Hundreds turn out for CoLoKi fundraiser


The Freeport Trailer, a work-hiring center for low-wage workers and immigrants, had its most successful fundraiser to date last Sunday, according to Liz O’Shaughnessy, a Merrick resident and executive director of CoLoKi, Inc., which runs the trailer. More than 250 people attended the trailer’s fourth annual fundraiser at Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh, she said. The party featured Broadway performers, a live band, dancing, drinks, raffle prizes and more.

“We definitely packed the house,” O’Shaughnessy said on Monday, adding that she did not yet know how much the event raised.

The Freeport Trailer serves day laborers who hope that a contractor or homeowner will hire them for a day’s work. O’Shaughnessy said the trailer is a safe and organized environment for laborers and job providers to meet. It also offers English as a Second Language classes, hot meals, an ID card program and pro bono legal help.

Nongovernmental organizations and individual donors fund the trailer’s mission. O’Shaughnessy said that 40 percent of its funding comes from the Hagedorn Foundation, which funds nonprofit groups across Long Island but will stop operation in the next few years. O’Shaughnessy said the trailer and many other social-service organizations will face revenue shortfalls when that happens.

“Long Island will lose $8.5 million in [annual] non-profit funding,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Therefore, the money from Mulcahy’s will become even more important.”

The March 22 fundraiser at Mulcahy’s included musical sets from a trio of “Phantom of the Opera” performers — Kelly Grant, Satomi Hofmann and Elizabeth Welch — and the band Cat Parr and Friends. Several local officials lent their support, including State Sen. Michael Venditto, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, Freeport Village Trustee Jorge Martinez and Freeport Police Chief Miguel Bermudez. O’Shaughnessy also credited Elizabeth Londoño-Minier, Frank Minier and Dr. Louis Pannullo for their support of the event.