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Dozens of Eateries Offer Tasting to Raise Money for Memorial Scholarship

Fundraiser for journalism scholarship in memory of Village Times Herald editor will showcase more than 50 restaurants and vendors.

Lee Lutz didn't need to go far from his birthplace to find what he wanted in life.

He died in April at the same hospital in which he was born, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, having lived his entire life within a roughly one-mile radius. His work as a journalist in this area inspired a certain passion in him, said his son, Mark, in a recent interview. That passion will be remembered by a new Stony Brook University scholarship. 

Funds for the scholarship, which is to be offered through the university's School of Journalism, will be raised at a benefit event being held Thursday at the . 

"We're really excited about the event. We've been working on it for about a month," said Gino Veneroso, sales manager at the hotel. He said more than 50 Long Island restaurants and food vendors will be serving samples of specialty entrees. More than 200 people are expected, he said.

School of Journalism dean Howard Schneider said his department is trying to support the fundraiser in any way it can, advertising for it and encouraging faculty to attend.

"Our role in the process is to select students that would qualify for the scholarship," he said.

The scholarship will memorialize a man who got into journalism after more than 20 years in land surveying, having earned an engineering degree in 1969.

An avid reader, Lee started at The Village Times Herald in 2005 as a reporter – without any background in the field, said his son. One year later he was executive editor of the paper.

Mark Lutz called his father a gentle and friendly man who had an affinity for politics and focused his writing on local government.

"I can tell you that his career in journalism was definitely the one he was most passionate about and enjoyed the most," Mark said.

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