The Friends and Trustees of Raynham Hall Museum held their annual Love Re-Awakened Benefit at the Muttontown Country Club on May 6 to raise money for the historic spy museum and, for the first time ever, to honor the hard work of local news publications. Guests were dazzled by stunning table displays, live music and a wide range of entertainments.
Raynham Hall Museum is one several iconic museums and education centers in Oyster Bay, famously home to Revolutionary War-era spy Robert Townsend. In addition to providing information on Long Island and espionage during the Revolution, the museum also educates on life in the Victorian period.
This year’s benefit also honored local journalism, with representatives from Richner Communications, the North Shore Leader and Anton Media Group.
Harriet Clark, executive director of Raynham, explained that the decision to honor local media came in part from the fact that George Santos’ campaign office had been across the street from the museum in Oyster Bay. She added that she and the board had felt it was their responsibility to honor and promote local journalists for their work exposing him and for being assets to their communities.
“For two years now I think we’ve all been thinking that we need more local press, because otherwise you’re kind of flying blind,” Clark continued. “I think it’s just a crucial part of the community and so I think it’s important to focus the light on the press a little bit.”
John Lally, publisher of the North Shore Leader, a representative from Anton Media Group and Stuart Richner, publisher of the Herald Newspapers and owner of Richner Communications, all took the stage to be honored. Each touched on the importance of local media coverage, highlighting the unique role and importance that the free press has had on American history.
The event was a huge success, raising roughly $60,000, which will go toward sponsoring trips for schools and students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to visit Raynham Hall, as well as to pay the tour guides, staff and enable the museum to continue to educate and serve the community.