Hugh Merkle Team - COMPASS RE

Stone Harbor Museum Presents Film, Risley Award

Posted November 15th 2021

The Stone Harbor Museum had some important events this summer, including the showing of the documentary film, “The Miracle on 81st Street,” and the presentation of the Risley Award.

“The Miracle on 81st Street” tells the story of the Black community that flourished for more than 80 years. The film was based on first-person accounts of life as a Black person in Stone Harbor.

“I hope people who see the film walk away with an image of a Black community that was not victim,” said writer/director Jim Talone. “A community that created their own little paradise out of hard work, love and discipline.”

Talone, a retired English teacher, produced the film along with Anthony Anderson and Angela Rodriquez in conjunction with the Stone Harbor Museum.

Former neighbors from 81st Street came back to Stone Harbor to watch the film and meet with classmates from Stone Harbor Elementary School they hadn’t seen in years.
The film can now be viewed on YouTube by searching “Miracle on 81st Street.”

Meanwhile, the museum presented its fourth annual Risley Award to Dr. John Sprandio and Ed Breen at the “Tour Through Time Gala” held at The Reeds at Shelter Haven.

In the early 2000s, Sprandio had the idea to turn an empty lot in Stone Harbor into a destination in the heart of town. As with any new business, Sprandio found himself overcoming many obstacles. But once he met Breen and shared his idea over coffee, the two became an unstoppable team. Their hard work led to the opening of The Reeds at Shelter Haven and has continued to grow into the Refined Hospitality Group, which now employs more than 650 people.

“As community members of Stone Harbor for decades, and now business owners, we are truly honored to be presented with the Stone Harbor Museum’s Risley Award,” Sprandio said.

The award is presented to Stone Harbor residents who share the vision and dedication of the Risley brothers, who founded Stone Harbor years ago.

Said Breen: “We hope that The Reeds at Shelter Haven will continue to be a place where both locals and visitors can gather and enjoy our wonderful town, and all that it has to offer, together. We are always committed to supporting our community, and the museum, in its efforts to remember our past, as we look forward to our future. Stone Harbor is a very special place, and we are happy to be a part of its history.”

Photo caption: Bob Ashman presents the Stone Harbor Museum’s 2021 Risley Award to Dr. John Sprandio and Ed Breen.

The Hugh Merkle Team - COMPASS Office: 609-368-9100
374 96th Street, Stone Harbor
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