Hundreds of residents joined together at the Rockville Links Country Club on Monday night for the Rockville Centre Community Fund’s 30th annual Mayor’s Golf and Dinner Classic.
The event serves as the primary fundraiser for the fund, a not-for-profit charity founded in 1987 that helps those in need, including seniors, single parents and victims of disasters. During the last 30 years, the fund has raised an estimated $1.6 million.
Golfers who had just enjoyed a day on the course gathered with elected officials, community leaders and other residents for the occasion, which this year honored former deputy mayor Nancy Howard, who officially stepped down from her position in June.
Howard was the village’s deputy mayor since 2011, and served as a liaison to the Rockville Centre Fire Department, the Sandel Senior Center, the Martin Luther King Center and the village’s recreation center.
“The fact that this event happens year after year and you give up your time and your resources to support your neighbors is the best indication of how awesome Rockville Centre is,” Howard told the guests. “It was a treasure to raise my children here,” she added, beginning to cry.
Mayor Francis X. Murray granted the Eugene J. Murray Outstanding Citizenship Award to Village Trustee Edward Oppenheimer, who was re-elected to the board this year for a third term.
“It’s a huge surprise to be honored for doing what my parents taught me to do,” Oppenheimer told the Herald. “It has been my pleasure to be just a small part of this community and having been allowed to participate. The strength of the community and the future promise of the community is more than enough.”
A certified public accountant with a business in Rockville Centre since 1977, Oppenheimer has served as a firefighter for nearly four decades, and is also a former Nassau County Legislator and past president of the Rockville Centre Public Library. He was a founding trustee of the Rockville Centre Community Fund — serving as its treasurer for 25 years — and has been on the Village Planning Board and involved with the Chamber of Commerce.
“I know that his whole life has been dedicated to the village,” Oppenheimer’s wife, Ethel, said. “Politics, government, people, the fire department have always been a part of his life. …They call him Mr. Rockville Centre.”