By Joey Macellaro ~ Ocean Beach students confronted adversity and excelled academically this past year. Nine Woodhull School sixth-graders graduated at a ceremony held June 21: Jaxson Adams, Dylan Gracin, Logan Nelson, Mary O’Brien, Madeline Orchin, Chloe Phillips, Emmett Reynolds, Kaitlin Reynolds, and Ariel Vizcarrondo. This year’s high school graduates from the Fire Island School District include Walter Coleman, a participant in the Islip Career Center’s Canine Careers program; William Kurka, who was accepted to SUNY Farmingdale as an economics major; and Alden Sahi, who plans to study finance and computer science at Roger Williams College.
Three Ocean Beach high school seniors are among those who recently moved up. Alex Riersen graduated from Saint Dominic High School in Oyster Bay and plans to study engineering at Purdue University in the fall. Nicholas Pernice was involved in the student union and yearbook committee before graduating from Islip High School on June 25, and he plans to attend Suffolk Community College. Thadeuss Taylor persevered through difficult circumstances to graduate from Brentwood High School; all of his younger cousins, and his uncle, grandfather, and aunt Christi Loeffler wish to express their pride in his accomplishment.
Christi worked with many friends in the community over the winter to raise funds for a memorial bench on Bay Walk near Evergreen in memory of her best friend, Beth Errico. The loss of Beth last September was a devastating loss for many of us in the community, and my columns this season are dedicated to her memory.
A very well attended memorial service was held at the Bay Shore Yacht Club on June 6 for former Ocean Beach EMS Captain Gretchen Stang, a year after she passed during the pandemic.
Ocean Beach friends celebrating birthdays recently include Pete Vitale, who was 60 on June 21, and Wally Elovitch, who hit 80 on June 23.
Former Ocean Beach Community Fund President John Schaffner visited with friends in Florida for his 90th and will be hosting the Fourth of July children’s parade, which is returning after skipping a year, this Sunday, July 4, at 11 a.m., with wagons lining up at the firehouse. The Free Union Church is moving its service earlier to 10 a.m. to allow for all to attend the parade. The Ocean Beach Community Fund will be holding its home decorating and patriotic staff contests starting at 4 pm. on Saturday, and the fire department will be hosting its traditional barbecue on the ball field after the parade, at 1 p.m.
The Ocean Beach Association held its first in-person membership meeting in two years at the Community House on June 26 with over a hundred residents in attendance. President Maria Silsdorf announced the creation of a community-wide calendar on the village website featuring events from the Association and other local non-profits.
Bike riding rules are relaxed again this season, with riding allowed on residential streets at all times. I personally like to ride down to Dockside Pizza and Beacheria, both of which are open until 2 a.m. most weekend nights.
Congratulations to all our graduates. Let’s all keep moving onward and upward.
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