Written by Emily Cappiello Wednesday, 12 February 2014 00:00
Farmingdale’s Breakfast Rotary Club welcomed the Year Of The Horse to town with a celebration at The Lotus Garden Restaurant on Sunday, Feb. 9, which the club holds annually to raise money for its endeavors through the year.
“The Chinese put a lot of emphasis on the new year,” said Ying Xing, reference librarian of the Farmingdale Public Library, who was on-hand to explain the meaning and customs of Chinese New Year. “It is important and everyone is expected on Chinese New Year to come home.”
Xing also brought authentic Chinese props, like firecrackers and lanterns, to show off to the crowd and explained their importance as well as their usage in the celebration.
With a ticket price of $45, attendees were treated to a full meal of Chinese fare, a traditional Chinese Dragon Line Dance, a tutorial about Chinese New Year and a Chinese auction, explained Brendan Mahoney, president of the Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary Club.
“We are always looking for ways to raise money and this is something fun and really different from the rest of our fundraisers,” Mahoney said. “We’ve been doing this for the past few years and it’s just an exciting, different way to help raise funds to carry out of mission in the Farmingdale community. My favorite part about this whole thing is the multi-cultural aspect. It’s a new experience for a lot of people here in Farmingdale that don’t always get to see this kind of thing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a traditional Dragon Dance before.”
Mahoney told Farmingdale Observer that Carol Ross, another member of the rotary club, is the chief organizer for the event and spends a lot of time with the restaurant to ensure a great night. He said that she also coordinates with Xing and the Chinese Cultural
Center of Long Island for the presentations and Dragon Dance, respectively, as well as works with local business to gather donations and put together gifts for the Chinese Auction. “She organizes this whole thing every year and really does a great, great job. It takes a lot of effort to coordinate everything and to make all the baskets for the auction and set everything up,” Mahoney said.
A successful event, Mahoney said that the most important thing is that the money raised by the group goes right back into the community. “Every penny raised is used to fund things right here in town,” Mahoney said. He explained that the money will go towards scholarships that are given to seniors at Farmingdale High School upon graduation, food drives and to help families in need with things like school supplies and other expenses. “I think its incumbent upon each and every citizen to give back to their community. We are all blessed to be here, to be in America, to be on Long Island,” he said.