President’s Letter – October 2013
Welcome to the fall season which no doubt is truly one of the more beautiful times of the year to be up in the northeast region of the Country. The change in weather with the warm days and cool nights along with natures amazing transition from green to orange foliage make fall a very popular season for many. It is also a time for harvest where many a farmer reaps the rewards of all the hard work they have invested since the early spring.
Earlier last month, one of our Chamber Members, Shinjitsu Self Defense located within the Holbrook Commons on Patchogue/Holbrook Road had an unfortunate situation when an automobile accidently drove into the front of his establishment. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Unfortunately, when I spoke with Vito the owner he told me due to the extensive damage he lost his busiest month of the year. Basically, for the Martial Arts Industry that caters to the youth, September is like their holiday season in terms of student enrollment. Given the Chamber hosts a number of fine martial art studios of which we have always had positive feedback on, it would be appreciated if you’re considering lessons for yourself or your child and are currently not enrolled with one of our other members that you give Vito and his staff a visit. If you’re not utilizing a Chamber Member for your Martial Arts Services, then I urge you to please consider doing so immediately as we need to support those who loyally support our community. All of our members complete with contact info are listed in the centerfold of Our Place and on the Chamber website www.holbookchamber.com.
As many of us throughout the Country remembered 9/11 with memorial services, prayers and reflection, I had the distinct honor of being invited to represent the Chamber at the Annual Parkland Memorial Ceremony. The memorial is located on the corner of Inverness Road and West Greenbelt Pkwy. For those of you who have not taken the opportunity to pay this beautiful and highly appropriate monument park a visit, I highly recommend it. Many of the fine residents over in the Parkland Community have done a beautiful job of supporting and maintaining this incredibly thoughtful and humbling tribute to both our U.S. Military Veterans and those from within the Sachem Community who lost their lives on 9/11/01 in the World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks.
During the touching tribute at 7 P.M. in the evening, the names of all 24 of the Sachem Community Members who perished on that tragic 9/11 day that will forever be carved within our memories were read aloud. Seven of the twenty four names read were from Holbrook, five of which were NYC Firefighters and one of whom I had the personal honor of knowing. The touching ceremony was conducted by Parkland Resident Michael Shaw along with his son and former Eagle Scout Kevin Shaw. The genesis of this memorial commenced with Kevin as an Eagle Scout Project and then literally took on a life of its own as it brought together many within this very community.
Once again, I highly suggest paying this memorial a visit in the near future. They even have a bench for you to sit and reflect perhaps on a lost loved one who gave their life in the military or on that unfortunate morning back on September 11th, 2001. I also want to thank the Holbrook Fire Department for having one of their trucks down at the memorial as well. Last but by no means least; I want to thank Parkland Resident Anthony Fronzoni for inviting me down to the ceremony as I know this is a very special place of reflection and healing for him. Anthony, it is now for me too as after all Parkland is the community that I so proudly grew up in.
On September 11th of last month, the Chamber, County of Suffolk and town of Holbrook suffered one of its greatest losses as our dear friend and Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature Bill Lindsay passed away after a long illness which he fought courageously. As I sit here and consider all there is to write about Bill and his nearly 13 years in office just from what I have experienced, I would have to take up about 40-50 pages of this publication. Bill touched everyone he came in contact with in such a powerful and caring way. Frankly, I am not sure I will ever meet and or work with a more efficient, compassionate, loyal and dedicated individual much less government official.
Bill took great pride in the town where he resided for over 30 years as evidenced by the Holbrook Beautification Committee he created out of his district office. He was always one to unite the people for a good common cause. Always communicating in a humble and soft way although I have to admit there were times where he would get his Irish up a bit. From my perspective, one of his many great attributes was the way he cared about the business community. He would always express his sadness to me whenever someone would go out of business or hear about a local shop owner who was really struggling. Why, because the man had a care for people that personally I wish this world had more of.
I can remember when I was opening my new location back in 2004. Bill stopped in after a long day at the Legislature, it was probably around 8-8:30 on the eve of our opening and he asked “what would you like me to do? At first I was like please Bill I got it covered but then he insisted “give me something to do”, I think he was going to get his Irish up with me so I directed him to set-up a large Hello Kitty toy display. Bill worked on this from start to finish for hours until nearly midnight just to make sure that he did his part to get Friendly Drugs open that next morning. True story, in fact Bill would often chuckle and ask me even years later “how is my Hello Kitty display doing?”
As I sat in the Good Shepherd for Bill’s funeral service along with so many others from all walks of life, government and business I realized we were all saying goodbye to someone more special than words could say. His family gave him a wonderful tribute as both his son Bill Jr. and one of his daughters Denise tugged at everyone’s heartstrings as they eulogized their beloved Dad in such a touching way.
When I arrived at the cemetery to say my final goodbye, I noticed some of his other dear friends the Holbrook Fire Department had set-up two hook and ladders with a huge flag at the entrance gates. It was truly symbolic as one class act gave one last tall salute to another class act. Bill I know was smiling!
Please read the tribute I wrote to Bill on behalf of the Chamber the day after he passed.
Respectfully yours, Always,
Rick Ammirati, President
Holbrook Chamber of Commerce