Greentree Continues Its Good Neighbor Generosity

John Morse, Dr. Vincent Butera, Linda Clarke, Tom O’Malley, Nicholas Gabriel and Dr. Dean Schlanger

Greentree is the home of the Whitney estate, located in the hamlet of Manhasset. The estate is vast, covering 400 acres, with access from Community Drive. The estate was originally purchased by Payne Whitney for his bride, Helen Julia May, in 1904. The estate was later the home of their son, John Hay Whitney and his second wife, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, who remained until her death in 1998. The Whitneys have always been good neighbors, deeding land to the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department, Nassau County Police Department, North Shore Hospital and the Unitarian Univeralist Society now known as UUCSR. In 1982, she created the Greentree Foundation which now runs the estate and is dedicated to human rights issues.

The Greentree Foundation continues its generosity today to the community with its Good Neighbor grants which impact programs from Great Neck to Bethpage and Freeport.
“What this place is about, and what the legacy of John and Betsey Whitney is,” said Greentree Foundation President Nicholas Gabriel, “was to leave this place to do something good into the future, and that’s what we do today.”

“Greentree makes a $185,000 annual contribution to the Manhasset Community Fund,” said Tom O’Malley, Manhasset Community Fund trustee and grant administrator for the foundation. “These Greentree-donated funds are kept separate from the traditional money the Community Fund raises from its appeal to the community.”

The Greentree Foundation has given $2.7 million in Good Neighbor Grants since 2003. This year, 23 programs received grants totaling $186,600 to continue their work in the communities they serve. Those programs include:

• Adventures In Learning received $10,000 and will expand their afterschool STEM/STEAM education for at-risk children.

• Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services received $8,500 to provide coordination of care services.

• Child Abuse Prevention Services received $5,000 to expand the anti-bullying program to pre-K through first grade.

• COPAY received $10,000 to provide drug prevention, treatment and education services.
• Family & Children’s Association received $8,000 to provide services to elder abuse victims.

• Health And Welfare Council Of Long Island received $8,000 to provide assistance and referral services to low income households.

• Island Harvest received $10,000 to expand food collection and distribution throughout North Hempstead.

• Literacy Nassau received $8,000 to provide “navigator workshops” for new English speakers.

• Littig House Community Center received $10,000 to expand intergenerational programming.

• Long Island Cares received $7,500 to support the mobile food outreach and referral program.

• Long Island Council On Alcoholism & Drug Dependency received $9,000 to provide drug and alcohol prevention education.

• Long Island Jewish Medical Center received $10,000 for alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention services and training in Great Neck, Westbury and Carle Place schools.

• Manhasset CASA received $10,000 to expand the student mentor drug and alcohol prevention program.

• Manhasset/Great Neck EOC received $10,000 to include STEM education in the 2018 summer program.

• Manhasset High School Model UN received $6,600 to support the Model UN at Manhasset High School.

• NAMI received $5,000 to provide mental health presentations to middle and high schools.

• North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center received $7,500 to support “Good Beginnings for Babies”.

• Port Washington Parent Resources Center received $5,000 to expand the preschool to twice weekly.

• Port Washington Senior Citizens Center received $10,000 to replace the flooring of the senior center.

• Science Museum Of Long Island received $10,000 to improve technology for science education.

• Shelter Rock Church received $6,000 to purchase equipment for their food pantry.

• St. Brigid’s Church received $5,000 to support the Casa Mary Johanna afterschool program.

• The Safe Center Long Island received $7,500 to provide domestic violence and sexual assault outreach and services.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.


  1. My father and I used to ride horses at Lakevile Stable located on the service rode between Community Drive and Lakevile road. We used to cross Community Drive and wander for hours on horseback on Whitney Estates. Through big open fields as well as wooded areas. We used to pick the largest and greenest apples from one of the orchards. I recall that there was also a radio station in the middle of one of the fields. Nearly 55 years later,I have come to realize that these are the best memories of my life. I now live in Milwaukee and continue in the Equestrian Sports.

  2. You would be shocked to know that the real owners of the Greentree Estate are John Hay Whitney’s Biological Twin Daughters. They were born in 1963 and in John Hay Whitney’s final will dated 1977 (His third and final) He began by saying….If I live beyond December 31, 1981…..This was not an arbitrary date, this was based on his final wishes to leave his Residuary Estate to the two daughters of his issue when they reached the Age of Majority. It was almost eerie that he was able to hang on to life after a long illness to ensure his only Biological Children would be the rightful owners of the Whitney Family Estate. The children were kept hidden and uninformed of their inheritance. There is not one property Jock owned that is in the hands of it’s rightful owners!!! Shame on society

  3. I grew up on .Shelter Rock .Road before the long Island Expressway was built..i had sn office in .Great Neck practicing accounting. . During the winter of 1973 /1974, i signed a contract to purchase a parcel of land from the James Family that lived adjacent to the Estate. We made application to the town and one winter saturday morning were called to the Hospital to meet with the board. They were assembled on an icy winter morning. We were told Mr Whitney found fault eith the board for not having the vision to purchase the parcel for future expansion. We were convinced to turn over our contract in exchange for a credit for contribution to the hospital. We did and had our namd on the first EEG room for testing. I returned this week to have my son tested in the new eeg center which is now 8 rooms for testing for epildpsy and strokes. I was very proud snd pleased to see what had happened with the hospital and how much it has grown since that winter day in the early 1970’s.

    • I do not live near the hospital and had to dtay in a small hospital in Great Neck. I believe the hospital needs an upscale hotel near the hospital on Community Drive. It would be wonderful if the foundation could make some land available for a Belaire Hotel similar to near UCLA Medical Center. The Belaire is one of the finest hotel in the USA. It has swans swimmming by the entrance and suites for permanent residents and regular suites for guests like staying for the hospital. Iwould be glad to help and would bring in Don Monte to assist in this endeavor.


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