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Gyrodyne Co. to Match Marine Conservation Center Repair Donations

Gyrodyne COO is a former student of Dr. Erwin J. Ernst, for whom the Ward Melville Heritage Organization's waterside classroom is named.

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization announced Wednesday that Gyrodyne Co. of America will match donations made to help it repair the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy at the Ernst Marine Conservation Center.

Gyrodyne COO Peter Pitsiokos is a former student of Dr. Erwin J. Ernst, for whom the WMHO's waterside classroom is named. On Wednesday, he said the company will match donations up to $5,000 made through the WMHO's campaign on Indiegogo. The deadline is March 31.

"Gyrodyne is humbled and happy to play a role in this effort," Pitsiokos said in a statement.

The WMHO needs to raise $80,000 in order to complete all the repairs, which are already underway. The organization is trying to raise $10,000 for carpeting, vinyl flooring and trim work through Indiegogo.

The Marine Conservation Center is located at the 88-acre wetlands preserve at West Meadow Creek. It has been offering programs to students of all ages for more than 50 years.

"The programs have had a major impact on students and many that have taken the class went on to careers in marine sciences because of the experiences they had at the MCC," Laura Ernst, WMHO Trustee and widow of Dr. Ernst, said in a statement.

Gyrodyne Co. is a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in St. James. It is well known as the entity from which New York State annexed land through eminent domain for expansion at Stony Brook University.

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