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Local Inventor Seeks Crowdfunding

Two inventors, one local and one international, have come together to launch an online fundraising campaign for a product they hope to bring to the market by the end of the year. 

 

Farmingdale resident Rafael Avila is one half of the duo behind the Chocolazer, which is a hot glue gun used to melt chocolate for culinary purposes. 

 

The Chocolazer is branded as a no-mess product that is meant to inspire people to be creative with chocolate. The gadget features a removable heating barrel, wherein special chocolate sticks are melted down into a manageable liquid form. 

 

Avila began working on the invention nearly seven years ago and almost saw its success, but miscalculated one very important thing... Someone else already owned the patents.

 

Enter the other half of the team—Monica D’Agostino, a woman from Canada who had thought of a similar product years earlier. Avila had several half-hearted attempts to contact her as he wanted his own invention to be the one he took to success. 

 

“You have to act on your ideas,” Avila said, “because you are probably not the only person thinking of it.” 

  

While working on some other inventions, Avila held a seminar last September to introduce the idea of bringing a 3D printing system, called the Makerspace, to Farmingdale. 

 

Although receiving minimal support from the community left him a bit dismayed, the few people attending the seminar convinced Avila to utilize social media to reach out to D’Agostino after he had told the

story of his chocolate creation that almost was.

 

It took nearly 15 minutes when he got home to find her contact information online and a few days later the two formed a partnership. 

 

“Our objective was to bring this product back to life,” Avila says.  

 

 

Fast-forward nearly a year and twenty-something prototypes later, a working device for the Chocolazer had been created. 

 

The two business partners turned to Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding website, to help raise money for the product and share the backstory of how it came to be. 

 

On the site, users can pledge different dollar amounts and get rewards in return—from a collector’s edition prototype, chocolate stick refill packs, and the Chocolazer device itself. 

 

“Kickstarter is brilliant because people are enthusiastic about products,” Avila said. “You can say you were there from the very beginning and that you helped get that product off the ground.”

 

Avila hopes that the project will be fully funded so he can put Farmingdale on the map. With less than a month to go and a pledge goal of $60,000, he is determined to succeed.  

 

If the Kickstarter fails to reach its goal, all of the money raised will be returned. “Whether funded or not through Kickstarter, this will still be a product,” Avila added. “I really have an ulterior motive of bringing a Makerspace to Farmingdale... and the success of this product will clearly show everyone that there is a value to having, in our community, this type of thing.”

News

Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets. 

 

Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program. 

Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds. 

 

On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of  six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Town of the Taste - September 18

Evening with Jeffery Wands - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com