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Sara Kelly, Famous Rye Debutante

Sara Kelly of Rye is famous.

AP photo debutante Sara Kelly On December 29, Kelly was one of 47 young women who were ushered into formal high society at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Kelly's photo, along with the following caption, ran with an Associated Press story by Karen Matthews on the event:

"Sara Kelly, center, of Rye, N.Y., speaks to her sister Courtney, left, and friend Alliston Parr in the ladies room during the 54th International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 in New York. The debutantes included European aristocrats and scions of American families from the Social Register."

Matthews reported: "Forty-seven young women donned white gowns and greeted guests Monday at the International Debutante Ball, a holdover from an era when the daughters of the upper crust were presented to society as a preface to meeting suitable mates… The debutantes at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel included European aristocrats and scions of American families from the Social Register… A debutante's family pays $14,000 for a table as well as thousands of dollars for couture gowns, hairdressers and related expenses."


  1. people don’t want to hear about your “faux” famous life with $14K for a table when people across America are losing their homes in foreclosure.

    our little Rye debutante could stand to lose a few pounds and get a make over

  2. Acacia—Yikes!!…You have picked a very appropriate name for yourself:
    “The plants tend to be thorny and pod-bearing. The name derives from ακις (akis) which is Greek for a sharp point, due to the thorns in the type-species”….Give the poor girl a break…..Perhaps you’d like to post a photo of yourself or some family members, so’s we can have a look-see…and, maybe comment….It’s not her fault her family is in the Social Register…I think it’s kinda cool…Additionally, she looks just fine to me…no makeover needed…she’s a baby, for cryin’ out loud !!
    I hope she had a GRAND time at her Debutante Ball !!!!

    And, before you ask me for a photo..here:

  3. Michael,
    I think she is a cutie. However, you neglected to tell everyone about acacia fiber. Acacia fiber is made from organic fiber which comes from the gum of the acacia tree. As well as its properties as a fiber supplement it is also marketed as a ‘prebiotic’, which means that it increases good gut flora (the friendly bacteria in the gut like me). The manufacturers say that it also slows down colonic fermentation, which decreases gas and bloating. These are some of the effluents entering the Sound from the improper sewage pits along the shores of Hen Island that you condone. Before you ask me here is my picture!

  4. Raymond Tartaglione aka Mr. Floatie:
    You should have controled your anger issues, mentioned in your New York Times interview years ago and paid closer attention in class. (Here’s the story, for those of you who missed it:
    “I excelled in anger and disruptive behavior with a minor in rebellion and bitterness. I was doing so well in these subjects that the school administration started to process my promotion to an institution for students supposedly to learn to fix things, but its actual purpose was to remove those whose disruptive behavior contaminates the traditional academic environment. At this point in my life my mentor, a guidance counselor at the high school, surfaced. He was about to launch my career and I didn’t even realize it! He influenced the administration to cancel their ”promotion” efforts and arranged for me to remain in Dobbs Ferry High in the morning and to work in a training program for future gas station owner/operators in the afternoon…. “…Ray Tartaglione/Dobbs Ferry/)

    It’s not likely your alter-ego, Mr. Floatie can be considered a “friendly bacteria in the gut”…Mr. Floatie is feces…defined as follows: feces contribute to spreading of diseases and intestinal parasites”

    Again, studying and doing your homework would have prevented you from making the mis-statements you make….I NEVER said I “condone” sewage pits along the shoreline of Hen Island….I simply stated Hen Island is a wonderful spot for those fortunate seasonal inhabitants who happen to own campsites there……

  5. Mike – nice going on looking up Acacia in Wikipedia,
    It’s very clear to me you didn’t read the whole article.

    And as far as your picture on facebook — you could use a haircut. I wasn’t sure which one was the woman..

  6. My Rye friends, I have to agree with Mr. “Acacia.”

    I find the whole concept of “debutantes” to be not only out-dated, but rather insulting to today’s modern women. The antiquated idea of parading around “eligible” young women hoping they’ll “nab” a man to marry is really a bit pathetic. Like a grand wedding, the event is more for the over-bearing mothers and less for the poor girl. Just imagine the pressure the child is under.

    Shame on the parents and our society for perpetuating old traditions that support the suppression of women.

    I’m in my late 70s and I went through it myself when I was a young gal. I really regret the whole scene. It’s a shame Ms. Kelly was forced into the brouhaha. I suspect, like me, she will look back years from now and roll her eyes.

    Still, from the tiny photo it appears she was very lovely and looked wonderful. The perfect man-bait for a rich, blue-blood future husband.

    God Bless Superficiality!

  7. Mike,
    Once again you are telling half truths and speaking on matters that you have not fully investigated. I didn’t have a problem telling the story to the New York Times in 2001, and I will be happy to retell the story now. It was a story chosen from hundreds submitted. Believe it or not, it even plays a small part in the pollution and code avoidance taking place on Hen Island. Below you will find the full story, which I happen to be very proud to have penned in November of 2001. It is a heart warming story about a teacher that takes the time to go the extra mile and make a difference in the life of a student headed in the wrong direction. I was eight years old when my parents divorced, and my mother needed to work full time in order to support the family that she loved so dearly. She cared for her family with a passion that she instilled in her children. I do not believe that you have ever met my mother Mike, but I believe your wife Margaret, my moms namesake, has met mom several times on Hen Island. My mother loved the water and the outdoors just as I do. She fell in love with Hen Island the first time stepped foot on it. She spent many afternoons and weekends there before she passed away from cancer. She loved the sunshine on her face and the reflection off the water. Mom was our precious matriarch, a member of the family you once stated (on this site), that I didn’t have, or you had never seen. Many other family members have visited Hen Island on more than one occasion and some of them are there on a weekly basis. I guess I didn’t know that they had to check-in with you as soon as they stepped foot on island.
    Although I did stray from a lack of supervision, my mom did teach me a number of things that still echo in my ear on a daily basis. Honesty and Integrity were two of her biggest lessons. Another was that if you make a mistake, take responsibility for your actions and don’t lose the lesson in the process. I assume yourself and the Mayor never learned those lessons. She also taught me that persistence was a virtue.
    Now getting back to the New York Times article in 2001, the article was about an educator that was most influential in my life. That educator’s name was Andy Spano. Andy and his wife Brenda, have been to my home on Hen Island and we are still friends to this day. When I asked him about the Hen Island controversy, I was told that “he could not discuss it with me”. This was the first time he has ever let me down. I try not to get involved in politics and respect his wishes, even though I have been in his company several times since, we have never spoken a word about Hen Island. Andy has known me for years and I am sure he knows that I will do everything in my power to rectify the problems and he has given me his blessing in doing so.
    The link to the complete NYT article follows.
    Michael I didn’t realize that you had a degree in Psychology. If you do, you had better get back quick for a refresher course because your teacher obviously didn‘t go the extra mile with you.

    Ray Tartaglione

  8. acacia…….commenting on people’s looks alone is quite easy…anyone can do it….my experience has been that folks who make fun of others’ appearances are usually lacking in some inner strength…perhaps lacking confidence….perhaps they think of themselves as unattractive….come on, prickley, thorny acacia…post a pic…let’s all take a look….
    And, if you can’t tell which one is the woman in the photo I posted, perhaps commenting on people’s looks is not something you should be spending your time doing…perhaps you should take a break from the computer screen and get an eye exam….mike

  9. Mr. Tartaglione:

    That was a nice article in the NY Times.

    Your mom obviously did a good job of fostering honesty, integrity and accountability into your life. Unfortunately, in the City of Rye, honesty and integrity have taken a back seat to incompetence, no accountability and covering all of this up no matter what the cost and collateral damage to good Rye people.

    Otis, Shew, Connors and Plunkett all need to go in 2009.

  10. To Mr. Michael Johnson and Mr. Acacia:

    I wish you two would simmer down and stop the nonsense. Why can’t we all just get along? We’re headed into The Great Depression Part II, we need to focus on bigger issues.

    Thank you. And God Bless.

  11. mike –
    I work in the fashion industry and I get paid to analyze what people wear and carry. I’m one of those people that creates the look for others to follow. If it wasn’t for people like me or my coworkers, everyone would still be stuck in the 80’s with stone washed jeans and a mullet.

    Most people can’t handle blunt feedback. You’re not a bad looking guy – do yourself a favor and get a haircut and buy youself a nice black button down shirt. You’ll thank me for it… Eggshell colored Miami style floral shirts aren’t really working for you — Actually no man should be wearing shirts with floral prints. End of story.

  12. acacia…..YIKES x 2 !!!
    “End of story”/ not.
    At age 63 I’m not looking to you for fashion sense…what “works” for me is being comfortable. I’ve been wearing “Hawaiian” shirts for 40 years….I don’t think I’ll be getting fashion advice from a self-absorbed, ego-maniac, who “creates looks for others to follow”….
    Ever heard of Alfred Shaheen?


    Thanks MyRye for providing this wonderful format…..allowing Ryeites their say..

  13. you not only try to steal good names, you also seem to “HIGHJACK”
    other peoples threads for your own
    obsessive narrow selfish interests.
    FOR Shame Mr. Floatie.

  14. Wow – lots of vitriol from a variety of people. Sounds like some are jealous that there are still some people out there capable of injecting some much needed money into our economy. Good for the Kellys – the hospitality business needs more like them.
    The fact that Ms. Kelly opted to debut has led to all sorts of snide comments from others about motivations of both her and her parents. And somehow this gets to the problems of Hen Island? Get a life, people – how others chose to spend their time and their money is their business, not yours. I’m sure that Ms. Kelly chose freely to partake in the ceremonies, instead of being forced into it like what may have happened in the late 40’s. She’s also free to pursue the “modern women’s” dream of pursuing a career and forgoing the marriage to pursue self-fulfillment. Again, NOT YOUR BUSINESS!
    Would you prefer that people who have the means stop spending their money? If they do, you certainly won’t like the impact on your 401-k, brokerage statements, IRA, job prospects and business opportunities.

  15. “I excelled in anger and disruptive behavior with a minor in rebellion and bitterness.”

    Wow, that explains a lot……..

  16. Sorry Bucky Claudio Iodice also lives on Hen Island three doors away from me and Mike. Right now he is in Saint Martin for the winter. I do speak to him frequently. If you like you can give me a call 914-948-1100 and I would be happy to give you his phone number to confirm his post. Although I don’t think you would be happy with his response to you. I actually asked him to tone it down before he sent it.

  17. you speak for him frequently? What does that mean?
    How many alter ego’s do you have?
    How many other psudo names do you use posting on line?

  18. Bucky,
    Once again I am sorry; you need to read my post again. I said “I speak to him frequently.” Meaning every few days. A question for you. Did you mean pseudo? Don’t answer that, it not really important I know what you meant. The real question is what you thought about the links. Regardless of who sent them, if you don’t live on Hen Island why would you not want the problems corrected?


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