Thanks, Three Villagers
AN OPEN LETTER TO 3V RESIDENTS:
Last Wednesday, Aug. 4, local businesses, organizations and families joined together in making the 11th annual Three Village Chamber of Commerce Family Beach Barbecue at West Meadow Beach a tremendous success (see page A1).
The tickets purchased by local families plus all the contributed food, water, sodas and ice cream, even chocolate-covered strawberries, all from local businesses, combined to make this a great fundraiser for the chamber's Three Village business development work.
The event became a great example of how volunteerism in action benefits all of us. The volunteerism started with the chamber's longtime secretary and board member Janette Handley from Budget Print and our Volunteer of the Year Liz Miastkowski from Printing Plus. Janette and Liz co-chaired the event and for months beforehand the BBQ was as important as regular business at their respective establishments.
Right alongside was Fratelli's Market Place, the BBQ's lead sponsor, where David Prestia, his wife Jodi, along with David's cousin Angelo, brother Michael, son Michael and Fratelli's staff members cooked and served a thousand or two Fratelli burgers and hot dogs, all contributed by Fratelli's. A quiet but significant contribution came from Fire Commissioner Ed Forester and his colleagues at the Setauket Fire Department who lent the big grills.
There were more food and drink contributions from throughout the community. A favorite was the impressive variety and quantity of fruits, including chocolate-covered favorites, from Edible Arrangements of Stony Brook, on the dessert end of the BBQ buffet, next to Team Ardolino/Realty-Connect USA's ice-cream stand.
There were delicious salads from Elegant Eating, the Country House, the Se-Port Deli, the Old Field Club, the Setauket Village Diner, Wild By Nature, King Kullen and Stop & Shop; wonderful Indian food from Raga and the Curry Club; a cash contribution from Edible Arrangements of Stony Brook in addition to their popular fruits on sticks; also cash contributions from the chamber's longtime supporter Fred Bryant of the Bryant Funeral Home (who also provided an attractive raffle prize), the Law Offices of Linda Toga and new chamber member, Hudson City Savings Bank.
There were invaluable behind-the-scenes contributions like the advertising space contributed by Times Beacon Record Newspapers; all those BBQ road signs courtesy of chamber board member Bill Monahan and his Mr. Sign company; and the big refrigerated Three Village Inn/Lessings catering truck which kept all those salads fresh and cold all evening.
The evening's popular raffles, organized by Marie Marsh from the offices of chamber member Ira Koeppel, DDS, of East Setauket, and Liz from Printing Plus, saw local residents winning 50 different baskets filled with 150 prizes, with the baskets complemented by a bright red wheelbarrow, a raffle prize contributed by Ace Hardware; and a second wheelbarrow, this one green, filled with gardening supplies, from Bongiorno Landscaping.
There were children's games organized by chamber board member Eileen Hummel of Imagination Pre-School, including programs by Long Island Tae Kwon Do and My Gym, both from Setauket.
All evening, everyone enjoyed the music of local teacher/disc jockey Chad Erlitz from LI Nights and the music of Alternative Medicine, the popular local physicians' band which played at the original chamber BBQ.
The Town of Brookhaven's lifeguards and other Parks Department employees were most helpful. And dozens of chamber members were there volunteering, coordinated by the chamber's Dr. Eoin Gregory from Carriage House Chiropractic and Acupuncture.
Dr. Gregory and his wife Jessica best described the BBQ's spirit of volunteerism in their "thank you" email on Friday: "There is an anonymous quote," they said, "that states: Volunteers are seldom paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless."
Everyone involved and the 500 or so who attended made this an event which will reverberate and benefit all of us for a long time. On behalf of the chamber, many thanks to everyone.
Michael Ardolino, President
Three Village Chamber of Commerce