A Conversation With Nick Gazzolo - 27 East

A Conversation With Nick Gazzolo

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Nick Gazzolo

Nick Gazzolo

Kathryn G. Menu on Mar 24, 2020

Nick Gazzolo, a board member of the Sag Harbor Partnership, talks with the Express News Group — and shares some comments from his colleagues — about work that nonprofits are doing in Sag Harbor to support the community and local businesses during the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Q: Save Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor Partnership have partnered in providing information to residents about local businesses that are still providing services during the Covid-19 pandemic. What were the immediate needs the nonprofit saw, and how has that evolved?

Everyone I have talked to in these two groups and everyone else just wants to help Main Street businesses and vulnerable seniors.

I know Save Sag Harbor is organizing volunteers for deliveries and support. The Sag Harbor Partnership is funding a Virtual Main Street website. GeekHampton is donating services as well. We are working with the Chamber to give people a single stop where they can shop, buy gift certificates and donate during this challenging time. We are working hard to get it up this week. It will also include local nonprofits like Bay Street Theater, the Sag Harbor Cinema, and the John Jermain Memorial Library and more.

Q: The Partnership is promoting support for the Sag Harbor Food Pantry on its website. What are the pantry’s needs right now?

Sag Harbor Partnership President Gail Gallagher has been working on this. Here’s what she has heard from the Food Pantry:

Gail Gallagher: I spoke with Evie Ramundo at the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. They have 70 weekly clients that they supply with fresh produce, dairy, etc., and expect the number to go up to at least 100, possibly more. They spend around $1,200 to $1,500 on perishables each week.

A cash donation would be especially helpful to keep ahead of perishables demand. They also are grateful to receive donations of staples. Currently, they are needing staples like breakfast cereal (nothing too fancy — rather, Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, things kids will eat), long-grain, dried white rice, tomato sauce — whole or smashed tomatoes, canned or bottled, or marinara-type sauce — dried black beans, dried or canned dog and cat food, dried pasta. No soup (they have plenty) and no canned veggies — their clients have fresh instead every week

No volunteers are needed at present, and they are trying to keep staff limited for safety.

If residents have the above goods, they can leave them at the church. There’s a big blue container on the west side of the Old Whalers’ Church at 44 Union Street in Sag Harbor.

Q: Save Sag Harbor has also harnessed its website, savesagharbor.com, to offer residents information on COVID-19 and the ability to sign up for help, through volunteers the nonprofit is also collecting through the website and on a message board. Dozens have signed up to help. Are seniors taking advantage of the service?

I reached out to Bob Weinstein, co-director of Save Sag Harbor. Here’s how they are helping:

Bob Weinstein: Save Sag Harbor has created a Volunteer Message Board listing the names and contact information of people able to help during the crisis. If you are quarantined, self-monitoring due to potential exposure, elderly, or have a pre-existing condition that increases your susceptibility to the novel coronavirus, and need assistance with tasks such as obtaining groceries, supplies, or prescriptions, or caring for a pet, please email us at info@savesagharbor.com or contact any of the volunteers listed on our website, savesagharbor.com.

If you are healthy, have not been exposed to the virus, and do not have pre-existing conditions and want to volunteer, please contact us at info@savesagharbor.com.

Save Sag Harbor has also donated $500 to the Ambulance Corps and an additional $500 matching donations made by the community as part of this effort. If you wish to take part in the SSH matching gift initiative and help us reach our goal, send a check or go to our website at savesagharbor.com. Please notate your donation to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 2725, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, with “Save Sag Harbor Matching Gift Campaign.”

Q: How are you handling self distancing as a resident? What are your tips and suggestions for other residents of the village?

We have a job to do, and it’s to avoid putting more stress on our limited East End medical facilities. We are doing it by the CDC book — 6 feet from others. Lots of hand washing. We just assume everyone has it.

We are doing some takeout dinners to help local restaurants. Doing FaceTime wine parties with friends. Lots of Long Beach walks with the dog. You can see the stress on people’s faces, but there is also a happiness to see each other and an empathy that’s soothing.

Sag Harbor has a strong community and really knows how to pull together (from a safe distance!).

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