Local Mineola businesses raise money for the community

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The chef at St. James, a local pub under new ownership, serves wings to an attendee of the Taste and Style in Mineola event. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The Village of Mineola was replicated in style, taste and spirit in the Jericho Terrace ballroom on Nov. 16.

It was an evening by Mineola for Mineola, as businesses across the village took part in Taste and Style in Mineola.

Proceeds from the event go right back into the community through donations to Friends of the Mineola Library, Mineola Athletic Association, Mineola Auxiliary Police, Mineola Fire Department, Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Mineola VFW and Mineola American Legion.

“Every dime we raise here tonight stays right in Mineola,” said Tony Lubrano, president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a way of giving back to the community.”

Staff from Piccola Bussola serve a former Miss New York who was one of the model’s during the fashion show later in the evening. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

In past years, the event has raised at least $1000 for each of the eight organizations the chamber donates too, according to Lubrano. He said he hopes this year’s event surpasses that and they’re able to donate $1500 to each, but the grand total won’t be known for a few weeks.

Proceeds come from tickets, which were $100 per person at the door, or $125 for two and $75 for one when purchased in advanced. There were also raffle tickets sold for prizes including a Fatherware stainless steel 15 piece set, an Oster convection oven and a Tsontos fur item, to name a few.

Along with the chamber, the event is sponsored by New York Community Bank, Winthrop Hospital and Lalezarian Properties, which are all major sponsors of the chamber throughout the year, Lubrano said.

The event allows members of the community to view different clothing from stores during the fashion show, and also sample foods from local restaurants throughout the night.

Leanne Baum, Mrs. Nassau County America was one of the models for the evening’s fashion show, wearing items from a local boutique called Serafina Designs. Baum is from Commack but was happy to return to Mineola’s Jericho Terrace, where she was married in May.

“It’s important to have events supporting the local chamber of commerce because it just brings the community together in a different way,” Baum said. “A lot of times people get wrapped up in their daily lives and they forget to appreciate where they came from and where they are.”

Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss chats with employees of Piccolos as he samples the food. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

The event also lets  businesses, new and old, introduce themselves to the community. For some restaurants, like St. James – local pub that’s been in the community for 32 years and was taken over by new owners in August – the event serves for a re-introduction to the community.

The event isn’t all about reaching out to new clients, though. Susan Balcom, who’s been manager of Cornerstone for 22 years, said it’s her favorite night because she gets to see her fellow restaurant owners.

The owners and managers work so much they rarely get to see each other, Balcom said.

“This one night we get to mingle with each other and hang out while we’re doing something for the community which is fun for us,” Balcom said.

Taste and Style  is ultimately just a way to get everybody – friends, family, and businesses – together, said Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss.

“You have good conversations, great food and great people,” Strauss said. “What’s better than that.”

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