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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chateau Briand to host free prom for LBHS
High School event was nearly cancelled as residents contend with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
By Rosemary Leonetti
Courtesy Syntax
Long Beach High School Prom Committee members took a special trip to Chateau Briand to thank the catering facility for donating the reception and flowers for their prom. Pictured from left are Andrea Wilkins, Natalie Simonelli, Joe Mandaro, Elyse Stark and Victor Scotto Jr.

For the past seven years, Long Beach High School has held its senior prom at Chateau Briand in Carle Place. However, due to the hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy, this year’s event was nearly scrapped as students and their families contend with the aftermath of the storm.

“The prom committee polled seniors after the holiday break about their plans to attend the prom,” said teacher and prom advisor Adriane Glassberg. “The results indicated that our prom attendance would be down, in part because of the financial aftereffects of Sandy.”

After receiving the survey results, Glassberg called Joe Mandaro, the executive director of corporate and special events at Chateau Briand, located at 440 Old Country Rd., to tell him that due to hardships caused by the storm, the school might not be able to make the guaranteed minimum number of attendees as specified in their contract.

“Ms. Glassberg’s concerns ranged from the diminished amount of attendees they might have this year to the cost of the prom for each student,” Mandaro said. “I assured her that we were aware of the hardships that were being faced by everyone in Long Beach and that, upon her request, we would not hold them to a specific number of people this year. We also agreed to reduce the price to what she thought might be an affordable amount for the students who would want to attend, adding a consideration for any special hardships they might encounter.”

Mandaro then met with owners Victor and Anthony Scotto, general manager Victor Scotto Jr. and controller Joe DiRico. They discussed the special situation the school was facing, their loyalty as clients, the ongoing stories of the cleanup and rebuilding of the area, and the overall financial and psychological hardships being endured by the people of Long Beach.

As a family-owned and run business, the Scotto Brothers wanted to ensure a memorable evening for every student in the senior class.

“We didn’t want to deny any students the opportunity to attend their prom because of cost,” explained Mandaro. “Of course, always being a community-minded company and being family people ourselves, the next thought flowed quite naturally -- why not donate the prom this year?”

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