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Huge Community Turn Out for Colonial Youth and Honoree Jim Mazzarella

March 27, 2024

There was an impressive community turnout Friday to support Colonial Youth and Family Services and the honoree at their annual fundraising dinner, Legislator Jim Mazzarella, a local icon who has supported the group for years.

Colonial Youth has been providing services in Mastic/Shirley and surrounding communities for more than a half century and is sustained through the generous support of local officials, residents, service clubs, and businesses. Their dedicated staff offers child care, counseling, nutrition, school supplies, summer camp, volunteer opportunities, clothing, and many other services that are truly appreciated by those who need them.

In attendance at the Sunset Harbor event in Patchogue were two friends of the honoree, Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Dan Panico, who praised the Legislator for his long record of service to the community. Mazzarella served on the board of directors of the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library and was a member of Brookhaven’s Board of Zoning Appeals. He’s a long-time member of the Rotary Club of the Mastics and Shirley and has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. He was even president of the Crystal Beach Property Association, where he lives in Moriches with his wife, Mary, whom he thanked for holding down the homefront while he was out volunteering on evenings and weekends. His daughter, Sarah, was also at the dinner while his son, Joseph, was away at college.

A William Floyd graduate, Legislator Mazzarella is an alumnus of the SUNY Maritime College and also serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of Local 342, Long Island Public Service Employees.

“A truly dedicated public servant” is how Assemblyman Joe DeStefano described him in a special State Proclamation.

The Master of Ceremonies at the successful fundraising event was Fred Towle of the South Shore Press, who has been a Colonial Youth supporter for more than three decades. He was also responsible for lining up donations of the many prizes and auction items that raised a ton of money for the organization. Supervisor Panico took the opportunity to swear in the board of directors including Pete Costelloe, President, Constance Pellechia, Secretary, Treasurer Don Sarno, and Directors Maria Chammorra and Richard Weidersum. 

Also holding down a table at the dinner were officers of the Knights of Columbus James V. Kavanaugh Council, including Grand Knight Frank DeNatale, Jr., who presented checks in Mazzarella’s name to the veterans groups Wounded Warriors and Folds of Honor. The honoree is also a member of the Knights Council, a group started by his dad, Joseph Mazzarella, the last surviving charter member. A contingent from the Mastic Beach Fire Department was also on hand, along with Frank Fugarino, President of the Pattersquash Creek Civic Association, Suffolk Planning and Environment Commissioner Sarah Lansdale, and Leonard Saburro, President of the Dr. Calabro Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge. Mazzarella’s office staff, Tim Rothang,Tammy Blankenship, and Rosemary Perrone, turned out, as did District Court Judge Edward Hennessey, the honoree’s brother-in-law, another brother-in-law Bill Hennessey, President of Local 342, and former Mastic Beach Fire Commissioner Mike Leonardi and his wife, Ann.

Among the many other supporters who help make Colonial Youth such an effective community resource are the D&F Development Group, New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Suffolk Detectives Association, Suffolk Superior Officers Association, Peter Burd of Moonlighting, Rite Fire Burner Service, Bay Gardens, Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library, Brookhaven Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro, Tax Receiver Lou Marcoccia, Clerk Kevin LaValle, Council members Karen Dunne Kesnig and Neil Foley, Attorney Lee Snead, All Island Fuel, All Faith Soccer, Suffolk Clerk Vincent Puleo, Suffolk Corrections Officers Association, Sign Design, Flushing Bank, Dentists Judith S. Savino, William A. Savino, Jr., and Daniel R. Zito, Sons of the American Legion Arthur H. Clune Post 1533, Rotary Club of Shirley and the Mastics, Dr. Richard Savino with the Center Moriches Veterinary Hospital, 1040Man Richard Ziegler, Jesse Garcia, chairman of the Brookhaven and Suffolk GOP, Dime Savings Bank, and the South Shore Press.