Adventures in Learning celebrates 52 years with wine tasting soirée

Liz and Bill Collard

Calling all party-goers. Are you weary and tired of these overcast rainy February days? Are you ready to party? Get that energy going and come to Adventures in Learning’s Wine Tasting Soirée, celebrating its 52nd Anniversary on Friday, March 6 at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, 455 Main Street in Port Washington. Cocktails will commence at 7:30 p.m., followed by a fabulous dinner buffet with selected wines, raffles, and entertainment.

Carson Daly, host of “The Voice” and “Today” shows, and a Manhasset resident, praised Adventures. After visiting, he said, “I have seen firsthand the incredible work done there.  The students are thriving. You can see it in their smiles when you walk in. Just as important are the faculty, volunteers and students working closely together, resulting in impressive outcomes. It says a lot about the supportive environment created at Adventures under the exceptional leadership of Diana Holden, executive director. We are very lucky to have such a magnificent organization here in Manhasset.”

The 2020 honorees are local residents, Bill and Liz Collard, and Father Damian Halligan.

Bill and Liz Collard have a long family association with Adventures. In 2004, their wedding was coordinated by Maggie Grundman, Adventures’ founder. Bill was inspired by his first visit to Adventures in the mid-70s when his mother, Julia Collard, volunteered there. Today, their oldest child, Kate is an Adventures volunteer. They have raised their three children – Kate, Tommy, and Julianne – in Manhasset.

Bill is a former board president of Adventures and served on its board for six years. About 10 years ago, he started painting and refurbishing their classrooms, also assisting with annual holiday parties where he appears as Santa.

A dedicated community activist, Bill is a Plandome Fire Department volunteer. He was was a former president of the Plandome Association and Plandome planning board member. He also plays Santa at the Village of Plandome’s annual holiday party. Bill is a principal at Collard & Roe, PC an intellectual property law firm and is the former chair of the intellectual property law committee of the Nassau Bar Association.

Liz Collard, formerly with AT&T, works in IT at IBM. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader and Service Unit chair. She has been a Shelter Rock classroom representative for six years and is also a Shelter Rock parent ambassador. Collard is also a Junior League executive board member and teaches Sunday School at the Congregational Church where she is also a Christian Education board member.

Father Damian Halligan
(Photos courtesy of Eleanor Lange)

Father Damian Halligan was an Adventures volunteer for many years where he also began a chess club for the kids. In June 1967, he was ordained a Jesuit priest at Fordham University. He then served in Nigeria for a year during their civil war. Returning to the United States, he ministered at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset for six years and then ministered in the Bronx for three years for province administration.

Afterward, Father Halligan was a pastor at St. Peter’s Parish in downtown Jersey City, followed by a return to St. Ignatius until it closed when he tended his seriously ill sister, Sr. Jane Halligan. Afterward, he ministered at St. Aidan’s and then St. Anthony’s Parish in Oceanside. Halligan retired to Fordham University for health reasons where he continues his retreat and parish ministry.

The ever-popular Sirius XM Radio DJ Liquid Todd will provide the music for this very hot ticket event, while the very generous and talented Westhampton floral interior designers Debbie and Steve Boehl of Honeysuckle & Roses will again design the event space.

Soirée tickets are $175 per person and $100 for young adults ages 21-30. Kash for Kids raffle tickets are $100 each with three prizes of $3,000, $1,500 and $500. A maximum of 250 tickets will be sold.

Underwriting opportunities are as follows: Wine & Food: $5,000, Printing: $2,500, Entertainment: $1,000 and Raffles: $500. Underwriters will be prominently recognized.

To purchase tickets, raffles, and underwriting or to make a donation, please visit The Digital Journal will be on display during the event. Ad prices are $500 for a full-page, $250 for a half-page and $100 for a quarter page. Donors will have access to a digital copy of the journal.

For those interested in reservations/tickets to the event, go to the website at, or contact Diana Holden, executive director, at or call 516-365-7131.

Adventures’ Executive Director Diana Holden notes that “the support of Adventures made by this year’s honorees has been extraordinary. Their love of and for the Adventures family has been a gift to the children. On behalf of the Board and everyone at Adventures, we thank our honorees for their kindness, devotion, and generosity. Our honorees, donors, staff, and volunteers have been an example of neighborly altruism, friendship, and dedication. We so appreciate all of you.”

Submitted by Adventures in Learning


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