Appreciation was the featured menu item at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce Membership Dinner on Feb. 27. The annual event is the chamber’s way of saying thank you to its members by treating them to an enjoyable evening of dining and entertainment.
Guests arriving at the Heritage Club at Bethpage were greeted by the hard working dinner committee who also serve on the chamber board: Andrea Goldman, the chamber’s membership secretary, Stephanie Horn and Cheryl Dender. Board member Lindsay Covello led the event’s planning as committee chair.
Music and Blackjack provided by Enjoyable Entertainment beckoned people into the banquet room where member Alex Wolff of Concierge Photography was snapping complimentary headshots. Sports memorabilia items by Les Wolff Sports decorated one side for a silent auction.
Members mingled, munched and gladly purchased raffle tickets from chamber member Laura Avital for the evening’s fundraising effort. Par for the course at all of its regular networking events, proceeds went to the chamber’s charity partner. This year it is Long Island Birthday Wishes (LIBW). Director Jamie Rapfogel and Long Island Regional Coordinator Susan Gold were invited to say a few words about the nonprofit organization whose hundreds of volunteers help bring joy to children. LIBW provides birthday parties for homeless children across Long Island. “Hard to believe that in Nassau and Suffolk Counties alone, there are more than 80 shelters,” noted Rapfogel. “We are so appreciative of all that the POB Chamber is doing for us to support our cause,” she added.
The chamber’s Fall Festival is another opportunity to raise funds for the charity. Held outside the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library in October, it is the chamber’s largest annual event. At the dinner, the library was recognized as the festival’s partner with a ceremonious check for $3,600 from the 2018 event. Two major sponsors of the Fall Festival were also featured during the evening. Platinum Sponsors Akiva Shaprio Law and Rich Leshaw of TD Bank were special guests at the dinner and addressed attendees. With their generous contributions, and those of many other loyal sponsors, the much anticipated community event continues to grow every year.
Enthusiastic pats on the back were also given within the chamber. President Andrew Lamkin made sure that all 15 board members, who carve time out of their busy schedules for their respective volunteer positions, were called up to the front of the room and applauded.
Once the agenda items were complete, it was time to sing! Several members proudly came forward to participate in karaoke. Selections spanned the generations with a Tom Jones classic topping off the performances. Sweet treats and raffle prize announcements capped off the evening with several guests toting pretty baskets prepared by Sherri Gillespie of MRG Marketing as they happily exited.
It takes a village to plan and execute the chamber’s membership dinner and to conclude the evening, Lamkin heartily thanked the committee and all those in attendance.
“Much more than a business networking group, the chamber is like a family and it shows at events like these,” he said. “Members look forward to gathering and catching up, and to supporting each other’s businesses throughout the year. Some have been part of the group for more than 10 years. They are great mentors for our newest members, many in attendance tonight, who are eager to learn about the benefits of chamber involvement.”