For the second consecutive year, the Great Neck Business Circle provided more than 50 senior citizens a meal on Thanksgiving by hosting a luncheon at the Great Neck Senior Center last Thursday afternoon.
Great Neck businesses and residents decorated the senior center and donated food and drinks to the luncheon that lasted from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“The business people in the town appreciate our seniors and this was a nice event enjoyed by everyone,” said John Ryan, one of 67 members in the Great Neck Business Circle, a business group which was started in May 2009. “It makes sense to get involved in the community where you either work or live and it was special hearing people thanking us at the end of the meal for what we did.”
Adrienne Greene, vice president and branch manager of Sterling National Bank on Cutter Mill Road, said it is important to participate in community events like the Thanksgiving lunch.
“There was no thought involved to donate cranberry sauce to the Great Neck Senior Center,” Greene said. “As a business company, I felt it was necessary to support local organizations where I work.”
Jeffrey Phillips, owner of Cafe Rustica, donated five desserts including a chocolate black out cake, a apple crumb pie, a pumpkin pie, a walnut pie, and a raspberry linzer tart.
“Participating in this Thanksgiving event is part of what we do at Cafe Rustica,” Phillips said. “We have done regular charity events for the 17 years that this restaurant has been in Great Neck. I am more than glad to step up when asked to benefit any non-profit organizations.”
Catherine Muro, general manager of the Andrew Hotel, delivered juices for the seniors to drink at the luncheon.
“There is a lot of satisfaction as a member of the Business Circle to participate in events like this every year,” Greene said. “The Business Circle has worked closely with the Great Neck seniors who are our neighbors.”
Phoebe Lazarus, president of the Great Neck Senior Center, said this event was special for seniors because they may live far away from their relatives and this is their only opportunity to spend time with people on this day.
“All people who are here have no connection to their family to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving,” Lazarus said. “The event was lovely and it was great that so many people donated food to the senior center. The decorations were cheerful and brought a feeling to everyone at the event that they are loved.”
Other donations that were given to the Thanksgiving lunch included 10 turkeys from Jeff Hessel and Erica Prager, Mortons Steakhouse provided mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, Village of Great Neck trustee Jeff Bass and his wife gave paper plates, cups, plastic utensils and napkins, Roger Chizever from Allstate Insurance Company and his family worked in the kitchen and Danny from Jewels By Viggi brought a pasta dish. Bradley Diamond and his family put up holiday decorations at the senior center.
There were also financial donations given to host the event from Jeff Schwartz Esq., Thomas Cole Salon, Swartz & Swartz, Donna Frasco from Community National Bank and Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) and her husband Jay.
“It is important to support various agencies in your local community because it is then a better place to live,” Bosworth said. “The lunch gave people who may be alone on Thanksgiving an opportunity to talk to people and not be lonely on a special holiday. The support at an event like this is material in time and the love is important.”