Community News

Wantagh community supports Gifford family


A group of 276 people came to Johnny Malone’s on Wantagh Avenue on Aug. 8 to show their love and support for the Gifford family.

The Gifford family, of Wantagh, suffered the sudden loss of father and husband, Mike, who died on June 23. He was well known in the Wantagh community as an active member of his church, St. Frances de Chantal, as well as an avid fan and flagman at all of the soccer games he attended while watching his children play over the years.

Ultimately, Mike is remembered as a loving husband to Trish, as well as a caring and dedicated father of to Bridget, Thomas, Katie, and Peter, ranging in age from 5-19.  

Attendees at the Friday night event paid an entrance fee and participated in raffles that included baskets made by members of the Wantagh community, as well as grand prizes including a three-day stay at Woodloch Pines resort, a 40-inch television, an iPad mini, artwork by a local artist, luggage sets and other prizes.

Money raised will provide the family with financial support in the coming weeks, months and years without their beloved patriarch. Just as important as the financial support received has been the love and caring that has been expressed by a community that has rallied for the family during this most difficult time. Through the efforts of Robin Semler, dinners have been delivered to the family twice a week since Mike’s passing and will continue through October.

There have been many people who have come to help over the course of the past three months weeks, all of which have affirmed the family’s confidence in the spirit of the Wantagh community. One such story came in the form of a kind couple who called indicating that they wished to make a donation to the family. A few minutes later, the couple knocked on the door and introduced themselves as the Dunphys. After a few minutes of pleasantries, Mr. and Mrs. Dunphy made a large donation that came as a gift from the organizers of the Wantagh Inn annual golf outing.

To make a donation to the family, visit GoFundMe account at