Caroline Bugdin, a 60-year member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Riverhead Fire Department, was honored with a proclamation from the Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguair and Councilman Ken Rothwell Jan. 19, saluting her community involvement and dedication to the Riverhead Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.

Caroline Bugdin with Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar. Courtesy photo: Peggy Sparrow

Barbara Swislosky, Barbara Wooten, Peggy Sparrow and I were present to present Caroline a beautiful vase of flowers commemorating her milestone in the auxiliary. A very special thanks to the supervisor councilman for taking time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this happy occasion. Needless to say, Caroline has many memories of the auxiliary, as well as the Town of Riverhead and shared some stories with all of us. Photos were taken to remember, as they used to say, “this Kodak moment.” Congratulations!

Send a senior a Valentine. The Town of Riverhead Recreation Department is collecting Valentine’s Day cards for seniors through Feb. 10. The rec department is asking the community to write Valentine’s Day cards to brighten the day for local seniors. You can drop them off at the senior center at 60 Shade Tree Lane between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The recreation department will distribute them. The Butterfly Effect Project is teaming up with the recreation department in this effort and is encouraging others to do the same to spread some love. If you can spare another card, please send one to Acadia Rehab and Nursing on 1146 Woodcrest Avenue, Riverhead and address to any resident. The long-term care residents, as well as, the rehab residents will enjoy them and brighten up their day too! It only takes a moment to write and send a card and the recipient will enjoy being remembered.

The Women of the Moose Chapter 1118 has had to devise some creative fundraising projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are currently conducting “The Bakeless Bake Sale,” a fundraiser for Moose charities and those less fortunate in our community. This sale runs from through Feb. 15. Since the chapter cannot hold a “bake sale” during the pandemic, they are hoping members and the community will participate to help raise funds for Mooseheart, Moosehaven and their Moose charities for the community. It is easy to be a part of this fundraiser because all you have to do is put the price of making a pie, cake or some other baked item, give with a willing heart and mail a check donation payable to WOTM Chapter 1118, P.O. Box 1834, Riverhead, NY 11901. Its fun to do and helping the Women of the Moose be successful too. In the year 2020 many donations to various organizations included St. John’s Church (meal ministry), National Multiple Sclerosis Society, relief for workers and local businesses, Association for Mental Health, Memorial Sloane Kettering (Veterans), Suffolk County United Veterans, John’s Place (homeless shelter), Ronald McDonald (tab campaign), Riverhead Moose Lodge 1742 and Moose Charities. They have also donated over 1,000 pounds of food to four local church food pantries, various supplies, toiletries, clothing etc. to the Veterans, boxes of school supplies to Phillips Ave Elementary School and 75 bags of clothing and shoes to Light House Mission, two car loads of toiletries and snacks to Maureen’s Haven and linens, hats, scarves and gloves to local shelters. This group is extremely busy giving back to the community at large and they should be commended for their dedication and hard work and certainly be recognized for their commitment during the year of the pandemic too!

The Butterfly Effect Project, an organization that empowers all girls, was recently featured by ABC7NY in their community focused series, Localish. Founder and Director Tijuana Fulford explained her vision of the organization and she is grateful and thanks ABC7NY for the opportunity to share their story and progress. The Butterfly Effect Project was honored by the First Baptist Church of Riverhead at their annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, Jan. 18 for their hard work feeding and supporting the community throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

The Butterfly Effect Project will be holding a calendar raffle in the month of March. There is an opportunity to win cash prizes every day! Calendars are now available and are $10 each. Call 631-591-0759 extension 1002 if you are interested in helping the girls. Be sure to check out their website

An upcoming event at the Suffolk County Historical Museum, 300 West Main Street is a “Museum Scavenger Hunt” during winter recess with prizes for the kids the week of February 17 to the 20th from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Its free for children and as a family you can enjoy a safe, socially distanced winter recess outing with the kids, including touchless exhibits and fun museum. Masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2.

Do you need a quiet space for homework, essays or projects with computer internet access? Southampton Youth Bureau’s free homework help program is held on Tuesdays from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Flanders Youth Center, 655 Flanders Road. All ages and grade levels are certainly welcome. There is free virtual math tutoring by appointment. For more information, please call 631-702-2425 or visit

The Town of Southampton Youth Bureau will be sponsoring a “Virtual Talent Show” on Friday, March 5 on Facebook and Instagram at Southampton (time of show to be announced). Performers in grades 5 to 12 who reside or attend within Southampton Town are encouraged to submit a 3- to 4-minute video of a performance in singing, music composition, spoken word, dance, skits, comedy, magic etc. Video entries and registration forms are due Friday, Feb. 19 and can be sent to [email protected] Space is limited and registration is first come, first served basis. For more information call 631-702-2425 or visit Show will include raffle gift cards for performers and trivia prizes for audience members tuning in.

The food pantry on Thursdays is opened from 1 pm to 2 pm at Blaze Church, 50 Bell Avenue, Flanders. Their church services are at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. every Sunday if you are interested in joining this congregation.

Special happy birthday wishes to Helen Filla of Riverhead who will celebrate her 100th birthday on Feb. 16. A truly beautiful Centenarian!

Happy Birthday wishes to Samuel Quartararo and Emily Hulse on Feb. 8; Valerie Kulhan on Feb. 12; Sue Chorzempa, Chris Salerno, Ron Caffrey, Linda Ceckowski, Ruth Ann Collins and Barbara Bouchard on Feb. 14; Laura (Wooten) Levine on Feb. 15; Elizabeth Hill and Aidyn White on Feb. 16; Judy Hettrick, Brian Stark and Laura Huber on Feb. 17; Phil Kenter and Jaclyn Meyer on Feb. 18; Kim Barnes, John Kowalski and my good friend Peggy Sparrow on Feb. 19. Enjoy your special day!

Happy 48th wedding anniversary wishes to Bill and Karen Kelly on Feb. 11. Be sure to celebrate.

Get well wishes to Ellen Kramer, Karen Fleischman, Kathy Fioto Kruel, Joan Fleischman, Karen Heppner, Brenda Reeve and Tom Kurpetski.

Don’t forget that someone special this Valentines Day with a note, letter, text, email or a phone call and remembering them with love.

Be sure to display your flag on President’s Day Monday, February 15.

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Kathy Berezny
Kathy Berezny is active in the Riverhead community, where she has lived for 46 years. She is chaplain of the Riverhead Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, which she joined in February 1979. She is a longtime member and past president of the Riverhead Board of Education. Email Kathy: [email protected]