Rotary Oyster Fest directly benefits district children

When you buy a raffle ticket or a raw oyster at this year’s Oyster Festival, it will directly benefit children in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District. The district includes children from Cove Neck, Oyster Bay Cove, Oyster Bay, Muttontown, East Norwich, Upper Brookville and Mill Neck. One of the biggest events in Oyster Bay is the annual Oyster Festival. In fact, for the past 27 years, the Oyster Fest has been Long Island’s largest waterfront festival. The 28th annual Oyster Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, October 16.
The Oyster Fest, which is run by the Oyster Bay Rotary Club, brings a lot of revenue into the community. The school children of Oyster Bay-East Norwich are direct beneficiaries of some of the funds.

The Rotary Club, through The Dictionary Project (, buys enough dictionaries to give one to every third grader in the district. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Rotary Club President Chris Gallagher and Rotarian Michael Smith visited the James H. Vernon School with 135 brand-new dictionaries to distribute to all the third-grade classes. They also visited Saint Dominic’s, East Woods, and Mill Neck Schools on that day.

Mr. Gallagher, whose children attend the Oyster Bay East Norwich public schools, told the students in Ms. Flatley’s third-grade class that his daughter, Kelsey, graduated from Oyster Bay High School and is now a sophomore at college. He said that the dictionary that Kelsey was given 10 years ago is still on the nightstand by her bed.
Inside the cover of each book is a message from the Rotary Club; a Four-Way Test of things we think, say or do. The test asks the reader to consider these things for (1) is it the truth, (2) is it fair to all concerned, (3) will it build good will and better friendships, and (4) will it be beneficial to all concerned? Mr. Gallagher added that if the children don’t know what some of these words mean, they can look them up in the book.

The students were very excited to get their books and could not wait to sit down and start reading through them.

Mr. Smith commented that the Rotary Club is proud of the fact that the food court at this year’s Oyster Fest is entirely run by charitable organizations.

When you come out to the Oyster Fest this October, be sure to look for the Rotary Club and get a raffle ticket. This year the chosen raffle ticket will be your choice of a three-year lease on a 2011 Audi A4 or a Center Console Boat or $15,000 in cash. Only three thousand tickets will be sold. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards programs such as the third-grade dictionary project.

Here is a list of how the funds raised will be used:

Multiple High School Scholarships for Local Seniors
Scientific Calculator Program OBHS
Dictionary Project Grade 3
Honor Society Luncheons for Graduating Seniors
B.O.B. Summer Program for Teens
Survivor’s Dinner Relay for Life
Annual Senior Italian Dinner
Girl Scout Bay Association
Youth & Family Service
Doubleday-Babcock Senior Center (now called the Life Enrichment Center)
C.S.A.C. (Community Social Action Committee)
Local Food Pantries
Oyster Bay Rail Road Museum
Boys & Girls Club of Oyster Bay
Centro Culturo Hispanico
“Gift of Life” Rotary International
Main Street Association Holiday Decorations
Facilitate the “Annual Oyster Festival”

The Oyster Fest is a lot of fun and a great community event. It’s nice to know that it also does a lot of good for the Oyster Bay East Norwich community. This year’s festival kicks off Saturday morning, Oct. 15 with the Supervisor’s 5 K Race at 9 a.m. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16.