Contractors for Kids raise more than $300K at Riverhead event with best turnout ever

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTOS | Dinners at the Contractors for Kids event Friday at the Long Island Aquarium and Visitor Center in Riverhead.

More than 1,000 people dressed in Hawaiian shirts and leis attended the seventh annual Contractors for Kids fundraiser at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center Friday night. It was the event’s best turnout ever.

The aquarium was turned into the setting for a beach party, complete with sand poured at the entrance and torches. There were hot dogs, hamburgers and beach umbrellas.

CFK officials said the event raised more than $300,000 to help families with ill children pay their expenses.

“We can’t help the kids, that’s between God and the doctor,” said CFK co-founder Kevin Harney, “but we can help the family. And tonight exceeded all of our goals.”

The fundraiser included a silent auction with sports and music memorabilia, live music, a dance party at the Sea Star Ballroom and a casino. A table was set near the dining area dedicated to children felled by their illnesses. It was decorated with beaded bracelets bearing their names.

Next year’s fundraiser will be as a cowboy-themed event at Long Island Aquarium. It is set for March 1, 2013.