Turning 45
Some of the Pilot Club of Sayville members at last year’s fashion show.

Courtesy photo

Turning 45

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
2/28/2019


SAYVILLE—On Tuesday, March 5, local ladies will once again model the latest fashions on the runway of the annual Pilot Club of Sayville Fashion Show. The event helps raise money for brain-related disabilities, which is a major focus of this group. However, it will also serve as a way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the local organization.

There are currently 31 active members in this group. Members mostly reside in Sayville and the surrounding communities, but there are others who come from as far west as Islip and as east as Patchogue.

The Pilot Club is an international organization that has many chapters. It was founded in Georgia in 1921 by a group of local businesswomen intent on making a difference in their community. The name is actually derived from the captains – also known as pilots – of riverboats, who at that time safely guided their vessels into the harbor. The intent of this group is to help guide positive changes in the lives of others. 

Over the years, the club began to enlist the help of high school students, asking them to join in their mission in an offshoot known as Anchor Club. Many high schools around the country such as Sayville High School, have active Anchor Club members. The students help with various fundraisers for the organization.

Eileen Tyzner, the current president of the club, has been a member since 2008. “I love everything Pilot International represents,” she said. “They are such a great group.”

Since the Sayville branch of the Pilot Club was founded, they have helped to raise money for a number of worthwhile organizations, such as Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Bay Shore, Developmental Disabilities Institute, AHRC, Bell Haven Nursing Home, Day Haven, a day program for the elderly who are in need of supervision, and Brendan House, a center for brain-injured young men. The club’s Pick Me Up program also does something special for the people who are caretakers.

The Pilot Club of Sayville gives out a number of annual scholarships to Sayville students. This year they are giving a scholarship to a special education student from Bayport-Blue Point High School as well.

Isa Zale, a 20-year member of the club, said she first became aware of it while working as a social worker for AHRC. She joined after she retired.

Zale said the motto of the organization, which is “Friendship and Service,” is taken seriously by members. “Here we have made friends and together we provide service,” she said.

The club meets every first Tuesday of the month, alternating from Sayville Library to a local restaurant. “We’re always looking for new members,” said Zale.

This year’s fashion show will be held at the Mediterranean Manor in Patchogue beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $45/pp. and include dinner and the show. Club members and high school students will model fashions from Macy’s and Ooh La La Boutique in Sayville. There will be a basket raffle as well. For ticket information, call 631-589-1748 or 516-983-0427.