The Cornerstone Pub is used to large crowds on weekend nights, but on November 9 the patronage packed into the Mineola pub for more than just the typical relief from the previous workweek – especially one that follwed Hurricane Sandy.
With the assistance of owner Phil Mazzella, residents Christine Marchiselli and Sue Fleming helped to organize a fundraiser benefiting victims of Hurricane Sandy, which saw hundreds of people either participating or donating time and/or resources to the cause.
“We are doing this today to focus on the basic needs of people in South Shore communities struck by the storm, but this is by no means a one-time only event; this is just the beginning,” Marchiselli said.
Various organizations and community groups, including representatives from the Lady Islanders Ice Hockey Organization, Coach Olivia Nuzzo, Captain Bella Marchiselli and the Mineola High School cheerleaders – who made bracelets sold for 5 dollars each – helped contribute to the hurricane relief funds.
The benefit was particularly poignant for Nuzzo, as one of her own team members was affected by the storm.
“She has a 10 –foot sand dune in her yard and both of her parents’ cars has been totaled,” Nuzzo said of her teammate, whose name she did not want to mention. “LIPA has not even been there yet!”
While almost all in attendance had stories to share of the storm and its aftermath, most were grateful their situation was not much worse.
“We are blessed and lucky,” said Ellen Sauchelli, who had to self-evacuate after loosing power for several days. “We were inconvenienced, but I know people who have lost everything.”
Cindy Morico, a Cornerstone regular, explained her ties to the event being held at her favorite hangout spot.
“This shows what this bar is about – we are a family,” she said.
Bartenders Mike Rising, Tommy Robertson and John “Scherz” Scherzinger each donated their time to the benefit, along with Mineola Fire Department Captain Sandy Sonera and firefighter Michael Eich lending their support as well.
Together with the donated time of organizations such as “Laughter Saves Lives,” New York Entertainment and local restaurants such as Piccolo’s, Uncle Bacala’s, and Sunset Printing, the fundraiser earned $1,000 within its first two hours.
The relief efforts will be accepting donations until Friday, November 16 between noon and midnight.