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Local Businesses Give Back Through Rotary

Originally Posted: April 12, 2012


(L-R) Lisa Israel, Richmond Realty; Eileen Solomon, Greenport Rotary Club President; Jerry Tuthill, Claudio’s; Robin Walden, Staples Monuments; Craig Richter, R&R Builders; Beatsie Tuthill, Claudio’s; Joe Cherepowich, McMann Price Insurance Agency; Kathy Claudio-Wyse, and Jan and Bill Claudio, Claudio’s. (Courtesy Photo: ELIH)

Greenport - The Greenport Rotary Club is teaming up with Claudio's Restaurant for the second annual Locals for Locals Spaghetti Dinner on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 to raise funds for "The Harry Project" to help Greenport resident, Harry V. Lewis, Jr.

Especially, interested in community hands-on projects, "The Harry Project" came to the attention of the Greenport Rotary Club through Gwendolyn Branch, Assistant Professor, Student Success Center, Suffolk County Community College, Eastern Campus. When the Rotarians first met Harry, they were impressed with his positive "can-do" attitude, his determination and his willingness to help others. Born with cerebral palsy, Harry relies on a wheel chair to get around, but remains totally independent. After graduating from Suffolk County Community College in 1995, Harry continues to work as a student aid in the Student Support Services department at the Riverhead campus.

Since the passing of both his parents in 2009, Harry lives alone inside the home he grew up in. Even though the house needs considerable repair and modification for his physical disability, Harry makes the best of each day. Because his wheelchair does not fit though the doorway, Harry has to drag himself into the bathroom. Cooking is also a challenge because the kitchen counters are not at his level.

With the backing of the Greenport Rotary Club, independent contractor and Rotarian, Craig Richter visited Harry during the holiday season to replace a broken door to keep out the wind and cold this winter. Harry responded to this effort with a heartfelt note. "I would like to thank all involved with getting me a new door for Christmas. Your generosity of spirit truly touches my heart. Thank you for caring enough to do this."

The Greenport Rotary Club is now taking this project a step further by dedicating this year's "Locals for Locals" dinner to Harry. The Harry Project is finalizing plans with local architects and will employ local contractors and suppliers - who are donating as much of their services as possible - to do the work. Greenport Rotary members are anxious to go "Hands On" and help with labor that they can do.

"For a guy faced with the challenges he has, his attitude is unbelievably good" commented Richter, who replaced the broken door to his house with financial help from Rotary. "We really need to help this guy."

"Claudio's Restaurant is a great venue for a great cause," said Eileen Solomon, Greenport Rotary Club President. "I hope the whole community will come out and join us as we put our resources together to create a safe environment for Harry." All funds raised will be used to support "The Harry Project" sponsored by the Suffolk Community College Association.

"It's important to us to be involved on a personal level" added Solomon. "Rotary members will be cooking, busing tables and dishing up the meals. We are asking the public's support for our friend and neighbor Harry."

Tickets for the event are $18 person, $12 for seniors and children under 12. The full course dinner includes salad and dessert. Seating begins at 12 noon and continues throughout the day until closing time at approximately, 8 pm. Take out is also available. For tickets, contact Robin Walden, 631-987-5264; Craig Richter, 516-443-6005 or Gwen Branch 631-548-2520.


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