Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts to honor local couples at Oct. 27 gala


The Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts will be honoring Betty and Jules Abramson as well as Mary Lou and Anthony Cancellieri at its annual gala, called “City of Lights,” on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Atlantic Beach.

The Guild, which supports the South Shore Symphony and the Long Island Lyric Opera, puts on performances each year that feature talented volunteer musicians and professional performers. The Symphony has performed for more than two decades at the Village Fireworks celebration in July and with concerts at the Madison Theatre at Molloy College. 

Jules and Betty Abramson have been Rockville Centre residents for 45 years. Jules built and operates the Bramson House, a service provider to the hospitality industry, which is now in Freeport and was once at the current site of the Hampton Inn in Rockville Centre.

He has been a supporter of the Guild for the Arts and many of its projects including the Nutcracker Ballet. Betty and Jules were married in Argentina in 1962 and came to the United States one year later. Their children, Julie, Jackie and Ellis, attended Rockville Centre schools.

Mary Lou and Anthony Cancellieri moved from Valley Stream to Rockville Centre in 1986. Mary Lou pursued a teaching career while Anthony has spent more than 35 years in government service including a position with the Village of Rockville Centre as Village Administrator under Mayor Eugene Murray. Anthony went on to become Nassau County’s chief deputy county executive. He then joined Park Strategies and retired in 2017.

Mary Lou and Anthony have focused on their charity work in support of research and treatment for autism at the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In 2016, the couple founded RVC Blue Speaks, a non-profit organization, after their grandson Louis was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 2.

Anthony is also the vice chairman of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Board of Directors. He has supported the Guild for Arts and has appeared on stage in the Nutcracker production.

 Coming off its successful performances of “Tosca,” a full opera production, the South Shore Symphony now focuses on the start of its season. Shows, at Molloy College, include Copeland and Beethoven on Nov. 3; Video Games Live on Nov. 17 and 18; and the Nutcracker Ballet with guest stars from the Boston Ballet and Leggz Ballet on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and 2. For more information about the performances, visit

If you are interested in coming to the gala, which will be held at the Atlantic Beach Club at 7 p.m., or would like to support the Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts, contact Wayne Lipton at or call (516) 984-4620.