9 years ago, the NBCA decided to give back to the community by establishing a scholarship fund for our neighborhood kids who were heading off to college. We are very pleased that we were able to continue this tradition at our Annual Scholarship Cocktail Party which was held on Saturday, August 15, 2015.
This year’s first place winner was Katy Rebecca Finn, daughter of Dave and Sandy Gruner. Katy is pursuing her Masters in Applied Theatre at C.U.N.Y. The second place winner was Patrick “Trey” Hiers, the godson of Charles D. Walters II. Patrick is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and plans to double major in computer science and entrepreneurship.
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Here are this year's winning essays:
by Katy Rebecca Finn
I remember my very first time at Northville Beach. It was October, I was six years old, and the drive from Port Jefferson out to Sound Shore Rd felt like an eternity. The peace and quiet was foreign to me, as I had never had a beach all to myself. In fact, I wasn’t quite sure I liked it. Where were all the people? Where was the ice cream truck? The lifeguards? All I knew was that I felt like I was light years away from my friends (who, in reality, were only 45 minutes due west of me) and civilization.
Something happened on my walk along the beach towards the oil dock with my step dad during that first visit to Northville. As we walked together discovering treasures (an old buoy, a discarded beach toy, a piece of sea glass), listening to the sounds of the waves, I forgot about the birthday party I was missing, and the collection of My Little Ponies that I had been DESPERATE to bring out east. I began to appreciate the gift of simplicity that Northville Beach was offering to me.
Now, nearly thirty years later, Northville continues to offer me that same gift. I find any excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn to spend a weekend at my parent’s house on Sound Shore Rd. The very things I wasn’t so sure of as a precocious six-year old, are the exact reasons why I continue to be drawn to Northville. Over the past three decades, life has happened, much has changed, and yet Northville has continued to be a beacon of simplicity and happiness that I can return to whenever I need it. Even now, as I turn onto Sound Shore Rd, affectionately called “Roller Coaster Road” since I was very young, my heart is flooded with memories of Northville; the annual 4th of July parties my parents threw, pretending the LI sound was my Barbie’s swimming pool, spending hours building sandcastles. As I drive over each hill on “Roller Coaster Road”, the memories morph from those of when I was a child, to more recent memories of barbequing and skinny-dipping with my college roommates. While that is slightly embarrassing to admit, there was far more trouble we could have been getting ourselves into at that age. All us NYU city girls wanted to do was escape to Northville to swim, and sit around a bonfire laughing until the sun came up. Just last year my baby shower took place at Northville Beach. While it did NOT end with a round of skinny-dipping, we did all end up around a bonfire when the sun went down laughing and talking well into the night. It’s a remarkable thing to be able to mark one’s memories and life stages in the simplicity of a bonfire.
Now, it’s time to begin making a new set of memories with my 3-month-old son. The house on Sound Shore Rd is no longer my mom and dad’s, it has become, grandma and grandpas house. The guest room has a crib now, and my teenage bikinis have been replaced with more sensible beachwear. Yet when I step out onto the bulkhead with my son, the simplicity of Northville is unscathed. It’s always here, waiting for me to return, and most importantly, waiting for my son’s first walk to the oil dock, treasure hunting with grandpa.
By Patrick “Trey” Hiers
From the first sunrise that I saw in Northville, I knew it was one of the most beautiful places around. The serenity of the landscape, coupled with the perfect climate and friendly nature of the people inhabiting it, make Northville Beach a very special place. I always look forward to spending my summers here, as 1 have been doing since 2013, and I recently spent my time here to celebrate New Year’s. Being a boy who lives in central North Carolina, you would think the cold would keep me indoors. By immersing myself in the surrounding beauty however, I was quick to forget that 1 was enduring the coldest temperatures that I had experienced in my life.
It was during this trip that I experienced my fondest memory of Northville. I woke early to sit on the deck and catch the sunrise, as I usually do. The sun’s rays reflecting over the calm water, paired with the vivid colors that paint the sky, are too captivating to miss out on. I sat out there long after the sun had risen, coffee in hand, still entranced by what laid before my eyes. To my surprise, it started snowing, the only time to this day that I have seen snow at a beach. Being a southerner who sees snow perhaps once or twice a year, it was an incredible experience. Even more incredible, however, was looking out to see the white plumes of snow that were falling on the smooth water. Everything was so calm.
It is of great importance to me that the beauty of this landscape be preserved, as I want to one day move here myself with my family so that they too can enjoy it. One of the best ways to preserve Northville, is to halt any expansion of the oil facilities that are found near the shore. By expanding these facilities, and by converting some of the tanks to gasoline rather than heating oil, traffic would drastically increase in the area. Truck traffic would create lot of noise, along with pollution from emissions. Our sometimes narrow roads might have to be widened at points to accommodate the increase in trucks, and this could result in natural property being destroyed. There would also be an increase in the number of large tanker ships that would dock for oil in our water. Again, this would create pollution. Also, the risk of an oil spill would increase. Such an accident would cause much of our wildlife to be harmed, and even killed. Our beaches would not be as pretty, as oil would wash up on their shores.
I have had great memories here in Northville so far. I hope to create more of them for as long as I live. By discouraging expansion of oil facilities, we can ensure no further pollution or harm is done. By doing this, we will make sure that Northville continues to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
NBCA Scholarship Cocktail Party: August 23rd, 2014.
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Our 8th Annual Scholarship Cocktail Party was a great success. Congratulations to our first place scholarship winner Alyssa Vicari who will be attending Fairfield University in Connecticut, and second place winner Sarah Richardson. who will be attending Le Moyne College/St. Joseph's College of Nursing. Here are their winning essays:
Fishing, sea glass hunts, lightening storms and sunsets. These are some of the things I think of when I am sitting on my grandparents' deck watching the ebb and flow of the tide on Northville Beach.
The sun was my alarm clock when I spent my summers on Northville Beach as a young child. My feet descended the rickety steps of the wooden staircase to the water too many times to count. My cousins, siblings and I would race down to the beach at the break of dawn with fishing poles in one hand and buckets of bait in the other. It was always a contest to see who had the most impressive catch. We never committed ourselves to one activity for too long, though, because we wanted to take advantage of our ability to enjoy everything the beach had to offer.
I always enjoyed scavenging the beach to find the rare indigo colored sea glass. If you were the one to discover a piece with such pristine character, you were a winner. Most days, I would only find the common green and white pieces; I was okay with that. Every piece is unique and beautiful on its own. It wasn't until I got older that I realized how a body of water of such depth and width could turn small shards of glass into beautiful masterpieces. We always tried to emulate the process with our own samples of salt water and sand, but failed. We did not have that special talent.
Northville Beach was not only fun when the weather was nice; even on bleak rainy nights the beach could be enjoyed. My father and I will frequently sit on the deck during torrential downpours and admire how quickly the lightning in the sky strikes the surface of the Long Island Sound. It is as if we have front row seats to the most stunning lightening show out there. Nature could be so intriguing and awe-inspiring.
My absolute favorite thing to do, however, is simply sit on the jetties at sunset, and watch warm summer days melt into cool summer nights. Within minutes, the baby blue atmosphere dissolves into the most beautiful combination of red, orange, yellow and purple.
The only thing that ties all of these wonderful factors together is family. Each and every weekend of the summer, my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and our close friends reunite here to share quality time. These moments are ones that I will cherish forever.
Some people simply call this very location the beach, but I call it my home. I am so fortunate to have such a beautiful location to continuously visit on weekends and spend summer vacations. Northville Beach does, and always will, hold a special place in my heart.
The sun is high above our heads as I smell the scent of lavender and salt. My feet are well beneath the hot sand, and I look far off into the distance to see a tanker sinking ever so slightly to settle itself at the dock for a few days. I gaze to my left and see a father gracefully holding his child just a few inches above the water, and I smile. It is the first week Out East, where everything is still so new, so fresh, and my skin is slightly coated with the sun’s rays. As we walk down to the shore there is a sense of familiarity, a sense of peace; I am home. Friends and family gather in the sun to relax and soak up the vitamin D that our bodies have missed so much. I close my eyes and listen. I listen to the waves crashing onto the shore effortlessly and hear the seagulls communicating to each other high in the sky. As the day progresses, the sun fades closer and closer to the horizon, creating a magnificent gold across the Sound. The mix of red, orange, and faint yellow blend into one, conjuring a vivid canvas of water-color in the sky. As dusk makes itself known before our eyes, shadows of the tugboat carrying multiple workers to the pier are visible. After dinner, we stride down to the beach for a bonfire under the stars, where I carry Hershey’s chocolate bars and my sister caresses a box of graham crackers and marshmallows in her hands. It’s essential to have s’mores while at a bonfire, because it makes the memories that much sweeter and delicious. Songs are played and stories are told while
laughter can be heard from miles away and the fire radiates plenty of warmth. We breathe the salty air into our lungs and gaze up at the scattered beams of light in the sky, the moon revealing itself ever so slightly amongst the clouds. With our bellies full and eyes heavy we walk across the cold sand and head up to bed, excited for what the next day will bring. As a child looking at the lit up sky I can remember seeing my first shooting star, the excitement and curiosity that I felt. These beaches have changed my life. As I have left my mark in the wet sand temporarily
time and time again, Out East has left a mark on my heart permanently. The love, loss, joy and pain of life have all been felt amongst us on these beaches, creating a safe haven of remembrance each year we return. Northville Beach has impacted me in a way that I never thought possible
and I am forever grateful.