Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi, Editorial@antonnews.com Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
Valentine’s Day was chosen as the perfect time to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay. In the absence of an executive director, since October when Gail Speranza left, Mary Frignani, program coordinator and Nancy Farinaccio program assistant, and all the staff members, have been sharing those responsibilities.
LEC member Belle Santora said, “They have been doing a wonderful job of running the center.”
Nancy Farinaccio said the day started with a concert by the Oyster Bay High School students. They also brought a great many raffle items they gathered from the community as a fundraiser for the center.
Farinaccio said the staff decided to focus on Valentine’s Day for the event. “The senior center [then known as the Doubleday Babcock Center in acknowledgement of the fund that supported the project] opened on Feb. 10, 1977. It was an outreach of Christ Church and was to be a one-day a week program but kept on evolving until now it is a five-day a week program that runs from Monday to Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.”
LECOB board president John Sant’Angelo recently said, “The biggest misconception the public has is that the center is somehow government funded by the Town of Oyster Bay, or is paid for by our taxes and so say, ‘Why should I be paying for it?’
“That is not at all the truth. The LECOB is a private institution in the hamlet. Just a portion, about one third of the funding, comes from Nassau County. The other portion is raised through fundraising in the community, from individuals and other sources.” [The town has cut back on its funding of the center and now provides $13,000 a year.]
For instance, he said, “There is a new bus for the DayBreak program. It was privately funded. Robert Garland donated the money after he passed away, to get/buy the bus.”
Understanding that need for funds, made it especially endearing that the OBHS students went throughout the community gathering raffle donations. The items seemed to come from every local restaurant and beauty salon. The names included: La Pizzetta, CVS, La Posh, Rite Aid, Serata (which gave two $50 gift certificates); Angelina’s, Joyce Nails, Elegant Hair Salon, Aurora hair salon, La Bonne Boulangerie, Saggio’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and 4-U Nails, when this reporter stopped writing. The list was still being announced as they called out more raffle numbers.
Linda Libertini won the 4-U Nails gift certificate and was delighted since she goes there. Libertini ran the Mar-Lyn beauty salon in Oyster Bay, with her sister Domenica.