The Lynbrook and Rockville Centre and Junior Fire Departments recently held a fundraiser breakfast at the Baldwin Applebee's that raised nearly $6,000 for the East Rockaway Fire Department, which was devastated by the superstorm Sandy.
"My mom and former Chief John O' Riley, of Lynbrook, were talking about the devastation at a company get together," said Andrew Krahm, captain of the RVC Junior Fire Department. "They originally recommended a pasta dinner with the proceeds going to the East Rockaway Fire Department."
Krahm, a former junior firefighter in Lynbrook, planned a meeting with officers and advisors from both departments. He said that Josie Howard, an advisor to RVC Juniors, recommended the two departments team up with Applebee's.
"They sponsor flapjack fundraisers, [so] this was the route we chose," Krahm said. "They provide the food and the establishment, we were responsible for the logistics and serving breakfast and juice."
Krahm worked with RVC 1st Lt. Tim Duffy, RVC 2nd Lt. Joe Busching, Lynbrook Capt. Ryan Kenny, Lynbrook 1st Lt. John O'Riley and Lynbrook 2nd Lt. Sean Hynes during the fundraiser.
After finding a location, Krahm said he sent out countless emails, had several follow-up meetings with advisors and officers, made many phone calls and even ran around the neighborhood selling tickets. He said the junior firefighters even worked with a local Malverne church.
"I set up teams of Rockville Centre Juniors to help at my home parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Malverne and addressed the congregation, explaining our mutual effort with Lynbrook," Krahm said. "Father Frank Parrisi and the parishioners were very generous and supportive."
The following weekend at 8 a.m. in Applebee's, both Lynbrook and Rockville Centre Juniors worked in harmony, serving more than 100 breakfasts.
"'Friend helping Friends' was in an effort to help out a brother department still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy," Krahm said.
On top of the breakfast, the two departments sold 50-50 raffles to help raise even more funds. Perhaps the biggest showing of generosity came when the winner of the raffle, Keith Straub of Tally-Ho in Lynbrook, was generous enough to donate back his winnings.
"In the end, we had 30 juniors serving breakfast and everyone felt good about raising money to help others," Krahm said.
Krahm continued to say that there was a large number of people who worked behind the scenes to make the fundraiser a success.
"Josie Howard and the Lynbrook advisors helped plan the event," he said. "Special thanks to Dan Neary of Lynbrook Truck Co. for creating fundraiser paraphernalia, Father Frank Parrisi for letting us sell in front of church and the generous parishioners, the Dorothy H. Krahm Foundation for their generous donation, the managing staff of Applebee's, and, of course, all those who made donations from the local communities including the officers and members of both Lynbrook and Rockville Centre Fire Departments.
"Finally I would like to thank my parents, Charley and Barbara Krahm, for their insight, knowledge, help and support," Krahm added. "They were all over this!"
Both departments -- including chiefs, officers and members -- plan to present the check to the East Rockaway Fire Department in a ceremony Sunday.