COURTESY PHOTO | Members of the Rotary Club of Riverhead presented a check to New Beginnings Community Center for the renovation of its Brendan House home for traumatic brain injury survivors on Aug. 6. Pictured, from left, front row: Marshall Aykroyd, Allyson Scerri and Sandi Sandi Aykroyd accept a presentation check from Riverhead Rotary president Mary Ellen Ellwood. Back row: Nancy Reyer, Rotarians Joe Ingegno, Linda Hulse, George Dupree, Patrick Wiles and Tom Lennon.
One nonprofit’s dream of having a long-term care facility for those rehabilitating from traumatic brain injuries is a few steps closer to reality thanks to the Riverhead Rotary.
The community group donated $5,000 to Brendan House, a group home on Sound Avenue proposed by the Medford-based New Beginnings Community Center, on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Rotary.
“Riverhead Rotary wanted to make a significant contribution to this worthwhile local charity,” Riverhead Rotary president Mary Ellen Ellwood said.
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The New Beginnings Brendan House on Sound Avenue in Riverhead.
The donations will help pay for renovations for the group home, which will hold up to 12 people and provide round-the-clock care services.
Allyson Scerri, founder and president of New Beginnings, accepted the donation along with Sandi and Marshall Aykroyd, the parents of 25-year-old Brendan Akyroyd, a young TBI survivor who died in June 2011. The group home will be named in his honor.
Nancy Reyer, the mother of Michael Hubbard — the Riverhead teen who was severely burned and suffered brain injuries in a gel candle explosion in May 2011 — also attended the ceremony.
Michael, who turns 17 next week, has been guaranteed a room in Brendan House, Ms. Scerri said.
Ms. Scerri said the donation will help the group meet its goal, adding that the organization still needs to raise between $75,000 to $100,000 in additional donations to finish the project. Building supply companies and volunteers have already donated their time and materials for the project, cutting down on costs.
New Beginnings has now obtained all town permits needed to begin construction, Scerri said. The state health department has also issued the necessary approvals, she said.
“We’re ready to go,” Scerri said.
New Beginnings will hold its 5th Annual Summer Gala at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead on Aug. 15. For more information on the event and how to donate to Brendan House, visit the New Beginnings website.