The Ward Melville Heritage Organization's Educational and Cultural Center celebrates its 10th anniversary this week with a variety show and dinner party set for Thursday evening.
Gloria Rocchio, president of the WMHO, said the center has had "an extraordinary journey" over the past decade that has delivered just what the organization intended.
"We’re doing exactly what we wanted to do with it," she said.
Among the center's highlights over the past decade: the 2005 debut of "Running Scared, Running Free," an ongoing educational production about the Underground Railroad and its ties to Long Island; a program on the rainforests of Panama that was broadcast to the ECC live on location in 2005; and an appearance by ABC television's "Explorers of Extreme" host Richard Wiese in 2008.
Rocchio said the ECC was conceived in part to solve a problem: The WMHO produced numerous programs and events for the community – which were held outside and were thus weather-dependent. "Many, many times they were canceled," she said. "So the organization thought it would be important to have a place where we could have our progams and other people could also have their programs."
The event on Thursday will feature a performance by local songstress Carolyn Benson; a tribute to Patti Page by St. George Productions; saxophonist, educator and composer Shenole Latimer; a performance by the WMHO's Youth Corps theater group; and more. John Kominicki, president and publisher of Long Island Business News, will serve as the emcee.
Tickets are $75 and the price includes dinner, dessert, and wine by Pentimento, Three Village Inn, and The Country House. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and performances begin at 8 p.m. Ticket sales will benefit the ECC and are thus tax-deductible.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the event's emcee.