In a lot of ways, 2017 was a year of many high profile stories and extraordinary changes for the community. Manhasset was in the news for wonderful accomplishments and some sad departures.
Starting the year, several Manhasset residents began work in new roles in the government. At the White House level, Anthony Scaramucci was tagged to select President Donald Trump’s cabinet and staff—a task which is still under construction. He briefly became White House Press Secretary after the departure of Manhasset native Sean Spicer.
Elaine Phillips was sworn in as New York State Senator representing the Seventh district which includes Manhasset, Port Washington and 24 other villages. During the year, she has accomplished much for the district including obtaining funding for many programs and submitting legislation which was approved, and renamed part of Searingtown Road to Sergeant James J. Regan Memorial Boulevard on behalf of his service and ultimate sacrifice.
The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce installed a new board with co-presidents Stephanie Solomon, Chocolate Works, and T. J. Costello, Hierarchy Architects; Vice President Elizabeth Johnson, Anton Media Group; and Rafella Marciari, as treasurer and Secretary Katie Miller at a sold-out event at Plandome Country Club. Merchants who were in business for 25 years were recognized by the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Anna Kaplan.
New leadership was brought into several organizations including the head of Manhasset Public Schools. The Manhasset Board of Education was tasked with finding a new superintendent of schools when Charlie Cardillo announced his retirement in fall of 2016. Leadership of the school district was transferred to Dr. Vincent Butera who took over the helm in July, but not before a farewell Cheers For Charlie which brought out alumni, students and officials to give a fond farewell to a man who gave new meaning to the position Superintendent of Schools. Manhasset Coalition Against Substance Abuse had a new president in January when Jen DeSena took control and a new project director, Lesley Mazzotta in October, when longtime director Cathy Samuels left.
The Schools of St. Mary also saw the retirement of Grace Cavallo after seven years of leadership. In October, Joseph R. McCleary, PhD, took the reins as Sarah DeVenoge becoming principal of St. Mary’s Elementary with the full retirement of Dr. Celeste Checchia.
The year also saw the reopening of Publicans, which was made famous by J.R. Moehringer’s book, The Tender Bar. The pub reopened under the architectural design of T. J. Costello of Hierarchy Architects, who created a fabulous new look that drew groups to come and enjoy this hometown favorite.
In May, right after the SCA Fair, the nation watched as Always Dreaming, owned by Manhasset resident Anthony Bonomo, ridden by jockey John Valazquez, won the 143rd Kentucky Derby in 2:03:59.
The autumn brought a host of fall fairs including a new one created by the Tower Foundation, which quickly became a family favorite.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Clerk Wayne Wink ran for re-election and won easily as did all the town council members up for re-election, a sure sign of confidence in the local government leadership.
As we look back on 2017, there are many we have lost but so many wonderful things that have happened. Manhasset is not an area that sits on its laurels, so we look forward to the future and 2018. Happy New Year!