By Janee Law
The seventh annual Huntington Awareness Day is expected to be the biggest one yet. Thousands of people are expected to gather Sept. 10 to celebrate the importance of making the community a better place.
The fair will bring “together many segments of our community to express our commitment to working together toward the common goal of improving our town,” Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone stated.
With that, Petrone added, that the type of commitment has been demonstrated by the event's honorees, including Sara Bluestone; Lehti Laas Ramos, M.D.; Frances Cerra Whittelsey; and the Huntington Hispanic Soccer League.
Bluestone, a 30-year Huntington resident, has served as president of the Leadership Huntington Foundation’s board of directors, and currently serves as a co-chair of the LHF President Council and treasurer of The Huntington Community Council. She has also been the curator of Bettmann Archive in New York City, and has administered state grants for the Huntington Arts Council to purchase art. Bluestone has volunteered her time for the Huntington Union Free School District PTA’s arts in education committee and, in 2001, co-founded the town’s public arts advisory committee, serving as its chair until 2008.
An active member of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, Ramos also co-founded the Huntington Station Happy Helpers in 2008. She has also volunteered her efforts with other organizations, including the Friends of the Huntington Train Station, the Huntington branch of the NAACP, the Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter, Gateway Park and Blue Star Mothers’ water bottle collection.
“It’s a great honor to be receiving this honor,” Ramos said. “I was actually surprised that they had chosen me because there is so many great community activists in the Town of Huntington.”
Whittelsey, executive director of the Long Island Community Agriculture Network, was a driving force in starting the Gateway Park Community Garden in Huntington Station. She has also served as a member of the Huntington Town recycling advisory committee, was a board member of the Huntington Housing Coalition and was instrumental in the formation of the Huntington Interfaith Housing Initiative, which shelters homeless men every winter. She is an award-winning journalist, cited for her work focusing on consumer abuses and investigations.
With 10 teams and 150 players, ranging in age from 16-40, the Huntington Hispanic Soccer League has run programs at Manor Field Park for 26 years.
The Huntington Awareness Day fair will be held 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in the municipal parking lot on New York Avenue between Railroad and Church streets. There is no scheduled parade this year.
Petrone said that the event will include “entertainment for children and adults, private vendors and many of the community’s not-for-profit organizations offering information on the services they provide.”
Sponsors include: the Huntington Station Business Improvement District; the Town of Huntington Economic Development Corporation; and the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.