Stony Brook, NY –This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization founded by its namesake, whose philanthropic works and foresight are legendary. 


Ward Melville’s visions for the Stony Brook area included the establishment of a world renowned education institution, Stony Brook University (to which he donated 400 acres of land as well as personal funding); the protection of environmentally sensitive areas; educational and cultural programs and the preservation of historic properties, dating back to the Revolutionary War, for present and future generations to experience.


Each year WMHO hosts their “Jewels & Jeans” Gala, their main fundraising event, which will take place on June 19 from 6 pm to 10 pm at Flowerfield in St. James.  A cocktail hour will kick off the evening with entertainment by Tom Manuel and The Jazz Loft All Stars. An exciting night follows with dinner, meeting this year’s Honorees, raffles, a Silent Auction and a Live Auction which includes a Lessing’s Fine Dining Experience for three $300 gift certificates at Mirabelle at Three Village Inn, Sandbar Restaurant and the View Restaurant; Dinner for eight by personal Chef Lance; a four-night stay for 10 at The Dome; a VIP Stargazing Experience at Avalon Park & Preserve and one night ocean view room at Gurney’s Montauk. The fundraising goal for this 80th Anniversary of the organization will be a net of $80,000.  All proceeds will be used for much needed restorations to three of WMHO’s historic properties, each of which is on the New York State and National Register of Historic PlacesThe Brewster House, c. 1665, is in dire need of siding and chimney repairs; The Thompson House, c. 1709, needs extensive restorations to its chimney and The Stony Brook Grist Mill, c. 1751, the most complete working grist mill on Long Island, requires repairs to the very intricate mechanisms that are still in use today. Funds are needed as well to continue producing WMHO’s 70-plus award-winning educational and cultural programs each year. 

For their outstanding achievements to the community, the Jewels & Jeans Honorees this year (pictured left to right) are:


For information on tickets, sponsorships, donations visit or call 631-751-2244.