Nina And Kurt Kiess To Be Honored

Nina and Kurt Kiess

Longtime Manhasset residents, Kurt and Nina Kiess, will be honored at Adventures in Learning’s 50th Anniversary Wine Tasting Soirée to be held at the Village Club of Sands Point on Friday, March 2, with cocktails at 7:30 p.m.

Raised in Manhasset, they first met at age seven at Shelter Rock Elementary School and remained friends throughout high school. Nina attended Connecticut College and Kurt attended Lynchburg and Adelphi. After graduating, they reconnected in the Hamptons on a July 4 vacation with friends. Cupid illuminated their destiny during the fireworks. Married in 1990, they decided to settle in Manhasset to raise a family—Nicole, Ryan and Kimberly.

In high school, community service was an integral part of their lives. Carrying the tradition forward, they have given much to the Manhasset community and the impact is dramatic.
Kurt joined the Adventures in Learning Board 11 years ago, serving as vice president and then president. Quickly recruiting friends to the board, with his good friend, Keith Zenobio, he spent many hours repairing the EOC’s roof and making other improvements. The annual Wine Tasting Soiree began during his tenure. He also served on the Manhasset Lutheran Church’s Board and as its president. Kurt has set national records raising monies for Swim Across America, cancer research and the Colon Cancer Alliance. He is also an avid sports coach.

It should be noted that the Adventures’ Board meetings were legendary for his quick leadership pace moving through and discussing various topics. Never wavering from his goal to help Manhasset’s children in need, he oriented the board to resolve the many difficult issues facing Adventures.

Kurt always says, “Adventures is a great organization. Just tell people that we teach the kids to read. Everyone wants that.”

Nina was active at Shelter Rock School with the SCA, the Book Fair, the Sixth Grade Yearbook, as a Class Parent and with social events including the High School Senior Frolic. She was also on the Tower Foundation’s Dinner Dance Committee and published its Alumni Newsletter. An organizer of her Manhasset and college alumni reunions, she is also a Manhasset Breast Cancer Coalition volunteer. Despite her busy schedule, she provides daily assistance to her elderly mother and aunt.

Diana Holden, executive director of Adventures in Learning, noted that “we will be honoring Kurt and Nina Kiess not only for their service to Adventures but for their work to better the Manhasset community. Along with their children, they truly have orange and blue in their blood. The Kiesses symbolize the best of Manhasset.”

Adventures in Learning Soiree tickets are $175 per person and $100 for young adults ages 21 to 30. Kash for Kids raffle tickets are $100 each with three prizes of $3,000, $1,500 and $500.

The Digital Journal Page will be on display during the event. Ad prices are $500 for a full page, $250 for a half page and $100 for a quarter page. Donors will receive a CD copy of the journal.

For reservations and further information, contact Diana Holden, executive director, at or the website at
Founded nearly 50 years ago by the Congregational Church in Manhasset, Adventures in Learning is a nonprofit after-school program dedicated to improving the lives of children in Manhasset and Great Neck.

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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.


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