The Riverhead Business Improvement District [Riverhead BID] is spearheading a new "downtown double" campaign that aims to assist not only hospital workers on the frontline of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but also aid downtown Riverhead restaurants that are having trouble keeping their doors open during the current "shelter-in place" order.
"We are all in this together. This program is an opportunity for our community to make a positive impact on both healthcare workers and Downtown Restaurants that are being heavily impacted by this pandemic," said Steven Shauger, Riverhead BID President, who is organizing the efforts with Kristy Verity, Executive Director, Riverhead BID; Darrien Garay, Special Gift Officer, Peconic Bay Medical Center
; and Maureen Brady-Curzio, Director of Development, Peconic Bay Medical Center.
Riverhead BID and Peconic Bay Medical Center are currently raising donations to fund the "Double Donation" efforts. So how exactly does the initiative work? Monies raised will be used to purchase gift cards from participating eateries in downtown Riverhead that will in turn be donated to employees at Peconic Bay Medical Center, Northwell Health. 100 percent of the virtual fundraiser will go directly towards purchasing the gift cards.
"Things will eventually get better, and donations to this cause will support our heroic healthcare workers and also help the restaurants we all know and love to weather the storm and be there when the dust settles," Shauger noted.
With every $5,000 raised, the BID will be able to buy 100 $50 gift cards, which will be distributed by the medical center. All active employees of the hospital, from ICU to medical records to environmental services, will be eligible to win a gift card through a Peconic Bay Medical Center raffle system. Gift cards will be mailed to employees' homes.
"The heroic work being done by the staff at the Medical Center would not be possible without the generous support from our community," Andrew Mitchell
, President and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center, shared. "We are thankful for all those who participate in programs like this to support our healthcare heroes."
The fundraising efforts were jumpstarted by a generous $5,000 donation from the Richard and Mary Morrison Foundation, who is also encouraging the community to post a thank-you video for an essential worker on Facebook - and make sure to use #essentiallove and #thankyoufrontline and tag the Richard & Mary Morrison Foundation. For every video, the Foundation will donate $1 to the gift card program, donating up to $5,000.
"In this historic crisis in America it is imperative to honor, applaud and show our deep appreciation to our front lines heroes and angels. Respectfully we thank you from the bottom of our hearts," Richard and Mary Morrison stated.
The Tuthill-Mangano funeral home in Riverhead is also championing the cause with a $1,000 donation.
"The Coronavirus has not only impacted everyone socially and financially, it has also displayed the heart and soul of our town," Kristy Verity, Executive Director, Riverhead BID, explained. "We see people caring, sharing, volunteering, donating and supporting. At a time when so much is unknown and so much has been stripped away, humanity has peaked and Riverhead is more united and wholesome than ever."
Riverhead BID hopes to raise $100,000 for the campaign. As of Wednesday, April 8, $7,265 had been raised.
Eateries participating in the gift card campaign include The Preston House, Jerry and the Mermaid, Michelangelo, Goldberg's Bagels, Taqueria Cielito Lindo, Shadees Jamaican Takeout, Sunny's Diner & Grill, Diggers Ales n' Eats, Dark Horse Restaurant, Cucina 25, River Walk Bar & Grille, Perabell Food Bar, Tweeds Restaurant
& Buffalo Bar
, Cliff's Rendezvous, Star Confectionary, and Taco Bout It.
Tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.northwellcovid.com
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com