Mill Neck Manor brings the Roaring ‘20s to the 2020s at annual 'Great Gatsby at The Manor' fundraiser


The Mill Neck Foundation for the Deaf hosted its annual fundraising gala, “Great Gatsby at The Manor,” on May 18, transporting attendees back to the glamorous 1920’s within the historic Mill Neck Manor House. This year’s event held special significance as it marked the 100th anniversary of the foundation, a milestone celebrated with glittering elegance and robust community support.

The evening was a testament to the foundation’s mission of creating an inclusive world for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The Manor House, a Tudor Revival mansion, was adorned in 1920s-themed décor, setting the stage for a night of cocktails, period costumes and live entertainment. Attendees, dressed in their finest Gatsby-inspired attire, mingled and danced to the music of a viola and singer duo.

Tanya Linzalone, senior audiologist at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, highlighted the importance of this event to help support the wide-ranging work done by the school and the manor’s other foundations.

“We serve children from six weeks old up to age 21, offering a range of educational and supportive services for those with hearing loss,” Linzalone said. “This fundraiser is crucial not only for the financial support it provides but also for raising awareness about our programs and fostering a sense of community.”

The fundraiser drew a significant crowd, with attendees participating in raffles, silent auctions, and guided tours of the Manor House and its scenic grounds. The house, a historical landmark, added a layer of nostalgia, enhancing the theme of the evening and offering guests a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the 1920s.

Proceeds from the event are directed toward the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, which includes educational and vocational programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

“Because of a decrease in donations, largely because of the financial strain Covid put on many families, these fundraisers are very important for the survival of the school and the other family of organizations,” Linzalone noted. “The funds raised ensure the continuation and expansion of our critical services.”

The Mill Neck Foundation also hosts a family-friendly Apple Festival each fall, another significant fundraiser that includes alumni homecoming celebrations. However, the Great Gatsby event stands out for its focus on adult attendees and its unique historical theme, offering a different way for the community to engage with and support the foundation.

Linzalone emphasized the importance of community involvement and public awareness. She said that spreading the word about Mill Neck’s work and supporting individuals with hearing loss not only helps support the organization, but also lets deaf and hard-of-hearing people know that they are part of a community that cares for and wants the best for them.

“We want the community to recognize the valuable work we do and the impact it has on individuals with hearing loss,” Linzalone said. “These fundraisers are not just about financial support; they help shed light on our mission and the services we provide.”