Atria Cutter Mill residents rally for hurricane victims

Atria Cutter Mill residents rally for hurricane victims
Atria Cutter Mill in Great Neck Plaza, as seen from Cutter Mill Road. (Photo courtesy of Atria Senior Living)

In the months leading up to “Grandma’s Attic Sale” at the Atria Cutter Mill in Great Neck Plaza, many Atria residents gathered and crafted items like knitted hats, scarves and booties to blankets, bracelets and necklaces to sell so they could help hurricane victims.

And for Emily Willens, director of the Engage Life program at Atria Cutter Mill, it was incredibly moving.

“It was endearing and to just see them give it up, it was difficult [for them],” Willens said of the items Atria residents collected, “but it was for a worthy cause.”

Many Atria residents and staff members purchased items, as did a “handful of people from the outside,” Willens said.

The event also featured raffles, which auctioned off donations from nearby businesses like Wild Ginger, DeFranco Spagnolo Salon and Day Spa, Avon, and Bath and Body Works, Willens said.

Ultimately, Willens said, over $1,000 was raised to help victims in Puerto Rico, which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria two months ago, and they are still counting the money.

The proceeds will go to GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding organization that works with nonprofits, she added.

This was the third annual “Grandma’s Attic Sale,” Willens said, with previous sales focusing on raising money for St. Jude’s and to fight Alzheimer’s disease. This time, though, it was a two-day sale rather than a one-day sale, with more advertising via posters on store windows, and it remained open to more donations, she said.

“Every year we’ve gone up,” Willens said.

As for next year, Willens said it is not clear what the sales will try to raise money for. But what is clear, she said, is that she hopes to build on this year’s success and try expanding the sales to twice a year.

“I just want them to keep going,” Willens said of the Atria residents who contributed items to the sale. “They’re a really civic-minded group here.”

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