The August meeting of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce offered several tidbits about the business community and also focused on fall and holiday projects.
Chamber Co-President Richard Strautman opened the meeting by welcoming three new members: All Island Media and representative Lois Valbuena-Hannigan, located in Hicksville; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and manager Gracene Gardella, located at 600 Plandome Road in Manhasset, and Brian E. Mohr, a financial services representative with MetLife who lives in Sands Point. Strautman said he was pleased to see Brian Mohr and Janet Marron, who represented Coldwell Banker at the meeting.
Strautman said he was very sorry to announce that Business Improvement District Executive Director Roy Smitheimer's mother, Dr. Luella Smitheimer, passed away. She was the owner of the Port Washington Speech & Language Center and the former Sude Jewelers on Main Street.
Pride in Port will be Oct. 6. The chamber will be mailing letters for sponsor donations.
Jerry Rudnick and Carl Lalena presented a plaque to Warren Schein, chamber co-president, for all his help on the Kiwanis HarborFest dinner. They said his band made the evening so successful. Schein said Rudnick and Lalena worked very hard and created great new ideas for the event.
Strautman said the executive board had a meeting and discussed the sign outside the Chamber/BID office. Since it is old, falling apart and irreparable, it was decided to get a new sign. The building has recently been painted and anyone driving by should see what an improvement that has made.
Strautman said the executive board also discussed what projects the chamber should be involved in this fall. It was decided to turn the discussion over to the full meeting to see what ideas chamber members may have. Some suggestions that have already been made are to have some kind of sidewalk sale; antique cars at the LIRR; a Great Holiday Giveaway and a Restaurant Week. A group of merchants in the mid-Main Street area have been meeting to discuss ideas to promote that area.
Sid Segall asked for a synopsis of the discussions held by the mid-Main Street group. Alice Melzer said a group got together and decided to tie in to a previously planned event the Credit Union was holding. Four businesses joined in and created fun activities such as a guinea pig race. They raised money for the Helen Keller National Center.
Elaine Abramson said Unleashed was planning a Halloween Costume Pet Parade on a date near Halloween. They would look into whether a town permit was needed.
Schein said the chamber used to have a very popular event called Port Promenade. It finally ended because merchants were not participating. It was successful in bringing people into Port Washington, and the Octoberfest, which is not being held this year, was successful in that also. Debbie Greco said any event planned should have something for children.
Strautman said Restaurant Weeks have been very successful in other areas. Melzer said she went to a very successful "Wing Thing" where various restaurants served chicken wings and people paid to sample them and vote on their favorites. Charles Crystal said Port Washington is known everywhere for its restaurants. He suggested that the chamber could have a Restaurant Week and offer people who come coupons to other businesses. This would encourage them to return to Port Washington.
Landmark's Phyllis Joseph said that people who come to the shows at Landmark ask for a list of local restaurants. Landmark has a business development person who would entertain ideas for tying in their shows to restaurant specials. They have found that two-thirds of the people attending the shows are from out of town.
Strautman said there are two new barbecue places opening in Port - Bad Bob's Barbeque at Capri Marina and a wings place on Haven Avenue.
Melzer said the Port Washington Federal Credit Union will hold a raffle to benefit the Art League of Long Island. They are raffling a Mini Cooper.
Edna Turner of Twin Pines said she wants to thank the Amsterdam at Harborside for sponsoring the Kayak Run. Fifty-two people participated this year. Atlantic Outfitters offered a kayak as the prize.
Margaret Minichini said the Amsterdam at Harborside has met its goal of 70 percent of the units sold. The groundbreaking will be in October.
Segall said he gets calls from people looking for office space. Anyone in real estate who has office space to rent should contact him and he can refer them to you.
Janet Marron said Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has moved to Manhasset but all the Port Washington brokers are there and still active in Port Washington.