Cutchogue-New Suffolk: Homeless benefit concert slated for Jan. 28

The first Cutchogue community column of 2012 begins with grave sadness and an outpouring of love and concern. Hundreds of family, friends, and acquaintances stood on a line that stretched out the door of Coster-Heppner Funeral Home and down the block to say goodbye to businessman and former council member John Romanelli. May the Romanelli family someday find peace with this loss.

Bill and Lauren Bladykas may love living in Charleston, S.C. — great weather, affordable housing, low taxes, beaches and great restaurants — but there’s no place like home for Christmas. The whole family gathered at the home of Lauren’s parents, Joe and Barbara Fusaro, making it a real family Christmas! Daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Dave Spurling came down from Plymouth, Mass.; son Dan flew up from Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; and daughter Katie was home from UNCG. Bill’s first stop at home is always Love Lane, where he can stand in front of the post office and talk all day. Bill, a devoted Suffolk Times reader, keeps in touch, saying, “It was like I never left.”

Sue Ketcham beamed while sharing that daughter Kaitlin was a member of the college choir that sang at the Christmas Eve service at a church in Westchester. Afterward, Kaitlin came home for Christmas.

Are you or someone you know in need of a girl’s winter coat size 7/8? If so, please contact me ASAP so that we can find them a good home.

John’s Place invites you to the fourth annual “Rockin’ for the Homeless” benefit concert on Saturday, Jan. 28, 6-10 p.m., at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. Four great bands, four hours of fun! Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door, and include food. 100 percent of the proceeds go to help the homeless in our community. For information, call 298-4145, ext. 2, or visit

Congratulations to Bryan Tyler, MHS Class of 2010, for earning a 3.8 GPA as a sophomore at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mom Gina and dad Scott are very proud!

Kudos to Colleen Merz, Troop 39 Eagle advancement coordinator. She organized an event at which 11 of the troop’s Eagle Scouts shared the message that with due diligence and time management skills the rest of the scouts could also join the 2 percent of boys who earn the Eagle rank. Some of the Eagle Scout projects from which the community has benefited over the years are a peace garden at Cutchogue East Elementary School, benches in the gazebo at Our Lady of Ostrabama, walking trails, the garden surrounding the clock next to Karen’s Country Deli and a bench at Cutchogue New Suffolk Library.

Speaking of the library, here are this week’s programs. Registration is requested for an eight-week series of yoga classes, on Thursdays, Jan. 12-March 1, 6-7:30 p.m. There will also be teen yoga on Thursdays, Jan. 12-26, 4:30-5:30 p.m. An AARP Driver Safety Program will be given Thursday and Friday, Jan. 19-20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s $17 for library members, $19 for others. Call 734-6360 to sign up. Finally, a book discussion about “Lightning” by Dean Koontz will be held Thursday, Jan. 19, at 10 a.m. No registration needed.

Have a good week!