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Cloudy,35°
Monday, December 22, 2014
Chateau Briand holds free prom for LBHS seniors
Catering facility donated event to students reeling from Sandy
By Megan Gaskin and Rosemary Leonetti
Courtesy Long Beach High School PTA
At the PTSA Morning Madness post-prom party at Dave and Busters, senior Brenda Cespedes, left, in front, won a new car, while Kristan Ramnarine, right, in front, won a new laptop. They are pictured with Morning Madness committee members Randi Andosca, left, Linda Birnbaum, Rhonda Healy, Principal Gaurav Passi and Ann Marie Scandole.

“Once students heard that the prom wouldn’t cost anything, more people were willing to come,” said Elyse Stark, a graduating senior and member of the Long Beach High School prom committee.

Though Long Beach schools reopened just two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the storm threatened to disrupt this year’s senior prom, which was ultimately held on June 20 at Chateau Briand in Carle Place.

For the past seven years, Long Beach High School has held its senior prom at Chateau Briand, but the event was nearly scrapped after Sandy as students and their families, including many who were displaced and dealing with damaged homes, contended with the aftermath of the storm.

Earlier this year, the LBHS prom committee polled seniors about their plans to attend the prom, and the results indicated that attendance would be lower than usual due to the financial effects the storm caused.

After receiving the survey results, teacher and prom advisor Adriane 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.

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 and decided to donate the prom, which was held on June 20, in what many described as a true “Cinderella” tale for this year’s graduating class.

“We are proud to play a role in helping the students of Long Beach High School celebrate this special milestone, and to give them happy prom memories, in spite of all the recent hardships they have faced,” Mandaro said.

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