them to start the foundation and help the Smithtown community in so many ways. 

 Although the Eisenson family could not be present, a statement was read on their behalf by Fitzgerald. The following excerpt expresses the family’s sentiment of gratitude. “Obviously, Kathleen Albrecht’s generous altruism in selflessly coming forward is worthy of the highest praise imaginable. Our entire family is in her debt, not only for saving our daughter’s life but in a world that seems to be ripped apart by negativism and discord, Kathleen and people like her are truly the saving grace for humanity.” - The Eisenson Family.

Deemed Kathleen “All In” Albrecht by the Eisensons, Kathy continues the mission by raising awareness in becoming a Living Donor. She graciously accepted her SCF Courage Award and encouraged attendees to review the New York State Donate Life Program and to go to the MyDMV page to enroll in the donor program. 


Smithtown's Eva And Werner Reich Share Their Holocaust Story On PBS

Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center Premieres Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 8 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN


Holocaust Survivor Werner Reich, of Smithtown, NY, during filming of PBS’ Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center.

Werner ReichGlen Cove, NY…  The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) will be the subject of an upcoming episode of the PBS documentary series Treasures of New York. The 30-minute show, Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center will premiere on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at 8 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN. After October 20 it will stream online at watch.wliw.orgTreasures of New York will show how HMTC offers a unique and vital voice on the history of the Holocaust by capturing vivid first-hand accounts and testimonials from Long Island and Queens’ Holocaust Survivors. 

Holocaust Survivors from Long Island who shared their story include Eva and Werner Reich, of Smithtown, NY, who have been married for more than 60 years. Eva was saved by Sir Nicholas Winton and Werner survived  Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Mauthausen concentration camps. Gloria Glanz, of Port Washington, NY, was hidden by a Polish peasant woman during the war but lost her entire immediate family. Alex Rosner from nearby Long Island City, NY, was the youngest person saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler. 

Steven Markowitz, Chairman of HMTC said, “We are honored to be included among the prestigious institutions featured on PBS’ Treasures of New York documentary series.  The Holocaust resonates to this day and sharing the history and lessons of this period with students and adults is critical in this time of rising antisemitism and other forms of intolerance, as well as bullying within our schools and communities.  We hope the airing of this documentary will attract new audiences to the unique programming being offered at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center.”

For more than 20 years, HMTC has been fulfilling its mission to teach the history of the Holocaust and its lessons through education and community outreach. For more information, call (516) 571-8040, visit www.hmtcli.org or find us on social media at Facebook.com/HMTCNY and Twitter.com/HolocaustTolCtr. 



Smithtown Resident Janet M. Gruber Promoted To Professor At Farmingdale College

Smithtown Resident Promoted to Professor at Farmingdale State College 

Janet M. GruberJanet M. Gruber, a Smithtown resident, has been promoted to full professor in the dental hygiene department at Farmingdale State College.

Gruber joined the dental hygiene faculty in 1985 as adjunct professor.  In 2001 she was promoted to assistant professor and then associate professor in 2008.  

Her educational background includes an MPA in Healthcare Administration from LIU/Post, a BS in Health Education from SUNY Cortland, and an associate degree in Dental Hygiene from Farmingdale.

Gruber has received numerous awards during her tenure at Farmingdale, including the college’s Commendation and Recognition for Exceptional Service Award; Club Advisor of the Year; and the Together We Can Make a Difference Award.  

She is most recognized for authoring a chapter on radiology in the widely used international textbook, Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, by Esther Wilkins.  She has been a contributor since 2009 and has appeared in its last three editions – the most recent published in spring 2016.  She has received recognition for articles published in professional journals, and was a Proctor & Gamble Honoree at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.

Her professional memberships include the Long Island Dental Hygienists’ Association, American Dental Education Association, New York State Dental Hygiene Educators Association and American Academy of Dental Hygiene.



Diane Celano-Carnahan Wins Award For Work With People With Special Needs

Justice Center Announces Winners 
of 2016 Code of Conduct Recognition Award

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) announced the winners of the first annual Code of Conduct Recognition Award for 2016.  This award honors staff who embody the ethical standards outlined in the Code of Conduct for Custodians of People with Special Needs. The Code must be signed annually by employees who assist people with special needs, and provides them with a framework to help people “live self-directed meaningful lives in their communities, free from abuse and neglect, and protected from harm.”

“The vast majority of people who have devoted their careers to providing services to vulnerable New Yorkers are hard-working, dedicated individuals who put the needs of the people they serve first,” said William T. Gettman, Chair of the Justice Center Advisory Council. “These awards provide an important opportunity for people who receive services, their families, provider agency personnel and the public to recognize and celebrate the exemplary work of staff whose actions demonstrate a commitment to the core values articulated in the Code of Conduct.”

Family members, personal representatives, and provider agencies submitted the names of 60 candidates to the Justice Center and 17 individuals were selected for recognition. Of those nominees, the Justice Center’s Advisory Council selected four individuals to receive the 2016 Code of Conduct award at an award ceremony to be held on September 29, 2016. The winners work in programs overseen by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH):


  • Diane Celano-Carnahan - Supervisor, Options for Community Living, Inc. (OMH) Smithtown, NY – Ms. Celano-Carnahan has a long history of working in the field – with 30 years at Options. Ms. Celano-Carnahan was noted for her exceptional commitment to the people she serves – including organizing and planning a wedding for two residents receiving services at an agency site. She was also cited for her diligence in maintaining culturally diverse programs.

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.