If you were at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library on Sunday, Oct. 6, you were lucky enough to be part of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival.
“The 8th annual event proved our best one yet,” chamber president Andrew Lamkin said. “The chamber is so proud to host this wonderful day for our great community.”
Presenting sponsors, Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel, P.C. and Rich Leshaw of TD Bank in Plainview, enjoyed greeting people all day at their booths, as did the many other festival sponsors.
The festival also provides an opportunity for the community to see what the chamber is all about. The Mid-Island Y JCC and Crestwood Country Day Camp, both chamber members, sponsored free kids’ bouncy rides and games.
Another facet of the chamber that played a big part in the festival: the charity connection. For the past five years, the chamber has carefully selected a local charity in need to partner with. This year’s organization is the Garrett Kassler Memorial Fund. The Kassler family’s festival booth was adjacent to the chamber’s, where a steady flow of raffle sales earned a record amount of $1,500 for their heartfelt efforts. The memorial fund established by the Plainview family is dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction by facilitating support, treatment, resources and awareness for those in need.
Changing it up this year, festival co-chair and chamber board member Ben Alssid and his committee made contributing to the charity easy and well worth it. Packed with valuable prizes, a dozen gift baskets drew people to the chamber’s double booth at the east side of the library. Children and adults alike were wide eyed as the prize wheel spun for a chance to win a gift card to an area eatery. Special thanks to Ralph Galdorisi and Coliseum Kitchen for generously providing hundreds of meal certificates year after year. All the prizes, including the large screen TV, were provided by giving members or local businesses.
NYU Entertainment kept the excitement going at the opposite end of the festival based at the town show mobile, which featured a variety of acts from area dance and martial arts studios. New this year, a hula hooping skills demo introduced audiences to this fun, physical activity. Also at the festival, animal lovers were able to pet adorable puppies up for adoption or hear about the wonderful work done by Canine Companions, the dedicated group that trains service dogs for those in need.
Last but not least, there was the food. Two pickle vendors made sure that everyone got their fill and two food trucks offered up sizzling sandwich combos and sides. Dessert choices included soft serve ice cream and homemade donuts from new member, Social Play Haus, opening this fall.
A round of applause is in order for the hard working festival committee members, who signed on back in February, and for Gretchen Browne and the staff at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library, who have been gracious and helpful hosts since its inception eight years ago. The chamber extends another big thank you to all for making this year’s event the best yet.
Barbara Mars is the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce Administrator.