The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center prides itself on being a staple part of the East End community. Over the years, our children have grown up and ventured out into the world to become quite successful. We have created this alumni series to not only inspire our current children as they prepare for the future but to remind the alumni that they will always be apart of The Center family.
Ronald White, affectionately known as “Ronnie”, grew up right in Bridgehampton on Huntington Crossway, less than a mile from the Center, with his parents and three siblings. His older brother, Russell White III, is currently an elementary teacher in the South Bronx, his younger brother, Anthony White, is a certified physical trainer on the East End, and his sister, Sharvon Cooks, is a manager/clerk at Suburban Sanitation and secretary/treasurer at the First Church of God in Christ. He gives all thanks to his mother, Dorothy White, and his father, Russell White Jr., for their families’ success. [Rest in peace, Pop. Love you!]
Ronnie attended Bridgehampton School his entire life and went on to attended college at SUNY Cortland, Suffolk Comm College and LIU Southampton. He is now licensed Sales Agent at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Bridgehampton for the past 14 years. He is now married to his lovely wife, Milena White, and they have two handsome sons, Elijah and Ezra.
BHCCRC: Tell us a little about your childhood and growing up in The Hamptons. What high school did you attend, what sports/activities did you participate in, etc
Ron: My childhood was awesome, I wouldn’t trade it in for the world!! Growing up, we never considered our home, “the Hamptons”. To me, this is the Great East End! An area made up of little towns that many of us spent our lives town hopping for parties, open gyms, SAT prep, multi-cultural classes, leadership conferences, church, carnivals, graduation parties…did I say church?, funerals, weddings, rec-nights, oh yeah…church and an occasional high school rival basketball game or two. Despite the rival history, the East End has always been made up of people who’ve shown love well beyond our town borders. In short, the East End is one big family. For me, I’m lucky enough to be from Bridgehampton aka “Tha Bridge” aka the 2nd most dynamic school in the state in Basketball, 3rd smallest school in New York State!
I attended Bridgehampton School. I was a three sport student athlete from 7th-12th grade, participating in basketball, football and track & field. I played the baritone and trumpet for our school band and participated in school government my entire high school career.
BHCCRC: When did you attend the Center? What is your most memorable moment here?
Ron: I’ve been a patron at the Center from the age of three to this present day. My brother Russ and I graduated Pre-K at the Center. I can vaguely remember the ceremony believe it or not! Back then, Ms. Parks was the director. However, I most fondly remember summer camp. Man…..those were the days! The camp goers came from all walks of life, some from the next town over like Gary and Chappelle coming from Sag Harbor, and other from out of state like Jeff and Brandon Clay from Virginia; but when we got to the Center, we were all one and we looked forward to see each other every summer. The love we had for each other was indescribable. The Center is where you first learned how to sing and the same place where you had your first opportunity to test your basketball skills against the local talent on “hard court.” (I specify hard court because prior to The Center, many of us played basketball in our backyards on dirt that you had to water down every 15 minutes to keep the dust under control.) The Center is also where you first learned how to barter and negotiate especially during lunch when we would all scope out each other’s lunches and start trading. I was always ready to trade my ham sandwich for a PB&J. To this day, that’s still my absolute favorite.
Those are some very brief memorable moments at the Center for me but overall, it was a place where you had the opportunity to implement the lessons you were taught at home. For many of us, the Center served as a conduit to the “real world”. We spent a lot of time there as a result of our parents’ work schedules. The Center was a launching pad that enabled us to understand and appreciate our self-worth, what we meant to our families, our communities, our worlds. We spent a lot of time fighting and crying but most of all loving and caring for one another. The Center instilled in us a sense of unity which resonates to this day.
BHCCRC: How did the Center impact your life?
Ron: The Center has had a BIG impact on my life. There is a song we used to sing there titled I belong to the Center. A line in that short song says, “I belong to a family of friends…its’ great to know to know that I belong.” We were/are indeed a true family of friends. I find myself striving to establish that same close net family feeling everywhere I go.
BHCCRC: What did you go on to do post-high school?
Ron: I graduated from Bridgehampton High School in 1999 and went on to attend The State University of New York College at Cortland for two years before transferring to Suffolk County Community College at Selden. During my time at Suffolk, I obtained my Associates Degree in Business Administration and Computer Science as well as leading the basketball team to two consecutive national titles as captain.
After Suffolk College, I received a full athletic (two year) scholarship to Long Island University at Southampton while landing a part-time paralegal job at a local Real Estate Attorney Firm Farrell Fritz. Five years later, I obtained a NYS Real Estate Agent license and began working for Douglas Elliman Real Estate here in Bridgehampton as a licensed Sales Agent. I am blessed and humbled to say I’ve been here for 14 years. In addition, I currently serve as board President for our Bridgehampton School District which was recently nationally recognized for being one of the best schools according to US News & Report.
I am a volunteer Junior Varsity Basketball Coach, spent about eight years as a volunteer PAL football & basketball coach. I am the drummer and member of the First Baptist Church in Bridgehampton and served as Trustee for a couple years prior.
BHCCRC: As an adult, what is one of your favorite past time activities?
Ron: Although I don’t get to do this as much as I would like to, one of my favorite things to do is to be home with my wife and kids. I’m blessed to have an amazing wife, Milena White, and two strong-hearted boys Elijah, 14, a freshman at BHS and Ezrah, 2, who expects to start Pre-K next year. I really enjoy being home in sweats and weathered house slippers finding ways to annoy my family. lol They make it all worthwhile.
BHCCRC: If you could speak to your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give him?
Ron: Shut up and listen sometimes man! You don’t have an answer for everything.
BHCCRC: What is your life motto?
Ron: Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.