Jon Breen Letter to MVHS 3-15-98

                                                                                JON BREEN MEMORIAL FUND

                                                                                      Mount Vernon High School

                                                                                 100 California Road

                                                                             Mount Vernon, NY 10552   

                                                                                914- 5665-5300 FAX 914-665-5281


March 15, 1998


Dear Classmates and Friends,


Hopefully this letter will find you and yours all healthy and happy.  At about this time last year I had written to you about my visit to Mount Vernon High School and about some of the happenings with our fellow classmates.  In recalling the February 12th 1997 letter, I note that Warren & Mary Adis have successfully returned from Israel and their eldest daughter Zana (from Rosie) is finishing her first year at Rutgers, where my daughter graduated in 1994.  Henry Littlefield has been successfully battling colon cancer and his recent conversation with me was quite upbeat. Dave ”Pete” Sisto, who lives in Aptos, went to see HML and also gave me a positive report.  Of course, I continue to correspond with Lew Perelman, Frank Engel and Larry Reich. We see Wendy & Alan Rosenberg, who is an outstanding Knickerbocker round ball aficionado. He attended with 20 or so others our December 7th Reunion brunch. In January, while we were visiting our daughter Dana in Boston, we were able to enjoy the hospitality of Diane Baer Ryan and her husband Tom in their home in Bedford, Ma. Bert Collins and Sue Phillips Collins were also there with their young son who was quite happy to frolic with the Ryan’s young boy.

As I noted last February, MVHS had started an effort to rehabilitate its auditorium. Since that time I have become chairperson of that effort, and it is now known as Project 2000. It has been an interesting experience. To paraphrase, the great Winston Churchill, in regards to the progress of Project 2000, “ it is not the beginning of the end, but certainly the end of the beginning.”  In the last few months I have had the distinct pleasure and opportunity of speaking and getting approval from the MV Board of Education, the Mayor of Mount Vernon and the City Council. I will be addressing the Black Minister’s Interdenominational Breakfast on March 21st as part of our grass-roots communication effort.


In the past few months I have been working on our 35th MVHS reunion and I have heard from many of you on the same subject. After our Reunion brunch I was able to receive some excellent advice and help from Michael Rosenblum, Ayn Silverman, Sue Satenstein, Sandy Yorn and Marcia Salonger. Hopefully we will all receive notices from Reunions of Design of Stamford, CT. unless an earthquake happens, the reunion will be held October 17th, at the Tarrytown Hilton.


Meanwhile over the past few months I have heard from Stuart Tobin, Judy Lange Godfrey of Action Property Management of Euclid, Ohio, Pete Sisto, Alan Wexler, a lawyer in East Amherst, NY, Paul Luciano, Jimmy Cotton, Lee Jackel, Bill Bernstein and Peter Altieri.  Through the internet and other sources I have spoken to Roger Caro, Patty Kravitt Ellis, who has an outstanding mail order gift business, Andy Mahler, Alice Merker Peters, Vicky Slavin Pinkerton, Harvey Berenger, Ron Pomerance, Ellen Fuchs Abramson, Elaine Knopping Haimes, Barbara Soloff Levy, a famous writer and illustrator of children’s books published by Troll and Dover, (working on three books) Judy Cohen Rosenthal, Jim Kurtz, a retired real-estate magnate upstate, Fran Lazar Ashkin, who’s son will be married in June and has been hiding in Dix Hills, LI, Elaine Turkin, Steve Blankstein, Jimmy Gordon, former MVHS wrestler, Bruce and Phil Dix, and Jane Cutler Feirer. Recently I met with and was treated to breakfast at the Regency Hotel by Richard Kahan, who is also running for Governor of New York. Richard Kahan's campaign can be reached at the Committee to Rebuild New York at 212-572-6340 or email Richard also gave a very generous gift to the Jon Breen Fund and has voiced his support for Project 2000.  By the way our old friend Jim Finch is a member of our Project 2000 Committee and serves as Mount Vernon’s commissioner of Public Works.



I also had the pleasure of visiting the offices of Michael Fuchs in New York City. He seems to be surviving quite well in his retirement from HBO. Laura  Kosof Fluhr is off to New Zealand and Australia and according to her email, is looking forward to our reunion. I just received a letter and a post high school picture form Elaine Pogostin Brown, who enjoyed hearing from two of our classmates, Shelly Greenberg and Michael Rosenblum.  Barbara Lambert Howard is finishing nursing school and seems as happy and bubbling as usual. She asserts that she will be at the reunion.


Yesterday, we had our second in a series of pre-reunion brunches. We first met at my home, and then ventured two blocks to Ernesto’s Restaurant on Rte#22. Because of the slight threat of inclement weather some of the less hearty were frightened off. But, be that as it may, we still had a great time with Warren Adis, Stan Goldmark, Sue Satenstein, Ayn Silverman, (her friend Jeff), Joel Grossman, Diane McGinnis Fleck, Elaine Turkin, Richard Levin, Bob Mayer, Linda Garfunkel and our special guests from Portland, Oregon, Frank and Pam Engel.  Our informal committee is sending out a letter and a list of our missing persons to every classmate with an address (that we know of). Please send me the addresses of anyone on that missing list. Hopefully we will find someone with a great backyard and pool to host another one of these events in June or July!


The 1998 MVHS Award’s night will be held on June 15, 1998 at 7:30 PM. I look forward to reporting on that event. As a reminder, reflective of my role as the Chairperson of the Jon Breen Fund, this is a charitable effort that builds bridges between the past and the present. It perpetuates the memory of an outstanding member of our class and an outstanding citizen whose life reflected only the best and brightest. If we want the next generation to come forth with the same intellectual vigor that Jon possessed, we should encourage it with as much help as possible. There are worse things that you could spend your money on! No check of any size will be refused and it can be sent to either address at the top or the bottom.





Richard J. Garfunkel