Busy Fall Revealed For Chamber at Sept Meeting

The packed September 21st lunch meeting agenda included an important message from Long Island Association President Matt Cohen (pictured): “We want to hear from you; chamber members and small business owners. Your input is needed.” In addition to Matt as the featured speaker, JoAnn Cave from Chocolate Works Plainview treated the almost 35 attendees to a dessert platter and presented an enticing array of holiday gift ideas as a Spotlight Speaker. Two of POB JFK HS‘s finest, business educators Gina Farrell and Scott Lieberman, were happy to announce that the school’s internship program is active and in need of participating businesses. (See article in Latest News about the program.)

As in the past at the September kick-off meetings, the chamber’s new charity partner was introduced. Keith Senzer, president of The Sophia Valsamos Foundation captured everyone’s attention as he described how a family’s anguish has been channeled into an important cause — to combat bullying and other challenges that can lead to teen mental health crises, including suicide. The chamber will raise funds and awareness for this local organization through June 2023. The first fundraiser at the meeting garnered $200. New board member Eric Molbegat donated his share to the foundation. All proceeds will go directly to the charity’s programs.

The meeting, held at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, was also an opportunity to finally present immediate past president Andrew Lamkin with a plaque declaring the chamber’s appreciation for his four years of service to the organization. (He was unavailable in June.)  It reads: “In recognition of your unwavering commitment to the POB Chamber of Commerce as President. Your efforts, especially given unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, are sincerely appreciated.”

Something new! Thanks to board member Cheryl Dender‘s suggestion, attendees brought food and toiletry donations for the Rudman Family Food Pantry at the Mid-Island Y JCC. CEO Rick Lewis thanked members for remembering those in need. “Shelves are fairly empty after the summer months,” he pointed out. The chamber will be collecting at every membership meeting going forward.

Member Brian Lew of The All New Sandwich Express provided the lunch fare — wrap sandwiches, salads and cookies. Thank you to all who helped make it a successful afternoon. See you next month!