Victoria’s Secrets: Holiday celebrations

Father Bernard Tracey, Richard DeZego, Judge Joe Golla and Greg Galdi with the Mattones.

What a weekend!

First was the celebration and recognition of Dr. Peter Micholas, the opthamologist and philanthropist extraordinaire who has an enormous impact and is devoted to his Southampton community.\

Then I attended the Mattones’ elegant annual Christmas party and finally on Sunday, my family’s Hanukkah party, all packed into three days!

A tremendous, well-earned tribute

On Friday night, I joined the Southampton Business Alliance at the newly renovated Manna Lobster Inn owned by Donna Lanzetta and Sag Harbor restaurateur Ryunosuke Jesse Matsuoka as they paid tribute to my dear friend Dr. Peter Micholas, who had introduced me to the community when I bought Dan’s Papers. He writes a health column for us, as well as for NPR Radio and WABC Radio.

Dr. Peter Micholas

“Dr. Pete,” as we like to call him, was honored for his endless help during the COVID-19 crisis in bringing lifesaving equipment to Southampton Hospital. He found what no one else could get from masks, to ventilators, to hand sanitizers. He continues to raise money for defibrillators and more lifesaving equipment for the Southampton Police Department.

His scholarships have helped endless numbers of local students go to nursing school. 

Southampton Hospital CEO Bob Chaloner introduced Dr. Pete as both a hero to the community and as a friend who welcomed and introduced him to the community when he took over the leadership of the hospital. 

Southampton Hospital CEO Bob Chaloner

Dr. Pete is a true hero in saving lives and helping people’s eyesight, as well as a fantastic role model for how to give back to the community one loves!

A Mattone Christmas

For over a decade, the official beginning of the holiday party season for me has been Joe and Mary Ann Mattone’s superbly beautiful Christmas celebration. This year had special meaning, since Joe, the grand philanthropist business leader, father of seven and grandfather of 27, turned 90 in September.

The guests were dazzled by the stunningly decorated Columbus Club. It was a unique night as everyone stood and cheered for our beloved Joe as Father Bernard Tracey, who is in the leadership of St. John’s University, offered a blessing for him and all of us. A memorable moment to cherish!

Each year, an opera singer and brilliant pianist serenades us with holiday songs, from “Ave Maria” to “Jingle Bells” — and then we had a chance to sing along! What fun as our voices rang in the sparkling, luxurious setting.

It was good to see old friends Peter Meyer (now leading TD Bank in Florida) and his brilliant and beautiful wife Denise Arbesu (with Citibank) both working remotely from their home in West Palm Beach. I look forward to seeing them more when our company launches Dan’s Papers Palm Beach+.   

Chanukah celebration

To finish off the weekend, I came back from my overnight stay in Manhattan after a holiday party at Dan Rattiner and his wife Chris Wasserstein’s beautiful apartment overlooking the The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park.

Upon returning home, all my children gathered together to celebrate and light the last eight candles of Chanukah, a holiday also called the “Festival of Lights” that commemorates the miracle in the second century BCE, when against all odds, a small band of Jews led by Judah the Maccabee defeated the mightiest of armies and drove the Greeks away and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

A one-day supply of oil was found and, miraculously, the seven-armed menorah remained lit for eight days, a miracle we celebrate every year, this year from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6.

It was a special afternoon of gift giving and great food shared around the beautifully decorated dining table.

What a way to end a wonderful weekend filled with friends and family!

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