Big I TriCounty at Ronald McDonald House
By Steve Ferrar
On July 25th, the Big I TriCounty Board of Directors volunteered their time and cooking skills to prepare a beautiful dinner at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island; an establishment that provides housing, and other resources, for families with sick children, so they can remain close to each other during their time of need.
Under the direction and guidance of our own “Chief Chef” Chris Wukovits, he and a few able bodied members of the board departed for Restaurant Depot early in the afternoon to purchase all of the food and supplies needed to prepare nearly 100 meals for the Ronald McDonald House guests. Once transported and unpacked, we were all given a tour of the RMH facility. We all were very impressed by the level of commitment that went into creating such a comfortable environment for the families of children undergoing critical treatment and procedures at nearby hospitals and medical centers.
After the tour, members of the TriCounty Board began showing off their slicing, dicing, sautéing and grilling skills. Thanks to our “Grilling Guru,” Ron Brunell, the sweet aroma of marinated grilled chicken started filling the air. All others worked diligently to prepare sausage and peppers, beans, a mixed salad, along with sliced watermelon and platters of gourmet cookies for dessert.
As they say, many hands make light work, and everything came together at the 6 o’clock hour when the dinner bell rang out. All of the children and their families enjoyed the dinner and complimented us on how well everything was presented and how tasty the food was. They were so appreciative of all of the hard work and energy that went into the meal preparation.
It was an incredibly rewarding experience to donate the food, and to give our time, working as a team, to provide a home cooked meal to the children and the families currently residing at the Ronald McDonald House. We hope that we were able to bring them just a little bit of enjoyment and happiness during their incredibly stressful and challenging time.
For many years, Big I TriCounty has offered the following awards for furthering education. This year we received more than 250 applications from high school students in the TriCounty membership counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Kings and Richmond. The following 2 applicants were selected, and awards were presented at their high school awards ceremonies this spring. Checks for $1,000 will go to their colleges for educational expenses as they pursue their goals.
2018 STEPHEN T. DOOLEY COMMUITY SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
I was given the opportunity to attend “Awards Night” at Baldwin High School and present the Stephen T. Dooley Community Service scholarship award to a young man by the name of Colin Lamar Robinson. The scholarship is awarded to a student who displays exemplary efforts in community service. Colin devoted countless hours to various charities and was well deserved with this honor, edging out many impressive submissions. Colin plans on attending St John’s University this fall. Congratulations to Colin and all the other bright students who took home various awards and scholarships that evening.
– Adam Erickson
2018 JOEL S. POLLACK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
On Wednesday, May 30, I presented the Joel S Pollack Memorial Scholarship award to Vinny Pagano, of Long Beach High School. It was a really special night, especially for Vinny, as he received a number of awards and scholarships. I was really impressed with his essay on distracted driving, and it was an honor to present this award to him in recognition of his beautiful and insightful writing. This event was very nostalgic for me and brought me back to being in high school during these awards nights. I remember it as being exciting and my being proud to have my name called to accept the award in front of my peers and family. I am so happy to have been a part of this for Vinny. He definitely deserved it!
– Stephannie Ciantro