More than 300 supporters packed the Oyster Bay Brewing Company on May 14 to honor the legacy of Locust Valley resident Sgt. Robert A. Hendriks, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps who was one of three Marines killed in Afghanistan on April 8 while in service to the United States.
As of late Tuesday night, the fundraiser, hosted by Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan, raised more than $30,000. Those contributions will be used by the Falcon Pride Booster Club of Locust Valley to establish the Sgt. Robert A. Hendriks Memorial Scholarship.
“It goes to show you when someone like Sgt. Hendriks is dedicated in service and commitment, that one act of service can have a thousand ripple effects,” Lafazan said during the fundraiser. “We are here tonight to say his memory will live on for eternity… and it’s because of your generous donations that we’re going to make sure his memory is never forgotten.”
Thanks to the generosity of the Oyster Bay Brewing Company and the Coach Grill and Tavern, 100 percent of Tuesday night’s proceeds went to the Hendriks scholarship. Oyster Bay Brewing Company owners Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter donated the venue for the evening, while Coach Grill and Tavern owner Rustan Lundstrum contributed the food served during the event. During the evening, the Oyster Bay Brewing Company’s owners announced that they would also be donating sales from bar sales to the scholarship fund, further adding to the proceeds.
Presentations during the evening included $1,000 donations from the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association and Building Homes for Heroes. Kris Kilgour, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Syosset Post 6394, presented a memorial commendation from Vincent Lawrence, Commander-in-Chief of the VFW, to Hendriks’ family.
To conclude the ceremony, Hendriks’ friends Christopher Tasso and Eric Eckes reflected on Hendriks’ life, service and character, and Deanna Spinelli read a thank-you letter on behalf of his parents and brother.
Submitted by the Nassau County Legislature Minority Caucus