04/07/14 3:09pm
04/07/2014 3:09 PM
Jimmy Punda of North Shirley aboard his 1971 VW trike custom-built "toy." (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Jimmy Punda of North Shirley aboard his 1971 VW trike custom-built “toy.” (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

For the third year in a row, Riverhead Move the Animal Shelter rolled out motorcycles and classic cars in town to raise funds for a new animal shelter.

After being held downtown by the Peconic River last year and at Calverton Links the previous year, Hogs & Hot Rods Rock the Shelter fundraiser was held in the Splish Splash parking lot in Calverton Sunday afternoon.

Sponsored by Splish Splash to benefit the nonprofit started by Denise Lucas, the festival featured a car and motorcycle show, vendors, and live music.

Ms. Lucas started her effort to move the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter in September 2011.

Check out photos from the event below:

02/07/14 12:01pm
02/07/2014 12:01 PM
WADING RIVER FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | Firefighters combat the fire that destroyed the Dalecki family's home on Michael Lane.

WADING RIVER FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | Firefighters combat the fire that destroyed the Dalecki family’s home on Michael Lane.

Neighbors and friends of a Wading River family have raised over $10,000 to help them get back on their feet after their Michaels Lane home was gutted in a fire earlier this week.

The home of George and Jean Dalecki caught fire just after midnight Tuesday while the couple were inside, Wading River Fire Chief Mark Donnelly said. Their house, cars and personal belongings were all destroyed.

(more…)

11/21/13 1:09pm
11/21/2013 1:09 PM
COURTESY PHOTO | Angie and Keith Palladino with their newborn son, Joshua. The six-week-old boy died Wednesday.

COURTESY PHOTO | Angie and Keith Palladino with their newborn son, Joshua. The six-week-old boy died Wednesday.

An online fundraising effort to help support the parents of a 6-week-old baby boy who died this week has raised more than $3,000 in its first day.

Joshua Caleb Palladino was born on Oct. 8 to Angie and Keith Palladino of Aquebogue after a healthy pregnancy, said family friend Jamie Galloway. But Joshua was hospitalized after complications from childbirth left him fighting for life, she said.

“None of this was expected at all,” Ms. Galloway said.

Joshua was taken to Stony Brook University hospital, but died Wednesday night. An online fundraiser through GoFundMe.com was set up by Ms. Galloway to help Ms. Palladino, who works at North Fork Radiology, and Mr. Palladino pay for medical costs and funeral expenses.

“With both of them being out of work, being with him, with the medical bills and everything else, they’re going through a tough time during the worst time of their lives,” Ms. Galloway said.

In less than a day, the outpouring has been “mindblowing,” she said. Nearly 80 donors have given $3,085 to the cause as of Thursday afternoon.

Ms. Galloway said that the Palladinos deserve all the support they’re getting.

“[Angie] and her husband are both beautiful people,” she said. “They always give when they can give to help people.”

For more information about the fundraiser, including how to donate, visit the campaign’s GoFundMe page.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/18/13 6:14pm
05/18/2013 6:14 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Demitri Hampton’s memory was honored Saturday at a fundraiser for a scholarship in his name.

More than 200 people packed into Robert Ludlam Park in Riverside Saturday afternoon to help raise funds for the college scholarship created in memory of a young Flanders man who was killed in a home invasion earlier this year.

The DQH Memorial Picnic benefited the DQH Scholarship Fund, and included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, music, food and raffles.

The scholarship was set up this spring to honor Demitri Hampton, a 21-year-old college student who was shot and killed in January.

The DQH scholarship Fund was founded by Mr. Hampton’s relatives and will be awarded to Riverhead High School students who are looking to attend Suffolk County Community College, where Mr. Hampton was a student.

More than a dozen teams entered the tournament, donating about $300 in total to the scholarship.

The event also received gifts from Tanger Outlet Center, Riverhead Ice and other businesses, family and friends for the raffle, said Mr. Hampton’s stepfather Theodore Trent.

“They just all volunteered,” he said. “We really didn’t’ have to go asking.”

Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Riverhead has also agreed to give 10 percent of their dinner profits on the third Thursday of every month to the scholarship fund, said Juanita Trent, Demitri’s mother.

“We’re just so blessed,” she said.

People can donate to the scholarship fund by mail at DQH Scholarship Fund, 57 Maple Avenue, Riverhead NY, 11901.

psquire@timesreview.com

05/08/13 4:30pm
05/08/2013 4:30 PM
COURTSEY PHOTO | The Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham was built in 1901 by renowned architect Stanford White.

COURTSEY PHOTO | The Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham was built in 1901 by renowned architect Stanford White.

Seven months after an online fundraiser raised $1.4 million to save the last remaining laboratory of famed inventor Nikola Tesla, the nonprofit group that organized the drive has purchased the property to build a museum and science center.

The sale of the Wardenclyffe property, off Route 25A in Shoreham, marks the end of a nearly 20-year effort by the group, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, to prevent the property from falling into the hands of owners who would demolish the lab.

“I think we can all say despite the ups and downs it was well worth it because here we are,” said group president Jane Alcorn. “Almost 100 years ago, Tesla lost this property to foreclosure. We have just reached the point where we can say we’ve purchased it in his name.”

Last year, more than 33,000 contributors from 108 countries contributed to the fund, called “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.” The online fundraiser was featured by the creator of the popular webcomic The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, who encouraged his fans to donate.

Mr. Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and a pioneer in the use of alternating current, conducted experiments at the Wardenclyffe laboratory, built in 1901, in hopes of providing free, wireless electricity to the world.

The tower designed to provide the electrical energy was torn down in 1917 and, after Mr. Tesla’s death, the property was later leased to a photography company, which dumped waste on the land. Wardenclyffe was later purchased by an imaging company, which sold the 16-acre property for $850,000 last Thursday, Ms. Alcorn said.

A reimbursement grant from New York State will cover the full cost of the purchase, allowing the remaining funds to go toward clearing the property and beginning construction of the science center and museum, Ms. Alcorn said.

The group announced the purchase at a press conference at the New Yorker Hotel last Thursday, as the audience gave a standing ovation and cheered.

Among the biggest contributors to the cause was Joseph Sikorski, a local filmmaker who plans to produce a film about Tesla’s work called “Fragments from Olympus.”

Mr. Sikorski and his film crew donated $33,333, all the production’s seed money, during the online fundraiser. He is now working on a documentary about the efforts to save Wardenclyffe, called “Tower to the People.”

Mr. Sikorski thanked those gathered at the press conference for their support, praised Mr. Inman for making the comic that raised awareness of fundraiser and jokingly kissed the larger-than-life cardboard cutout of Mr. Tesla on the shoulder.

“It’s a very happy day today, but it’s very important to understand it’s just a beginning,” he said. “Wardenclyffe really needs a lot of restoration, a lot of TLC.”

Over the next few months, the group will clean up the site and preserve Tesla’s existing lab, Ms. Alcorn said, adding that they will need the continued support of Tesla admirers to build the science center.

The group has allowed the Suffolk County Police K-9 unit to train their dogs on the property, which Ms. Alcorn said gives the site much-need security. The group plans to determine which structures, in addition, to the lab can be rehabilitated and which must be torn down.

After the site is cleared, the nonprofit will organize volunteers to help rake the property and mulch flower beds.

Ms. Alcorn expects the full project will cost about $10 million, and she is hopeful that businesses will step forward to donate.

“We have an enormous task ahead of us,” she said.

psquire@timesreview.com

10/18/12 1:00pm
10/18/2012 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Bennett Brokaw (left), co-president of Bread and More, along with fellow volunteers Gerry Hamill (center) and Genny Yeoman, cook dinner at Riverhead Congregational Church one night last month.

Three nights a week, at 5:30 p.m., Bread and More opens its doors for an hour to serve hot dinners to anyone who needs them. By 4:30 p.m. on those nights, people start lining up outside First Congregational Church of Riverhead, where the meals are served.

“We feed the hungry, no questions asked,” said Bennett Brokaw, one of three co-presidents at Bread and More, which is affiliated with the Interfaith Nutrition Network. “We don’t care who, what or where they come from. As long as they’re orderly, they get a hot meal.”

Bread and More serves on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the downtown Riverhead church. It started in 1990, when it served meals just once a week.

“We’ve never had a fundraiser in 22 years,” Mr. Brokaw said. “Now, what’s happening is that there are two dynamics going on. The amount of guests we serve is up about 50 to 60 percent in the last two years and our donations and funding are down by almost the same percent, 50 percent.”

And as a result, Bread and More will be having its first-ever fundraiser this Saturday.

“Money is tight, and we’re finding ourselves in trying times,” Mr. Brokaw said.

EDITORIAL: Trying times for many — especially the hungry

The Harvest Fundraiser Dinner, as its being called, will be held at First Congregational Church on Saturday, Oct. 20, where a three-course pork roast dinner will be served in two seatings, one at 5 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy, 32 East Main St. in Riverhead, or Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery in Mattituck. People also can also call Phyllis Kenny at 516-297-7810 for tickets. Tables can be reserved for parties of eight or more.

The fundraiser will be held in the same place as the “soup kitchen,” as it’s called, although it serves more than soup, and the menu will be similar to the menu served by Bread and More three nights a week.

“You’ll definitely get the feel of it,” Mr. Brokaw said, though the fundraiser doesn’t have any specific theme.

A typical dinner at Bread and More might be something like homemade meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetables, he said. All the food is fresh cooked and made from scratch.

“When we started 22 years ago, we basically did 25 to 30 meals a week,” said Mr. Brokaw. “Now, we are serving 15,000 meals per year. All served by local volunteers.”

Much of the food is donated. King Kullen donates bakery goods and produce, Beach Bakery in Westhampton donates bread, dinner rolls and desserts and local farms also donate produce, Mr. Brokaw said. The meat is purchased fresh, usually by the chef on duty that night, he said.

The group uses about 40 volunteers over the three nights, he said. It’s other co-presidents are Judy Barth and Deedee Newcomb.

“Some of the people we serve are homeless, but some of them are just people who can’t make ends meet,” Mr. Brokaw said. “We have people from all walks of life here. You’d be surprised. We never thought that we would be having hard times, but I guess it affects everyone, including people who donate money.”

Mr. Brokaw said they’ve been monitoring the numbers for the past 18 months and the pattern was “expenses going up and donations and funding going down.”

That’s when they decided to have the fundraiser.

Volunteers usually arrive about two and half hours before the church doors open and the last of the work is done by about 6:45 p.m., said longtime volunteer Artie Johnson.

Like those in need, the volunteers, some of whom have been doing it for more than 12 years, also come from all walks of life.

Bob Adamo said his neighbors at Saddle Lakes got him involved.

“I think it’s good for the people who come here for sustenance, and I know it’s good for the people who work here,” Mr. Adamo said. “It’s nice to feel like you’re doing something worthwhile.”

Genny Yeomans said she came here from West Hemsptead and “always wanted to work in a soup kitchen.” She’s now been doing it 12 years.

“To help people is gratifying,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing to give back.”

Bronna Johnson, who’s been volunteering at Bread and More since 2000, said there have been times when people who served at the soup kitchen as a community service condition from the courts liked it so much they ended up volunteering after their service was done.

“We’ve had that happen a few times,” she said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10/18/12 12:59pm

Volunteers and staff at dozens of worthy charities and other nonprofit groups perform good works here and across the region daily. And they depend on us — and in some cases the government — to keep going.

Every weekend, it seems, there’s a festival or dinner or other such event to help support these groups, worthy causes such as keeping the arts alive, caring for homeless animals or helping an individual felled by a terrible illness or accident.

There’s no true hierarchy of importance for these causes, which all deserve and demand our attention, but it’s hard to think of a more worthy cause than feeding those among us going hungry.

That’s why it was so startling to learn this week that Bread and More, a soup kitchen operating three days a week out of Riverhead’s First Congregational Church, has not once held a fundraising event to help support its mission.

Bread and More has operated for years solely on the generosity of a few donors and a few local eateries.

Now, after two decades, they’re asking for help from the general public.

Why now?

“There are two dynamics going on,” Bread and More co-president Bennett Brokaw explained to the News-Review. “The amount of guests we serve is up about 50 to 60 percent in the last two years and our donations and funding are down by almost the same percent, 50 percent.

“Money is tight,” he added. “And we’re finding ourselves in trying times.”

What’s that old saying? Give until it hurts. The folks at Bread and More already have. They’re hurting, and while no one should be told how to spend his or her money, we can ask that we all keep Riverhead’s hungry in mind as we head into the holidays.

Bread and More’s first-ever fundraising event, The Harvest Fundraiser Dinner, will be held at the East Main Street church this Saturday, Oct. 20. A three-course pork roast dinner will be served in two seatings, one at 5 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy, 32 East Main St. in Riverhead, or Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery in Mattituck. People also can also call Phyllis Kenny at 516-297-7810 for tickets. Tables can be reserved for parties of eight or more.