East Quogue community notes

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Last Sunday morning, as the first snowflakes of the season gently fell on East Quogue, I watched a young buck nibbling at the cracked corn that I put out for the birds. The crows were in the trees, hoping that he would hurry up, and my turkey family was in the wings, raucously awaiting their turn. Does it get any better than this?

And speaking of wonderful holiday moments, it was absolutely heartwarming to see such a large turnout for the sixth annual East Quogue Tree Lighting Ceremony, which took place on the Village Green on Saturday. The event was sponsored by the East Quogue Beautification Committee. We all waited with bated breath as Mary-Faith Vetter flipped the switch and then merrily watched as our magnificent tree burst into a blaze of bright multi-colored lights!

Afterward, we were entertained with holiday songs and carols from the sweet young voices belonging to the members of the East Quogue Elementary School Chorus, under the direction of Tom Albani, and the East Quogue Girl Scouts, under the direction of their Troop leaders: Jean Linder, Missy Vignieri, Taryn Brennan, Laura Frank, Melissa Carpenter, Caron Elroumy, Jennifer Profeta, Jennifer Vargas, Charlene Kerns and Denise Klima.

Linda Nelson, chairwoman of the East Quogue Beautification Committee, would sincerely like to thank Principal Robert Long and Troop leader Jennifer Profeta for their dedication and hard work in organizing the wonderful caroling program. Special thanks also go to Jack and Helen Sand for picking up and serving the delicious hot chocolate that kept us all warm on a crisp winter’s night.

This Saturday, December 13, the menorah candles will be lit in celebration of The Festival of Lights. The traditional Hanukkah celebration starts at 6:15 p.m. at the New Moon Café. There will be songs to commemorate the holiday and lots of hot chocolate to keep you warm!

Then get ready, kids! Santa makes a special early visit to East Quogue this Sunday, December 14. The “big guy in red” will arrive at Ronnie’s Barn at the New Moon Café at 2 p.m. There will be cookies and hot chocolate for all, courtesy of the East Quogue Chamber of Commerce.

Don’t forget to stop by the East Quogue Firehouse for your Christmas trees, wreaths and roping. Please show your support for our hometown heroes.

Please send in your donations to the East Quogue Adopt-a-Family-and-Seniors-for-the-Holiday program. Checks, cash and nonperishable food items can be dropped off at Mendenhall Fuel, 575 Montauk Highway. Please remember those families in need in our hamlet and be as generous as you can. For more information, call Bob or Lois Holley at 653-4444.

Congratulations to East Quogue’s Joe Grady who was voted the “number one” referee in Suffolk County by the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association! In November, Coach Grady officiated at the Division II Long Island Championship game played between Riverhead and Elmont high schools at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium.

The Full Moon Night Hike takes place this Friday, December 12, at 7 p.m., at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Hike through the forest up to North Pond, listen for nocturnal creatures, and enjoy a few night-vision activities. Reservations are required for this free 90-minute hike for adults and children over 11 years of age. For information, call 653-4771.

On Saturday evening, December 13, the featured film at the Quogue Library Film Feast will be “The Visitor.” The feast begins at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 7:15 p.m. Price of admission is a beverage and a dish that serves at least six. To register, please call 653-4224.

On Sunday, December 14, members of the Twin Forks Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child, will be holding their annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Service in the Parish Hall of the East Quogue United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. For more information, call 653-9444 or visit compassionatefriends.org.

Are you looking for meaningful gifts for the nature lovers in your life? If you are, shop at the great websites of our two local wildlife organizations. And, as an added benefit, you won’t even have to leave the warmth and comfort of your home!

The Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons has a wonderfully diverse assortment of gifts available at wildliferescuecenter.org. Click “art gallery” for magnificent wildlife paintings. Go to “John Earl Designs” for beautiful limited edition prints and exclusive designs that are available on T-shirts, beach bags and note cards. And be sure to click on the “How you can help” link for some more fantastic ideas.

And visit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s website at quoguewildliferefuge.com and click “gift ideas” for embroidered sweatshirts, T-shirts, tote bags and baseball caps. The organization’s Adopt-an-Animal program is a great gift for the animal-lover in your life, as is the Personalize-a-Brick program for the nature lover.

And, for gifts for the readers in your life, two of our local authors have books that are available at The Open Book in Westhampton Beach or on amazon.com. East Quogue’s Jim Fargiano shares the wisdom he has channeled from the “other side,” along with enlightening messages of hope and understanding, in his book titled “The Spoken Words of the Spirit.”

Jeff Frank has written three marvelous books: “The Angels of St. Francis,” “The Druid” and “The Little Green Book.” The profits from all three of his books will benefit The Nature Lyceum in Westhampton.

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