It was a hole in one for Stony Brook University Hospital workers April 5 when the Nissequogue Golf Club donated 600 meals to the facility. The club followed up that act of kindness with a donation of 120 meals to the Suffolk County Police Headquarters in Yaphank April 16.
According to the club’s general manager, Barry Chandler, the hot, homemade meals included meatballs and rigatoni. The club also donated 25 cases of bottled water to the hospital.
Chandler approached the club’s president Art Seeberger with the idea of donating to the hospital and Seeberger then asked the club’s board for approval. The club’s president then made the initial contribution of $500, and Chandler matched it.
The planning process began with Chandler contacting the hospital to ensure all the details were covered before the delivery. The 1,600 meatballs, 200 pounds of rigatoni and 110 gallons of sauce which made up the first meals for hospital workers were prepared by the club’s chef Joseph Badalato and his kitchen crew. Chandler said meatballs were an easy choice for the meals.
“Our chef is Italian, and we love his meatballs,” he said. “So he gets the whole gang together in the kitchen, anyone who can help, and we start rolling meatballs based on his specifications.”
When it came to the delivery to Stony Brook University Hospital, club member Ann Shybunko-Moore lent her truck to transport the meals, and Seeberger, Chandler, Badalato and sous chef Vince Minelli made the delivery. Chandler said SBU had someone greet them at the door with carts and hospital employees brought the food in so the volunteers didn’t have to step inside the hospital.
According to the golf club manager, other hospitals and first responders were reaching out to its offices to see if they too may have their first responders fed by Nissequogue Golf Club. A wife of one of the workers at Suffolk County Police Headquarters heard about the golf club’s good dead and asked if food could be delivered to the Yaphank facility. Chandler said the club received a card after the delivery signed by more than 50 of the employees at headquarters.
The golf club staff is currently discussing the next group to feed, which most likely will be health care workers at another hospital.
Pictured, Nissequogue Golf Club staff members deliver food to SBU hospital, top and bottom left; bottom right Barry Chandler delivers food to the Suffolk County Police Headquarters.