Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 03 December 2010 00:00
Michele Browner, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce president welcomed guests to the Monday, Nov. 22 Light Up the Holidays event and thanked Wild Honey owners Tina and Rob. “They are open tonight just for us and it is Rob’s birthday,” she said. The party began in high spirits at the Chase Edwards Gallery and everyone strolled along East Main Street to Wild Honey for wine and passed hors d’oeuvres.
Ms. Browner thanked John DeLillo, CPA for sponsoring the wine chamber members were drinking. “He’s our wine sponsor. He is also our treasurer, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us,” she said.
Ms. Browner also announced that he is moving to a new office at 123 South Street.
Ms. Browner reminded members about the raffle offering 10 tickets for $20 and thanked all the members for donating items. She said, “They give and give and give. That is a reason to shop locally. As you leave be sure to pick up one of our new blue magnets.” She said she was thrilled when in Hicksville, to see a car with one of the OB-EN Shop Local magnets.
She said Les Schecter has tweaked them and they now say Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce. At the Oyster Bay Civic Association meeting on Nov. 18, Ms. Browner said that the chamber had considered expanding to Bayville but decided on the OB-EN mix instead.
She thanked the board members, her crew, John DeLillo, treasurer; Carmine Pirolo, vice president; Paige Dawson, Sally Robilotto and Dottie Simons with kind words for each of them. She said the chamber installation in February will include celebrating their 81st anniversary. “This is the board that makes it all happen,” she said.
She had more business information to provide. “Oyster Bay is the home of Testa Wines of the World. They donated a case of wine for the event, and no one seems to know they exist locally. They are a second generation business. Debbie Testa said they have worldwide distribution. The business is located on Audrey Avenue. We’re going to help Debbie get their wines into every restaurant in Oyster Bay,” she said.
Ms. Browner thanked Sally Robilotto, chamber secretary for being the chamber’s Oyster Festival Force for “two long days.” She said Sally had amazing training by Paige Dawson who has done it all before.
“Paige has been chamber vice president for three years and a mentor to Sally. We will have to say goodbye to Paige shortly,” she said. Ms. Dawson plans to relocate to Connecticut to be closer to her daughter, but will keep active locally. “Paige’s middle name is Cruise Night. For 20 weeks, she is on the street,” quipped Ms. Browner.
Michele complimented Carmine Pirolo saying, he is “our VP and my backbone” and that he gets things done such as the needed permits - and will be taking on Paige’s role as another “street walker” at Cruise Night. Paige hawks the 50/50 raffle that earns money for chamber projects, along with making a visitor each Tuesday, a winner.
Dottie Simons was next in the spotlight. Ms. Browner said, “She’s every season in Oyster Bay: spring, summer, fall and now winter. She decorates the hamlet including the scarecrows and cornstalks now out on the streets. She thanked Dottie and Rob Brusca for “pulling out the old plants and putting up the cornstalks.”
Shari Cope-Dombrowski was the next for compliments. “Shari and Dottie are sisters and we have to thank Dottie for finding Shari for us,” Ms. Browner said. Shari is the chamber’s administrative assistant.
As she was highlighting her staff Michele was presenting them with bottles of wine. John DeLillo presented Michele with a bottle himself adding, “This is out of my private collection to the ‘Engergizer Bunny’ that is Michele. We can’t do without you.”
Michele had the last word: “Oyster Bay is up and coming and we can’t do without any of you,” she said to all the members.
The members were having a great time, standing in groups and chatting while enjoying the truly great hors d’oeuvres being passed around by Tina and Rob of Wild Honey.
Madame President was also busy on Wednesday, Dec. 1 rehabilitating the Snowflakes that the holiday party raised money for to light up the holidays.
At the OBCA meeting on Nov. 18 she had invited members to join her in changing all the broken light bulbs on the snowflakes on Tuesday, Nov. 30, starting at 8 a.m. so that on Wednesday, Dec. 1, the town could start putting them up. The snowflakes are kept in a Syosset storage building on Underhill Road. She said, “We are proud that the lighting has united the community. They are a generator of positive energy, and we will continue to work in that direction.”
Lighting the snowflakes will cost the chamber $5,000. The lights are set on light sensitive timers to conserve electricity. They are 5 feet tall, and started with 30 the first year; another 30 were added last year; and this year four more for a total of 64. Both the Oyster Bay Civic Association and the East Norwich Civic Association contributed $500 each to the lighting program, hoping to extend the lighting program into East Norwich. The last few will be placed on Route 25A, from Rothmann’s restaurant, to the East Norwich Fire Department so that the whole community, from East Norwich to Oyster Bay to brighten the holidays for the entire OB-EN community.