The magic of springtime at Sands Point Preserve will be celebrated in a gala evening of entertainment and illusions while honoring two special members of the Preserve’s many supporters.
Anthony Dalessio is the honoree of the Sixth Annual Preservers’ Celebration, while Elise Tepper will receive Preserver’s Distinction Award. The festivities will be held at Hempstead House on Saturday, April 26, at 7 p.m.
A gala like this one promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And that is what’s planned. This year’s theme is “Illusion,” complete with strolling magicians, astonishing contortionists and a hologram photo booth where reality and fantasy meet. Also on tap: marble statues with human features, artful culinary creations and, of course, outstanding music.
Above all, the evening offers “Preservers” the chance to celebrate two extraordinarily dedicated community leaders.
Dalessio holds The Sands Point Preserve in an esteemed place in his heart when it comes to giving. He finds that the Preserve – with its sprawling grounds and majestic castle – is in a league all its own.
“They say there are Seven Wonders of the World,” Dalessio noted. “The Sands Point Preserve is the Eighth.”
“I’ve traveled all over the world,” added Dalessio, who is KPMG’s Long Island office managing partner. “This is a hidden treasure within Nassau County.”
As a Friends of the Sands Point Preserve board member and former treasurer, Dalessio is an accomplished philanthropist and business leader. Though he is stepping down from the board after many years of service, Dalessio remains eager to see this Gold Coast jewel become an even more popular destination. The Preserve is making strides towards that goal, and Dalessio is proud of his role in that success.
Still, it’s an endeavor that has benefited from plenty of teamwork.
“It takes time, talent and effort of a lot of people,” he points out.
Backed by a private-public partnership with Nassau County, the Preserve now boasts a growing number of educational, cultural arts and fitness programs, as well as new revenue streams. The property – with its expertly maintained trails, restored gardens, and building renovations – has never looked better. And the Phil Dejana Learning Center and outdoor classroom continue to draw families and schoolchildren alike.
“From a strategic standpoint, the Preserve lends itself to boosting the quality of life on the North Shore,” Dalessio said. “We need to take a step back and look to see how else we can maximize this property, and tie that into where our members would like to see it going.”
“I'm thrilled to honor Tony at the upcoming Sixth Annual Gala, though I'm very sorry he's leaving our board of directors,” said Friends of The Sands Point Preserve Chairman Karli Hagedorn.
“Tony is a chairman's dream – measured, wise and always there in a pinch. His support of our mission, both in word and in deed has been exemplary,” she added. “His various roles on the board as treasurer and director were fulfilled with commitment and professionalism. But beyond all of these credentials, Tony has been a good friend and collaborator. All of us on the board will miss him, but I know Tony's love of the Preserve is ongoing and I look forward to his continued good council in the future.”
Mrs. Tepper has played a key role in the growing popularity of the abundance of programs and events at the Preserve.
“One of the affiliations I most enjoy is participating in Village Day at the Sands Point Preserve,” she said.
Her passion for Village Day is certainly recognized with her contribution of more than 1,000 pumpkins each year to the Village Day event. She takes great pleasure in seeing the look of delight on the faces of children as each selects a pumpkin to paint and artistically decorate. It is not only the first of all pleasures, but the most gratifying.
“Elise has been an integral part of the success of Village Day from the very beginning,” noted Friends of The Sands Point Preserve Executive Director Jean-Marie Posner. “She is clever and resourceful, with a gentle disposition that brings a special quality to any project Elsie undertakes. Her many roles as a caring volunteer qualify her as an outstanding community leader.”
“Village Day gives me an opportunity to utilize my training as a teacher, organizational skills as a Scout and creativity as a daughter of an artist,” Mrs. Tepper said. “Pumpkin Painting at Village Day started out on a small scale as an added activity. It has become very popular and the joy of seeing the smiling faces as the child creates a masterpiece has created many special moments.”
Dalessio and Tepper remain advocates for positive change at Sands Point Preserve.
Dalessio put it this way.
“Going forward, we must continue to ask how we honor the Preserve and give it the respect it deserves and needs,” he said. “That way, it will become a centerpiece for even more people.”
Purchase tickets to the Illusions “…is the First of All Pleasures” fundraising gala online at www.TheSandsPointPreserve.com, by phone (516-571-7901) or in person at the Gatehouse. There is a special discount to Annual Pass members.
Friends of the Sands Point Preserve is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to protect and preserve the 216-acre waterfront grounds and historic mansions and to provide a range of cultural arts events and educational programs for families and schools in the Phil Dejana Learning Center and Outdoor Classroom.
For information about the Sands Point Preserve and to purchase a 2014 Annual Pass see www.TheSandsPointPreserve.com, call 516-571-7901or visit the Gate House at 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY, 11050, open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.