A Middle Island church has received a $2,000 state grant to repair the congregation’s 175-year-old sanctuary building.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy awarded the grant to help the Middle Island United Church of Christ fix a roof and reinforce beams in the belfry supporting the church’s bell. A ladder will be added to improve access to the belfry, the conservancy said in a news release.
The award was one of 22 Sacred Sites Grants totaling more than $300,000 given to historic religious sites throughout the state, the conservancy said.
“Religious institutions anchor their communities,” conservancy president Peg Breen said in a statement. “They remind us of our history and provide vital social service and cultural programs today.”
The Middle Island site, at Church Lane and Middle Country Road, has served several congregations since 1837, when the Middletown Presbyterian Church was built there, the conservancy said. Later it belonged to the Middle Island Christian Fellowship. Middle Island UCC bought the building in 2009 and shares it with a Korean congregation, the conservancy said.
In addition to holding weekly church services, Middle Island UCC operates a community food pantry that serves 750 people per month and hosts a soup kitchen.
Tom Gaidry, a church trustee, said the grant would help the 40-member congregation pay for the $5,000 restoration project. He said the work is expected to be completed later this week.
The belfry and roof had been damaged by weather and termites, he said. Church leaders have been reluctant to ring the 600-pound bell because the belfry has been structurally unsound, Gaidry said.
— CARL MACGOWAN
Annual kids’ snapper derby Saturday
Lindenhurst Village’s annual snapper derby for children is scheduled for Saturday.
The free event, sponsored by the village and the Lindenhurst Rotary Club, is to take place at the Charles J. Cowan Marina on South Wellwood Avenue. The derby is a catch and release contest open to children up to age 12. Registration is on the day of the event only, from 8 to 9 a.m., and is limited to the first 300 children to sign up. Children must have their own fishing poles and be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Fishing will be from 9 a.m. to noon. From noon to 1 p.m., prizes will be awarded. The boy and girl who catch and release the heaviest snappers will each receive 10-speed bicycles. The child who catches and releases the most snappers will also receive a bicycle. Trophies will be awarded to second- and third-place winners. Free food for the children will be available.
For more information, contact Deputy Clerk Doug Madlon at 631-957-7500.
— DENISE M. BONILLA
Students to audition for Pop Orchestra
Students up to age 18 from the Town of North Hempstead who want to improve their music skills, meet other musicians and find out what it takes to become a great performer will have a chance to audition for The Children’s Pop Orchestra on Sept. 20 and 21.
Eleven rehearsals will then follow, beginning Oct. 7. Both the rehearsals and auditions will be held at Michael J. Tully Park, 1801 Evergreen Ave., New Hyde Park.
The Children’s Pop Orchestra performs all styles of music, from classic and pop to jazz. Acceptance to the orchestra is based on a performance of a solo selection, orchestra experience and the completion of the New York State School Music Association level 4 or higher.
“This is such a fantastic opportunity to bring young musicians together from all over the Town of North Hempstead,” said Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.
For further information on audition registration, call 516-869-6311.
— LISA IRIZARRY
Disaster prep event Saturday at Lakeside
Points of Light and the Allstate Foundation plan to hold a disaster preparedness event on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Eisenhower Park’s Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater.
Residents will be able to build their own disaster kits, talk with insurance agents and tour a mobile catastrophe claims unit.
A free starter kit will include items proven to help keep people safe and prepared, such as a whistle, trash bag, dust mask, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, water bottle, rain poncho and a battery-free flashlight.
“Research shows that 85 percent of Americans are unprepared for weather and other disasters, and nearly half lack emergency supplies for use in such an event,” said Jillian Skuza, a spokeswoman for the foundation.
A performance by KC and The Sunshine Band is set to begin at 7 p.m.
— SID CASSESE