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Woodbury Country Club sold; will close Nov. 30, owners say

Cocktail hour at an event at Woodbury Country

Cocktail hour at an event at Woodbury Country Club in Woodbury on June 1, 2016. Credit: Jennifer A. Uihlein

Owners of the Woodbury Country Club have agreed to sell the popular wedding and event venue after 45 years in business.

The venue will close Nov. 30.

The Passavia family, which has owned the event space since 1972, negotiated the sale of the club. Family members and management have been working on finding alternate venues for events booked after that date "that will fulfill all clients’ expectations,” the club said in a statement.

In another development, Nassau police said a former employee of the facility was arrested Wednesday on charges she stole from the company and its owners by making unauthorized purchases on their credit cards for seven years.

"This matter has absolutely no connection to the sale of the Woodbury Country Club,” the venue said in a statement Thursday. “After a rigorous internal investigation, we brought this matter to the local authorities.”

Joanne Ervolina, 51, of Bohemia, was charged with second-degree grand larceny and two counts of third-degree grand larceny in connection with more than $80,000 in expenses charged to the credit cards, police said. She used the money to pay off her own bills and make  purchases between 2011 and August 2018, police said.

Ervolina's LinkedIn account said she was the club's bookkeeper. She was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

In the family's statement regarding the sale, the buyer and sale price for the 16.8 acre property on Jericho Turnpike in Woodbury were not disclosed.

The family has considered selling the property for years, and “several factors” created the “need and the opportunity” to do so, the statement said.

 In 2008, owners of the venue were given approval for a zoning change to allow for the development of multi-family residences on the property, a spokesman for the Town of Oyster Bay said. At the time of the approval, owners sought zoning to accommodate around 80 units of housing.

The town has not received any building permit applications for the site at 884 Jericho Tpke., the spokesman said. The change of zoning permit has been renewed by the applicant each year since 2008, he said. 

Clients who booked events after Nov. 30 are “being contacted or have been communicated with already,” according to the club's statement, and the company has agreements with local catering businesses to relocate events. The venue is also providing full refunds on deposits or transferring funds to other venues upon request. 

“The Passavia family wishes to thank all of their loyal staff members, vendors and friends who have been an integral part of the Woodbury Country Club’s history and success,” the statement said. “While the venue will be closed, the memories created and shared at the Woodbury Country Club will live on.”

Management will be working with employees to find other employment opportunities, the venue said.

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