By Bob Draffin
As we once again change calendars, I would like to look back at 2019 and recap last year’s activities of the Bayport Civic Association. We started off the year by holding our Eleventh Annual Installation Dinner at the Grey Horse Tavern, where our Executive Board was sworn-in by Councilman Neil Foley in front of two rooms packed with members enjoying the hospitality offered by the Grey Horse. One of the highlights of the evening was the awarding of our 2019 Civic Pride Award to Ronnie Devine for all his outstanding contributions to our community.
At our February meeting we had Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino as our guest where he told us about the new State budget. With March and thoughts of Spring up next, our attention turned to our 17th annual St. Patty’s Day Parade entry, along with a trailer full of enthusiastic Junior Civic members. As in past years, the Chamber outdid themselves in running the Parade which featured our very own Lenore Ringer-Prezioso as Grand Marshal. March continued with Legislator Bill Lindsay headlining our March meeting.
The April meeting of the Bayport Civic, as in past years, was focused upon the upcoming school budget vote. Schools Superintendent Dr. Hearney made a budget presentation and answered the many questions that were asked. Also Board of Ed candidates were in attendance and each was given a chance to address the large turnout at the Bayport Methodist Church that night. April also saw the beginning of the Civic's long-term goal of having a Hamlet Study done for Bayport. Nearly 200 people turned out at the Bayport Fire House for the first public forum.
May’s meeting included the Islip Town Planning Commissioner Ron Meyer as our keynote speaker and to answer questions about the Hamlet Study. During May, we also hoisted new flags at Bayport Civic Plaza which had been dedicated six years earlier.
In June we awarded our 15th annual BCA Scholarship of $1,000 to Junior Civic member and Eagle Scout Thomas Woods who best exemplified excellence in the performance of his civic duties. Our June meeting featured Islip Town Councilwoman Kate Mullen who gave us an update on town projects in and around Bayport.
In keeping with tradition, the July meeting of the Bayport Civic was held at the Bayport Aerodrome Museum Hangar. This year we had Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter as our special guest speaker. The BCA has long partnered up with the Aerodrome Society in doing all we can to maintain and preserve our Crown Jewel. Continuing with the Aerodrome theme, September marks the month of the Aerodrome Society’s annual neighborhood picnic. As in past years, all the BCA members were invited for a day of fun amongst the smells of the barbecues and the sounds of the antique planes overhead.
September marked the beginning of our seventeenth year, and we had our new Senator Monica Martinez on hand for the event. The Senator told us of the new challenges and victories that came with her newfound office.
As Fall arrived, the Civic planned to host its annual “Meet the Candidates Night”. In October we featured the candidates for the Town Supervisor, Town Council, Town Clerk, Town Tax Receiver and County Legislative races. The evening was highlighted by a lively question and answer session between those present and the candidates on a variety of issues important to our membership with 11 of the 12 invited candidates in attendance.
November's meeting included BBP Chamber of Commerce President Carol Seitz-Cusack, who filled us in on all of the Chamber’s good works throughout the year. As the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays approached, the BCA geared up for their 16th annual Turkey Giveaway and Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays charity. We again partnered with the Bob Venero of Future Tech and were able to get turkeys out to those in need, totaling over eight tons distributed since we first began. We were also able to provide for a nice Christmas bounty for a few local families that otherwise would not have had one.
And so concludes another year of the Bayport Civic Association living up to our motto: Get Involved! On behalf of all the members of the Bayport Civic Association, I would like to wish everyone in our great Community a happy, safe and prosperous 2020.