President’s Message – December 2020

Dear Merchants, Business Owners, and Fellow Members:

I have just gotten home from our Annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Klestinec Park on Broadway in Massapequa. We were pleased to have the Board Members and our Legal Counsel, fmr. State Senator Mike Venditto, with us. Mike also brought his little son, Andrew, and the highlight for me was watching Andrew as the Christmas Tree and Menorah were lit, and then talking to him about Santa Claus and his wish list.

This truly proves that Christmas and Hanukah is the most wonderful time of the year…even with a pandemic over our heads.

To this end, I need to recognize the Beautification and Decorating Committee, consisting of Past President Patty Orzano and Treasurer Greg Massimi. Wally D’Amato set up the flags and decorated our Christmas Tree with lights and our beautiful topper. The gazebo wreaths were from Pequa Park Florist. Additional decorative lights were from J.P. Scarisbrick of J.P. Scar Inc.  Many thanks to Treasurer Greg Massimi, Howard Ritzer, Mark Wenzel, and Past Presidents Patty Orzano, Phyllis Doria, and Robert Barrett, who also worked on the decorating and finishing touches that made the lighting a success. My heartfelt thanks to all for their dedication and commitment to this annual project.  The best part was that this was all funded by two sources.

One source was the donations from our local businesses. Special thanks to Town Councilwoman and small business owner Laura Maier. We are proud to have Dairy Queen Grill and Chill as the Platinum Sponsor of our Holiday Beautification Program Fundraiser.

The other source was a grant from PSEG that Past Presidents Gary Slavin and Patty Orzano worked on as well.  In addition, we will also use the rest of the PSEG grant for local sitting benches around Massapequa.

The Lighting Ceremony was followed by a small party at Zona Restaurant on Merrick Road for dinner together, and this was handled by Vice Presidents Robin Hepworth and Karen Gawrych. My thanks to both for a job well done on this event.

Our Community Food Drive was also a great success, and Patty Orzano, Phyllis Doria, Karen Gawrych, and Robert Barrett did a great job collecting our pantry donations and getting to those in need. This all makes me proud to be the President of a fine Chamber. They are also completing another Toys for Tots program, and we will make the presentations later this month.

The office space that we rent also had the storage area in the basement cleaned out. Chris Merz and CenterPoint Church, along with Sal Polito and Past President Robert Barrett, got this task done with skill, and the storage area looks great.  You can see how busy November and December have been, and all performed with dedication and loyalty to our Chamber.

Our Board has also approved a new accounting firm, and starting in January, we will have this company handle all of our monthly needs for the Chamber. This will keep all of our financial needs on a sound footing, and all of the Board will be kept informed. Thanks to Steve Parmiter, Greg Massimi, and Robert Zabbia for working on the Finance Committee and securing this company for our benefit. Great work again from some very dedicated people.

We also appointed Isabelle Rapacciuolo (aka “The Tiny Artist”) to our Board at the last meeting to fill the unexpired term for Susan Martin, who recently stepped down. My thanks to Isabelle for applying, and we look forward to working with her at our Board Meetings.

I must also thank at this time the American Legion Post 1066 for currently hosting our monthly Board Meetings. The Commander, Joe Clark, is a great guy and I enjoy working with him. The AMVETS Post 88 also deserve our thanks for hosting our Board Meetings for the last few months as well. They are presently closed, so this is why we are at the Legion currently.

My gratitude also goes to the local paper, our Massapequa Post, for publishing my President’s Message monthly. Carolyn James has been a long-time friend, and always ready to assist when true good journalism is needed, and I appreciate her support.

Thanks also to Howard Ritzer and South Bay’s Neighbor for taking the time to publish my President’s Message, along with other Chamber news and events, in their monthly Chamber newsletter, which is great exposure for our Chamber and another way to keep the community informed about our organization.

Finally, I want to say that these last six months have been great, and I look forward to my next six months as President of this great Chamber – which in 2021 will be 73 years old. A great milestone reached by a fine community organization.

I wish for all a Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, and healthy and happy pandemic-free 2021. Jesus is the reason for the season.

May God bless you all.

Keith Wilson, President

Massapequa Chamber of Commerce