The Merrick Chamber of Commerce installation dinner at Château Briand in Carle Place on Jan. 24 was a night to celebrate the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians who protected the Merricks when Hurricane Sandy swept across the area on Oct. 29, leaving destruction at every turn.
At the dinner, the chamber normally honors a Man and Woman of the Year –– residents and business owners who have contributed to the civic and cultural life of the community for many years. This year, though, the chamber decided against selecting two honorees and instead paid homage to the first responders who answered the call of duty in the Merricks’ moment of greatest need.
Among the units honored last Thursday were the Merrick Fire Department’s Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Friendship Engine and Hose Company No. 2 and Empire Hose Company No. 3; the North Merrick Fire Department; the North Bellmore Fire Department’s SSHLE&E Company No. 1 and Engine and Rescue Company No. 2; the Bellmore-Merrick Emergency Medical Services; and the Nassau County Police Department’s 1st and 7th precincts, community affairs office and auxiliary police.
The chamber also installed its new officers, including Randy Shotland, president; Ira Reiter and Margaret Biegelman, vice presidents; Ellen Firer, secretary; and Douglas Mills, treasurer. The chamber’s immediate past president is Margaret Mueller, and its presidential adviser is Assemblyman David McDonough, who is a past chamber president.
The chamber’s new Board of Directors includes Femy Aziz, Mimma Barone, Kathy Chuber, Robert Cummings, Armando D’Accordo, Richard Dasch, Erin Donohue, Timothy Feldis, Marian Fraker-Gutin, Arlene Gregory, Fran Guercio, Susan Helsinger, Kevin Hofmann, Carmela Lage, Leo Levine, Julie Marchesella, Andrew Nachamie, Jay Pitti, Elaine Spiro, Barbara Traugot and Salvatore Vassallo.