Stepping Stones Lighthouse Big 5K Winner

From left: TONH Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, TONH Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Historical Society Event Chairman Charles Schneider and GN Park District Commissioner Robert A. Lincoln, Jr., are surrounded by race participants.

It could not have been a more perfect autumnal day for the first 5K Walk/Run to raise money for the restoration of the iconic Stepping Stones Lighthouse. Sunny skies, crisp air and breathtaking Steppingstone Park still ablaze with flowers overlooking Long Island Sound, set the stage. For some of the 200 runners and walkers who participated, it was an introduction to one of the jewels of Great Neck and, for hometown participants, it was all about meeting and greeting and sharing high spirits. It seemed that everyone felt like a winner, regardless of whether they actually won.

Winner Theo Chang, 15, of Great Neck, crossed the finish line in 20 minutes and 2 seconds. (Photo by Michele Siegel)

Fifteen-year-old Theo Chang of Great Neck completed the course in 20 minutes and 2 seconds; followed by Ron Hahitti, 23, of New Hyde Park, who came in at 21 minutes, 13 seconds; and in third place was David Dillmeier, 49, of Garden City, who clocked 21 minutes and 20 seconds for third place.

Tami Secunda, 36, of Great Neck placed first in the women’s division, completing the race in 24 minutes and 37 seconds; followed by Emily Zucal, 40, at 25 minutes and 10 seconds; and in third place, Lauren Kakimi, 17, of Great Neck who finished in 25 minutes and 13 seconds.

Gloria and Dan Nachmanoff were winners in their age category. (Photo by Michele Siegel)

Among local notables who raced or walked, Mayor Jean Celender of Great Neck Plaza crossed the finish line in an impressive 33 minutes and 21 seconds. Gloria Nachmanoff and Park District Commissioner Dan Nachmanoff finished first in their age categories clocking in at 58 minutes and 47 seconds, and 60 minutes, 15 seconds, respectively. President of the Great Neck Library Board Robert Schaufeld came in at 64 minutes, 25 seconds.

Complete breakdowns of all the age/gender categories for the top three winners will soon be available on the lighthouse website at

Second place winner Ron Hahitti completed the course in 21 minutes and 13 seconds. (Photo by Michele Siegel)

The event would not have been as successful without the support of the sponsors. Event organizers Charles Schneider, Great Neck Historical Society President Alice Kasten and Park District Commissioner Robert A. Lincoln, Jr., agree that those individuals and businesses cannot be thanked enough.

Tami Secunda from Great Neck came in first in the women’s division at 24 minutes, 37 seconds. (Photo by Michele Siegel)

Event sponsors include Nuclear Cleaners; Bagel Mentch; Vigilant Fire Company; Jack Blaha; Saltlife Marine Service; Lalezarian Development, Inc.; The Andrew Hotel; Great Neck Chamber of Commerce; FCE Group; Great Neck Diner; Harris, Bloom & Archer LLP; Edna Mashaal Reality; Nemat Homes, Inc.; North Shore Prosthodontics Associates; Norman Collision Works; Taiming Perlman Realtor; Marienbad; Rotary Club of Great Neck; Roger Chizever; Systematic Control; Elona and Richard Weiner; Inn of Great Neck; Alert Fire Company; Great Neck Auto Tech; Ira Ganzfried CPA, PC; Women’s Health and Wellness; Bagel Hut; Best Bagel; and Blank Slate Media.

Melanie Benvenne (right), the first woman in her age group, and Pat Schneider who placed third, enjoy the moment. (Photo by Michele Siegel)

The Town of North Hempstead, which is the official steward of the Stepping Stones Lighthouse, under the direction of Supervisor Judi Bosworth, provided printed promotional brochures, posters, banners and large signs.

Special thanks go to the people and organizations that made sure the race/walk was safe: The Village of Kings Point Police Department provided invaluable leadership, along with the Nassau County Police and the Auxiliary Police; Vigilant Fire Company’s ambulance service volunteers were present in case of any emergencies; Great Neck Park District staff contributed to the smooth working of the event; and Eventpower of Long Island rounded out the perfection of the day.

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