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Kevin J. O’Neill

From left, Kevin J. O’Neill; Rev. Rachel Vione (Interim Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Northport); Donna Galluccio (Chairperson of the Ecumenical Lay Council Food Pantry); Martha Keller (Manager of the food pantry); and Richard T. Dolce. Photo courtesy of Engeman Theater

GIVING BACK: On March 6, co-owners of the John W. Engeman Theater, Richard T. Dolce and Kevin J. O’Neill, presented a check for $50,000 to the Ecumenical Lay Council Food Pantry of Northport. This is the fourth year that the Engeman Theater has raised funds for the Food Pantry and the First Presbyterian Church of Northport, which hosts the Food Pantry. Following each performance of the 2017 holiday production of “Annie,” cast members collected donations from audience members for the food pantry. “We’re very appreciative of the generosity of our patrons,” O’Neill said. “It sounds a bit cliché, but it’s true: community begets community. We feel it’s very important to invest back into our community in any way we can.”

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From left, Robert Cogliati, president of the board of trustees, VNSHS; Todd Latchford, group sales manager, Engeman Theater; Barbara Sorelle; event planner, VNSH; Linda Taylor, CEO, VNSHS; and Kevin J. O’Neill, owner, Engeman Theater. Photo from Engeman Theater

On Aug. 9, John W. Engeman Theater owner Kevin J. O’Neill presented a check to Robert Cogliati, president of the board of trustees; Barbara Sorelle, event planner; and Linda Taylor, CEO of Visiting Nurse Service & Hospice of Suffolk Inc. (VNSHS).

At a July 12 performance of “Grease,” VNSHS hosted a VIP pre-show event, consisting of an open bar, a food spread donated by Northport Caterers and several raffle items. A significant portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold for the evening’s performance went back to VNSHS, along with a contribution from the theater, totaling $12,500.

Taylor stated that the funds raised by the event support the organization in various capacities, but that the area most in need of support is the hospice house.

“We really enjoy working with everyone at the theater on these events,” Taylor added. “It is a real team effort to contribute to Visiting Nurse Service and the hospice house.”

The event was part of the Engeman Theater’s Fundraising Program, through which not-for-profit organizations within the community can raise funds to support their specific programs and causes through Main Stage performances at the theater. At each fundraising event, a significant portion of the ticket sales proceeds goes back to the host organization.

VNSHS is a not-for-profit, community-based home health care and hospice agency, responding to community needs as they arise, maintaining a tradition of charitable and compassionate care in the home, and providing community service activities such as blood drives, bereavement support and flu clinics.

“Visiting Nurse Service does phenomenal work, and I think Northport is a better place as the result of their efforts,” said O’Neill. “They are another staple in the community, and we’re proud to support the incredibly valuable work they do.”

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