Rye, Port Chester Locals Throw Holiday Party for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Several area organizations and businesses collaborated to throw a festive holiday party for Hurricane Sandy victims.

Thank you to Rye Brook Relief for Rockaway's Gail Solow for submitting this information.

Rye Brook Relief for Rockaway in conjunction with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Rye Brook; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, All Souls Parish, Congregation KTI of Port Chester; and Congregation Emanu-el of Westchester, Community Synagogue of Rye, joined hands to host a holiday party at Congregation KTI for over 100 residents of Broad Channel, Rockaway and Breezy Point on Sunday, Dec. 16.

“We wanted to have a holiday party in the Westchester area so the families living with the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, can get away from it all” said Gail Solow, co-founder of Rye Brook Relief. “They deserve a day filled with joy, so we’re throwing them a festive celebration”.

The event included a hot brunch buffet, DJ and emcee, popcorn and cotton candy machines, bouncy castle, face painters, balloon twisting, air-brushed shirts, teddy bear making, a photo booth, and a whole host of other activities kindly donated by local area vendors.

“Since we have all been displaced from our homes, it was so exciting for the kids to get together,” said Monique Henglein. “It was great for the adults to be with each other too!” added Christen Theis.

And let’s not forget the presents! Each of the sponsoring religious institutions held their own toy drives so that each of the 70 children in attendance would have presents this holiday season. Several other generous contributions include Kohl’s and their Kohl’s Cares for Kids book collection and pajamas sent in from as far away as Kentucky. 

“This is a true testament to how one community pulled together to support another during this holiday season” said Sarah Portugal, co-founder of Rye Brook Relief.


Rye Brook Relief for Rockaway is a grass-roots organization founded by Sarah Portugal and Gail Solow in November 2012 following the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy. What started as a simple request for donations for a young family whose home was destroyed in Broad Channel, Queens, has blossomed into so much more. Rye Brook Relief for Rockaway has solicited, collected, and distributed thousands of donations to the residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel, NY. This includes clothing, winter coats, non-perishable food and hot meals, baby and personal care items, cleaning and household supplies, appliances, furniture, and monetary donations. The group has visited the area multiple times to personally make sure these items reach the families in need. In addition, they sponsored a drive for supplies, books, and furniture for two local schools decimated by the storm – Broad Channel Pre-K nursery school and P.S. 43, an elementary school in Far Rockaway 


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