By Julianne Mosher
The Christmas season may be over, but one local man just won a holiday gift that will last him for quite a while.
Ron Carlson, a long-time employee of the Village of Port Jefferson, recently won a prize of $1,000 in gift cards thanks to the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s most recent raffle.
Barbara Ransome, Director of Operations at the chamber, said that during December’s annual Festival of Trees display inside the Port Jefferson Village Center a Gift Tree was set up next to the Festival’s main tree in hopes of raising money for the chamber. Visitors to the holiday exhibit were able to purchase a $5 raffle ticket to take a chance in winning gift certificates from over 25 chamber partners (a combined total of $1,000), plus a mini tree the family can use next year.
A resident of Miller Place, Carlson had worked as Parks and Recreation Director for 35 years, he said, and even after retirement decided to come back to the village part-time. “I have a strong feeling for the village and I wanted to support it when I saw the gift tree and the raffle,” Carlson said. “Barbara and the chamber are doing such a great job.” He said he didn’t expect to win, but when he did, it was “a great surprise.”
“There are a lot of fun things to do in the village,” he said, naming some of the shops and restaurants that donated including the Fox and Owl Inn, The Steam Room, Torte Jeff Pie Co., The East End Shirt Company and more.
Carlson said he has already started using some of the certificates, bringing his wife Gina to Pasta Pasta last week to celebrate her birthday. And even though he lives a little more east than where the village is, he said that events like these keep bringing him and his family back.
“It’s a fabulous place to come to, whether you’re a village resident or not,” he said. “Port Jefferson is one of the jewels of Long Island.”
Ransome said the raffle helped raise $200 which will go towards the operational budget of the chamber. “[The prize} couldn’t have happened to a nicer family that supports the village and the chamber of commerce.”