Suffolk County Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, along with county elected officials, Suffolk OTB President/CEO, Tony Pancella, and executives from Northwell Health, held an emergency aid press conference with Long Island Ukrainian leaders on March 22 at Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel in Islandia.
Suffolk OTB, which operates the casino, made a $10,000 donation to the Northwell Health Ukraine Relief Fund to send vital medical supplies to hospitals in the embattled nation. The check was accepted by Donna Moravick, Executive Director for South Shore University Hospital, on behalf of Northwell Health President and CEO, Michael Dowling.
Additional money will be raised throughout the month of April from Jake’s 58’s Donate Your Change for the Ukraine campaign. The program gives casino bettors the option to effortlessly donate excess change while cashing out winnings and funds at kiosks located throughout the casino. “At times like these, people always come together to help those most in need, and the patrons at OTB will undoubtedly do their part,” said McCaffrey.
Pancella hopes to double, or even triple, the initial $10,000 donation. “Our patrons are very generous, and we want to do all we can to help the Ukrainian people during this tragic invasion of their homeland,” he said.
Long Island volunteer firefighters were also on hand to announce a donation of flame-retardant gear to help Ukrainian first responders put out fires left in the wake of bombs and shelling. The equipment was donated by the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. “The Fire Service is a brotherhood that takes care of its own,” said Brian Farrell, the organization’s president.
The World Health Organization has verified at least 43 attacks on healthcare facilities in the Ukraine since the Russian invasion. More than 300 healthcare facilities are within the conflict zone and 600 others are within six miles of territory currently under siege. The funds raised at Jake’s 58 will pay for medical supplies that will be transported to Poland and eventually delivered to the front lines.
“We have a moral obligation to help ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people. This generous donation will help address the immediate needs of individuals, families, and communities by providing medical assistance on the front lines. I want to thank Jake’s 58 for their contribution to the Northwell Health Ukraine Relief Fund,” said Dowling.
“Thank you to Northwell Health and Jake’s 58 for their efforts to help the people of Ukraine by funding and facilitating the delivery of critical medical supplies,” said Legislator Al Krupski, whose office has been active in collecting provisions for the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead. “I also want to thank the members of our firefighter community for donating gear to help firefighters and first responders in Ukraine. Despite the dreadfulness of this war, it is heartening to see communities and institutions from across Long Island come together to help a country and a people in desperate need.”
“I commend Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell, and Tony Pancella, OTB President and CEO, for creating this team effort to provide essential medical supplies to Ukraine. I believe the patrons at Jake’s 58 will be generous and compassionate in supporting this endeavor,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta.
“The situation currently unfolding in Ukraine is horrifying to say the least,” said Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg. “We need to do anything and everything we can to support the innocent people being affected and displaced every day. Thank you to Northwell Health and Jake’s 58 for your leadership and efforts in raising funds for much-needed medical supplies that I have no doubt will have an impact and help support countless individuals and families in Ukraine.”
Legislator Nick Caracappa said, “It is inspirational to see how our community, in both the public and private sectors, are working together to assist the people of Ukraine. This besieged nation needs our support, and I was pleased to attend the press conference. I applaud Jake’s 58, Northwell Health, and all who coordinated this fundraising effort.”
Legislator Dominick Thorne stated, “It is my honor and privilege to stand with the people of the Ukraine. Their bravery in the face of reprehensible attacks is inspirational.”