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  • Writer's pictureSuffern Chamber

Year In Review - 2018

It still never ceases to amaze how quickly a year can come & go... Let's try to have more gratitude & be mindful of each new day we receive. Here's our 2018 Year in Review -

Our 2018 Chamber Networking Mixers continued to offer our members an opportunity to mingle locally while our inclusion in the Chamber Alliance of Rockland produced connections with Chambers & small business owners throughout Rockland.

Our Chamber's Holiday Dinner at Marcello's Ristorante was a fantastic success with participation by both the Nanuet Chamber & the Sloatsburg Chamber. Members who attended were thankful to have attended commenting on the best Chamber networking to date.

We also honored Gina Bertolino of Mystic Images Salon with the Chamber's 2018 Recognition Award. Gina, who is a Suffern resident, an officer on the Suffern Chamber Board & was a Village Trustee just before the election, had served many years of selfless volunteer work & continues to be an integral part of the Suffern community.

The Chamber's April & September Street Fairs still draw a great crowd of about 15,000 visitors from all over Rockland, Bergen, Orange County & the city. The Chamber's Street Fair committee is working diligently & will be announcing this April's event in the next month.

Our Explore Harriman NY Tourism Campaign continues to take on new life as we come into our 4th year partnering with the Sloatsburg Revitalization Committee & now the Sloatsburg Chamber. Outdoor enthusiasts are taking to the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail & into Sloatsburg. This year we hope to steer even more tourists into our Villages. On January 22nd, representatives from both the Suffern & Sloatsburg Chamber will meet in Stony Point for the 2019 grant award announcement.

Lots of exciting developments are happening in both Suffern & Sloatsburg. In Suffern, with the 74 Lafayette Ave completion a couple of years back, a renewed tone was set bringing in Sushi Bada & Postnet. The many building stages of The Sheldon has many anticipating more businesses entering Suffern. The fully operational Valley Rock Inn, the Village Blend Coffee Shop & now the opening of Happy Belly all in Sloatsburg, only contributes to the overall revitalization of Western Ramapo.

With developments underway, our Chamber is always striving to pull together new experiences such as our 1st Restaurant Week successfully spearheaded by Nicole Russodivito.

This leads us to congratulating Mr. Banks Dastine for opening his new restaurant, Diddy's on Lafayette Ave. We also welcomed new Chamber members AFC Urgent Care, Club Pilates Montebello, All Pro Commercial Cleaning Services, Fox Pest Control, John Gloria Enterprises, Juliette Jaymes Photography, Total DJ's Music Production, Kumon Airmont, M&T Bank, Paychex, People's United, Rob's School of Music, Simplisk & Vision Plus! And congratulations again to Chamber Member Heather Bowie of Allstate Insurance for being crowned the 2018 Hibernian Businesswoman of the Year!

We held our Annual Shop Small Saturday with it's 2nd Scavenger Hunt where families came out in teams to stop in various businesses leading up to prizes. We're putting our heads together with shop owners to make 2019's event memorable.

We want to acknowledge the loss of Suffern business owner Paulo Del Mastro, known to the community as "Paul the Barber" who held his business in Suffern for more than 40 years. Also missed is Virginia Menschner who worked for the Village of Suffern since 1958. She was a tireless public servant who graduated from Suffern HS in 1940. May 14, 2008 was named “Virginia Menschner Day” and her name in golden letters is displayed on the gazebo at Washington & Lafayette Avenue.

Over the course of the year, we've followed all the great activity at Suffern Central School District, its students & The Reach Foundation which all continue to shine as programs & projects are developed. Our Chamber cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to have a fantastic school district which not only all children & families deserve but the community as a whole needs in order to thrive. That's right, you do not have to have a child in Suffern Central to support its efforts which in turn supports all aspects of greater Suffern.

In keeping with supporting our students, kudos must go to Chief Osborn and the Suffern Police Department for the 2018 D.A.R.E. Toy Drive... it was absolutely a beautiful example of community togetherness with many new volunteers of all ages!

Each year brings celebrity news as the Village of Suffern continues to be approached by filming & production companies. This year saw the arrival of Josh Paul Dallas, known for his role as Prince Charming in ABC's series Once Upon A Time. Chief Osborn & Mayor Markunas receive their minutes of fame as they took part in NBC's "Manifest" where Dallas plays Ben Stone.

Also, making an appearance for All Souls Community Church's First Community Benefit & Silent Auction was American Idol's Dave Pittman who shared the stage with a number of local favorites donating their time for a great cause.

Halloween as always was a special time in Suffern as the Village held its annual Window Painting Competition where kids from Suffern Central & Sacred Heart painted their masterpieces which turned Lafayette Avenue into an art walk. The Halloween Parade always puts a smile on the faces of families & business owners from the beginning of the march from Orange Ave & Lafayette to the closing at the Virginia Menschner Gazebo where the costume contests are held and the window competition prize money, supplied by our Chamber, are awarded. Let's not forget the Chamber's annual Crawloween Bar Crawl which grows larger & more creative each year bringing people into the Village from all over.

Every year the Village of Suffern, along with American Legion Post #859, salutes our Veterans with a parade & this year's tribute was moving as always.

Onto the holidays, we are absolutely grateful for the many storefront business owners who participated in the holiday window decorating, to our 2018 judges Jon Paul Molfetta, Village Trustee Moira Hertzman, Diddy's Banks Dastine, Dr. Ken Blank & Ellis Sotheby's Martina Cinarli & 2018's winners Gateway Tattoo, Aufgang/Brooker & Paw Diva. Last but not least, the Village never disappoints (even when weather forces a postponement) to put on a tremendous Christmas Parade. Thousands gathered, many many first-timers, to watch the many marchers, floats & of course, Santa.

We certainly have a well-rounded community and we would like to end this Year-in-Review with the deepest thanks to the Suffern Police Department, Suffern Fire Company's Hook & Ladder #1 and Hose Co. #1 and all neighboring fire volunteers, as well as, All Souls Community Church who were there to comfort the McGhee Family who lost their home to an awful fire just before the holidays.

May 2019 bring prosperity, health & happiness.

Suffern Chamber of Commerce Board

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