There was a palpable sense of Americana Sunday afternoon within the on the campus of . It was there that the Rockville Centre Community Fund held its Fourth Annual Enchanted Winterland Showcase. The afternoon featured a performance by the South Shore Symphony followed by a catered reception.
The RVC Community fund provides financial support for village residents in need.
Local philanthropists Richard and Cerina McQuillan were honored prior to the performance. The husband and wife were the first honorees in the history of the event.
“It’s a true honor,” Cerina said. “Never did (we) ever expect to be honored for something like this. We just love being a part of the Rockville Centre community. This is where I graduated (Molloy), so this is that much more of an honor for me.”
The McQuillan’s own and have been longtime supporters of the Rockville Centre Community Fund. They have organized and sponsored countless fundraisers within the community, including the and the Fall Festival, according to the events official program.
“The McQuillan’s have done so much for our community, especially this event,” said RVC Mayor Francis X. Murray, who suggested that the couple be recognized. “They have been behind it since its inception four years ago. They have been the main sponsor of the event, giving up their own personal money to help others.”
Richard, a fourth generation Rockville Centre resident, donated a $100 from every Links real estate sale to the 2011 edition of Enchanted Winterland.
After the honorees posed for pictures and were presented citations, the theme of the afternoon took over. Playing selections from composer Aaron Copland, the symphony took audience members on an audio tour of the Old West. The finale came complete with accompanied dance from students at
“Every year is a different theme,” event co-founder Joan MacNaughton said. “This year we felt that the Americana, because of what America is about, was important because it (featured) home grown people in the community. It’s fun to be able to go back to being regular Americans from the times when they did the hoedown.”
Since 2008, Enchanted Winterland has raised more than $30,000, according to the official program.
“Each year, the money raised has doubled,” MacNaughton said.
That growth has signaled to organizers that the mid-winter concert is quickly becoming a Rockville Centre staple.
“I think it’s a great way for the community to come together and support each other and celebrate the fact that we are all here for each other,” said sponsor Susan Bevilacqua.