Honoring giants in the community

Island Park Chamber of Commerce hosts annual awards


Evan Davis can often be found painting murals at the Island Park Public Library, leading community cleanup events and participating in food drives.

It is his dedication to Island Park that led the Chamber of Commerce to name him the Community Service Award recipient at its 68th annual Dinner & Dance event on Oct. 17 at the Bridgeview Yacht Club.

“He’s a guy that most of us are very proud to call a friend,” Chamber President Mike Scully said of Davis, who was one of four honorees. “He does the right thing. He’s just that kind of guy.”

Scully, who served as the master of ceremonies at the event, along with fellow chamber member Glenn Ingoglia, said Davis always supports Island Park.

Davis was born in Rockville Centre, grew up in Island Park and now lives on Barnum Island. He attended Island Park Public Schools and graduated from West Hempstead High School. He earned a degree in media arts with a focus on illustration and advertising from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has been a freelance illustrator and designer for more than 35 years, with many of his works adorning the walls of the library and in areas across Island Park.

In addition to being a chamber member, Davis is on the board of the Island Park Civic Association, and helps organize the annual Love Our Troops Dance, the Thanksgiving food drive and the Easter Hug-a-Bunny collection event.

After Hurricane Sandy, Davis was played an instrumental role in Island Park’s recovery efforts. He led community cleanups and demonstrations and was involved in the building of the Caroline Previdi Pink Playground at Masone Beach. The playground was built as part of the Sandy Ground Project, in which playgrounds were named in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.

Davis also helped rebuild Landgraf Park with the Kaboom organization, a nonprofit group that helps communities build playgrounds. He is also a supporter of the Long Beach Humane Society/Kitty Cove, the Kiwanis Club and the Dorothy Finn Foundation, created to honor the memory of Dorothy Hickey Finn, a longtime tap dance instructor and animal rights supporter who died in May 2008.

Davis said he was humbled to receive the honor. “I just try and help out where I can,” he said. “If there’s an event in Island Park or some kind of charitable thing, if it benefits Island Park, then I’m there.”

Davis added that it was particularly special for him because he graduated with fellow award recipient Rick Berotti and worked for five years under another honoree, Nick Poulos.

Berotti’s business, Eveready Roofing, was named Business of the Year by the chamber. The company opened in the Five Towns in 1927. In 1978, Berotti asked then-owner Thomas Busacca for a job, and was hired. When Busacca retired in 1990, he sold the business to Berotti, who moved it to its present location, 4177 Austin Blvd., in Island Park, in 2001.

The business has been a family affair, as Berotti’s brothers Fred and Bobby, his wife of 30 years, Jeanine, and his longtime friend Carl Siermala have been core employees at the store for years. Eveready’s services include residential and commercial roofing, and the installation of gutters and siding.

Berotti is a graduate of West Hempstead High School and Nassau BOCES. He and Jeanine have two children, Ricky Jr. and Tommy.

“We really appreciate this award,” Berotti said. “We would like to thank our employees, friends and customers for all their support throughout the years.”

Poulos, who owns Pop’s Wine & Spirits, at 256 Long Beach Road, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Pop’s opened in November 1944 and was established by Poulos’s father, Peter, who was a Greek immigrant. The store’s name derived from people affectionately referring to Peter as “Pops” when he came to the United States.

Poulos took over the business in 1976 after he graduated from engineering school. The store specializes in fine wines and gained a country-wide following. Over the years, Pop’s has undergone six expansions and it now generates about 60 times more revenue than it did in 1976, Poulos said.

“I’m very, very humbled to be recognized by my peers,” Poulos said. “One of the other recognitions that I’ve received, I’ve been certified as a workaholic, and that being the case, I perhaps wasn’t as involved in the community as I should have been and I hope to change that. It’s a great little town.” Poulos noted that three of the employees on Pop’s staff have been a part of the business for 25 years.

While Pop’s has been a neighborhood staple for decades, one company that is new to the area also received recognition. Bliss Beauty & Blowout Bar was named Best New Business by the chamber.

The salon, owned by Josephine and Adam Lobel, opened its doors in Island Park in 2016. Josephine and Adam moved to Island Park after they married in 2005. They have three children, Adam Jr., Evan and Gio. More than two years ago, the couple opened the business, a full-service hair salon, because the hours were flexible enough for Josephine to be available for her children. In addition to the salon, the couple also owns Prime Time Unlimited Construction, also based in Island Park.

“It makes us really proud to try and be a part of the community and try to make it thrive back to where it was before Sandy,” Josephine said. “We need more businesses in our little village to come together and to thrive. We’re a small community, and we can make a difference if we stick together.”

The ceremony started with a cocktail hour at the yacht club and was attended by several elected officials, business owners, Board of Education members and PTA members.