STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Son of a lighthouse keeper!
Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis stunned partygoers Wednesday night when he donated $105,000 to the National Lighthouse Museum, which is destined for St. George.
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The National Lighthouse Museum will honor Kingsborough Community College and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at its third annual Light Keeper’s Gala Reception Wednesday, June 12, at the ABOVE Rooftop in the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield.
Peter Samton of Gruzen Samton Architects, is guest speaker.
John Catsimatidis, chairman of the Gristedes Supermarket chain and a candidate for New York City mayor in the upcoming election – and the son of a lighthouse keeper — is honorary chairperson.
“Kingsborough Community College/CUNY, which is adjacent to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, is site of the country’s newest beacon,” says Linda Dianto, the museum’s Executive Director. “Mr. Samton’s firm designed that lighthouse for the City University of New York, and he will explain why a new beacon was built into the Kingsborough Community Colleges’ Marine Studies Building.”
NOAA’s roots date back to 1807 when the agency was entrusted to manage the country’s coastal and marine resources. The National Lighthouse Museum is recognizing NOAA’s ever-present coastal management role in the maritime world.
Catsimatidis’ father, Andreas, was a lighthouse keeper on Kandelioussa Island, a tiny island off the coast of Greece, from 1931-1947.
As chairman of the Red Apple Group, Catsimatidis has holdings in oil refining, retail petroleum products, convenience stores, supermarkets, real estate and aviation. Red Apple posted annual sales last year of $4.4 billion. With 10,000 employees, it is a major employer in the New York City metropolitan area and in upstate New York.
Among local organizations to which Catsimatidis volunteers his time are the Staten Island Bread of Life Food Drive, Hellenic Scholarship Foundation, Police Athletic League and Alzheimer’s Foundation.
The event begins at 7 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Entertainment is by Bob Wright and Harbortown.
Tickets are priced at $150 per person and can be purchased from the museum online at www.lighthousemuseum.org or by calling 1-855-NLM-SINY.
The National Lighthouse Museums’ intent is to establish themselves at the site of the old U.S. Lighthouse Service General Depot adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George. The museum initially plans to open an Educational Resource Center in Building #11. Its goal is to promote and support historical, educational, cultural, recreational and related activities at the site, while maintaining the navigational significance and maritime heritage of lighthouses throughout the world.