Friends of Freeport thanks

Rachel's Waterside Grill

for their continuous support in feeding our Volunteers

SANDY - Two Years Later

The Ladies are recognized by Assemblyman Brian Curran as
Women of Distinction  
pictured with Freeport's Mayor Robert Kennedy

Thank you to the LIONS Club for their very generous donation

Friends of Freeport and Bens General Contracting will surprise an Oceanside NY family on Sept 19th, 2014. Please tune in to see what a bunch of volunteers with big hearts can do as they work with NBC Universal and host George Oliphant in making dreams come true for a special family

Joan Garbo, on behalf of the Freeport High School Half Century donors, presents President Rich Cantwell a very generous donation for
Friends of Freeport

On April 4, 2014 The Freeport Chamber of Commerce proclaimed
Friends of Freeport - CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

2014 Make A Difference Award

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray recognizes
Friends of Freeport for their extraordinary selfless nature and volunteerism.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano met with the Friends of Freeport
to commend them on rebuilding over 100 homes in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.

Shown here from left to right is Ben Jackson, Eric Robinson, Jennifer Jerome, Rich Cantwell, Lois Howes, Debbie Zagaja, Linda Stuerzel, and Stan Solmonsohn

**LIU Post Student Athletes Arrive in Freeport**
Once again student athletes from the LIU Post Football team came out to Freeport to lend a hand. Thank you to Ramel Joseph, Brandon Spears, Nic Markadakis, Dyllan Cafarella, CJ Sears, Jesse Agbotse and Brandon Chaeney. You are all *Rockstars* - Go Pioneers!!!

Members of Long Island University "Football" and "Women's Field Hockey" volunteered with Friends of Freeport on Feb 15, 2014 on Nassau Ave. Our thanks go out to Mike Gregorvic, Nick King, Matt Brennan, Julian Santiago, Kam Palmer, Ryan Renfroe, Christian Neptune, Abi Sawyer, Cate Kundrat,
Lauren Adamusik, Melissa Quintanilla, Heidi Schaffner and Lyn Wilson.

Island Harvest makes a generous donation!

Friends of Freeport receives $5,000 worth of gift cards for Home Depot, Target and Walmart to distribute to Freeport families affected by Super Storm Sandy.
Thank you Island Harvest for your continued support in furthering our mission.

CBS News Coverage of Friends of Freeport's work in Babylon
News 12 Coverage of our work in Babylon on Jan 4, 2014

"Carry on" to Babylon
Work on Sandy-Damaged home goes on despite snow

Photo credit: Ed Betz | Patty MacDonald, of Farmingdale, who is part of the group Friends of Freeport, works with a hammer inside a home in Babylon that was damaged by superstorm Sandy. Volunteers worked in below-freezing weather following a blizzard to continue repairs. (Jan. 4, 2014)

The shoveling did not stop at Gina Bonner's walkway -- enough snow was cleared from her Babylon yard to make way for a forklift bearing Sheetrock, plywood and insulation Saturday.

About 40 volunteers donned work gloves in below-freezing weather to help rebuild Bonner's house, which she said suffered more than $200,000 in damage from superstorm Sandy's floodwaters.

As the crew ripped out damaged walls and floorboards, Bonner received a certified letter from the state containing a check reimbursing her for some of her repair costs. "I'm ready to faint," said Bonner, 49.

Family illnesses, unemployment, fights with her insurance company, the discovery of problems with the home's foundation, and the struggle to repair a home with seven people living there has slowed the renovation process.

The snow did not delay things at the house Saturday. When a delivery truck broke down, pickup trucks retrieved the supplies.

"The roads are passable," said Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable development. "The snow will not stop the energy here."

The group, which provided $3,500 of funding for Saturday's effort, created Friends of Long Island to coordinate volunteer groups to rebuild after Sandy. The project has organized rebuilding projects for 40 houses and interior demolition at about 500 homes to help families recovering from the Oct. 29, 2012, storm.

"There's a lot of people falling through the cracks," he said. "What's been filling in the gaps is local people helping local people."

Bonner's boyfriend, Bob Coffey, 52, has been doing much of the reconstruction in the past year but said it was difficult since the house was occupied.

"When people live here, it's hard to rebuild," Coffey said. "One room at a time is difficult."

Saturday's goal was to leave the first floor with insulation, wallboard and a new floor. Rich Cantwell, a Hempstead fire dispatcher and president of Friends of Freeport, which also worked on the house, said helping families is important for the community.

"We want to do whatever we can to keep our families here," he said.

A Freeport Business Steps Up

Carlos Cepeda, owner of "C and C Appliance", a local business on E Merrick Rd in Freeport surprised a Freeport family today. Mr. Cepeda donated a washing machine, had it delivered to their home and installed, at no cost.
Thank you Mr. Cepeda, as well as Jennifer Jerome and Barry Goodman who helped make this happen.

Find Additional Current Events Podcasts with FreshStart Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Our very own V.P. Lois Howes Stops by FreshStart Radio to Talk about Rebuilding after Sandy 

Lois Howes is an enthusiastic travel agent, the 1st VP of her local Chamber of Commerce, and a dedicated contributor to the re-build following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as 1st VP of Friends of Freeport.

Lois Howes was right in the thick of it, leading the charge - organizing and helping in any way possible. 14 months later, she chats about the experience, how it changed her life, and the ongoing needs following Hurricane Sandy.  

Friends of Freeport volunteers take part in the annual
Salvation Army "Bell Ringing" to help raise funds for those in need.

Santa and his Elves

Sharon Gabler, Cynthia Carucci, Stefanie Norris, Lois Howes, Christina Parkman and Linda Stuerzel

               November 23, 2013

Friends of Freeport step up for community after Sandy

Freeport resident Bill Walsh, center, a New York City firefight and volunteer firefighter for Freeport, out in front of his home where Friends of Freeport an organization whose mission is to get people back into their homes, after weathering Super Storm Sandy are rebuilding his home.

More than a dozen volunteers spent Saturday hammering plywood into bare walls, unfurling barrels of insulation and yanking out dead weeds and bushes to repair the Sandy-damaged home of Freeport's assistant fire chief.

"This means the world to me," said William Walsh, whose new home on West Fourth Street in Freeport was engulfed by 4 feet of water during the October 2012 storm. "I don't know how long it would take me to do all this. It's just priceless."

Insurance covered just a fraction of the roughly $100,000 needed to rebuild, and with limited supplies and manpower, Walsh and his friends could do only so much.

Last month, he turned to Friends of Freeport, a grassroots group that has spent more than a year gutting or assisting in the rebuilding of nearly 120 area homes. The project, which would have cost Walsh roughly $20,000 if he had hired a contractor, is expected to be complete by next weekend.

Freeport resident Rich Cantwell and his wife, Donna, formed the group through Facebook, soliciting volunteers willing to lend a hand to a neighbor in need.

The group has since grown into a registered 501(c)(3) charity with crews of up to 35 workers who work on homes every weekend and a dozen more who help during the week. Local businesses provide some supplies, and the group receives grants and donations. It hosts fundraisers to fill any gap.

"This is friends helping friends; neighbors helping neighbors," said Cantwell, a dispatcher at the Village of Hempstead's Fire Department. "We don't care about your insurance. We just ask what you need and we help."

Cantwell, whose Freeport home escaped major damage from Sandy, said up to 500 village residents are still rebuilding from the storm and need assistance. He expects to continue rebuilding another 275 more homes for at least another year.

Cantwell's crew, which includes local police officers, contractors, firefighters and members of the PTA, all have a connection to Freeport.

Linda Stuerzel, who manages the kitchen at Freeport High School, spends her weekends serving bagels, doughnuts and coffee to volunteers.

"This is my way of giving back to the community," said Stuerzel, whose mother's Freeport home was destroyed in the storm.

Barry Goodman, who had lived in the village for 27 years, travels 21/2 hours to Freeport every weekend from his home in Winona Lakes, Pa., to help rebuild his old neighborhood. "It's still my community," Goodman said. "Once Freeport is in your blood, it's hard to get rid of it."

Planting a tulip today means believing in tomorrow...
"During the first 3 weeks of November Friends of Freeport volunteers will be planting RED tulip bulbs at the homes we've worked on. We ask ALL our supporters and friends to plant RED tulip bulbs in their gardens or a neighbors garden to show community spirit. How much fun will it be to see splashes of RED in our village this coming Spring. For all of our out of town Freeporters, you can also be a part of this... Let's plant together. Don't forget to take pictures.


Jeremy's Ale House     White and Re' Agency
Compare Foods     Bamboo Bar & Grill
Crab Shack     Two Cousins Fish Market
Cleary's by the Water     Rachel's Waterside Grill
EB Elliot's     Hurricane Harry's
Montana's Pizzeria     Platinum Stock Transfer, Inc.

Barry Goodman presents a generous donation to the Friends of Freeport, from the Freeport High School classes of 1972 & 1973

Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, pictured with Legislator Dave Denenberg, thanks Friends of Freeport for their hard work and tireless efforts in doing their thing to restore the popular Nautical Mile.


Ex Captain Bob Krut of Freeport Fire Departments Hose 1 donates to Friends of Freeport. Thank you Bob and Hose 1 for supporting our efforts in the Village!

Members of the Friends of Freeport joined Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, Legislator Dave Denenberg and John Maguire and Richard Holdener of the Office of Emergency Management on July 30th, 2013 for an informative community meeting on Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness

    Freeport Lions Club makes a generous donation to Friends of Freeport
Thank you Sharon and Steven Moskowitz and The Freeport Lions Club!

Cynthia Krieg, the Village of Freeport Historian and huge supporter of Friends of Freeport, makes another contribution to further our cause. Thank you Cynthia!

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