From Oct. 7 through Oct. 9 people can head to Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park for the 33rd annual Community Chest South Shore Fair. Music, rides, food and games are the attractions to help support the organization that aids other local groups as well as people in need.
Taking place over Columbus Day weekend, Community Chest officials not only view this event to raise money for the more than 20 organizations that they support, but to connect with the public. “We hope this will open donor eyes,” said Steve Liebman, one of the fair’s co-chairs. “It will serve as some outreach from us to the community.”
Liebman hopes that by learning about the work the Community Chest does in the Five Towns and surrounding communities it will inspire more residents to become involved, as the fair is run entirely by volunteers. He called the experience, “Fun but necessary.”
Ed Cooper has been involved with all 33 annual fairs and has enjoyed watching it grow over the decades. Cooper used the Hebrew word for charity – tzedakah – to describe what he hopes to see this coming weekend. “Every year it’s great to see the entire community come together to give,” he said.
Based on Jewish tradition helping those in need is a duty. Typically, Jewish people donate generously to charities and don’t limit themselves to giving to only Jewish charities.
Community Chest South Shore changed its name from the Five Towns Community Chest last year. Officials said the name change would help the organization expand its mission to other communities.
Both Cooper and Liebman noted Community Chest’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a program designed to provide financial assistance and support to local families that have fallen on hard times. Cooper was proud to say that the money raised at the fair will be going right back into the community.
Cooper was one of the driving forces behind the resurrection of the fair 33 years ago, along with honorary member of the board of directors George Coleman. Combined, he and his wife, Mary Cooper, have been involved with the Community Chest for more than 65 years.
Cal Nathan, the organization’s president is eager to be able to play host to the community again. “It’s exciting to be able to put this fair on every year,” he said, “and allow the members of our community to come together to spend a couple days with family and friends why supporting the community.”
Nassau Herald representatives will man a booth on Saturdays and Sunday to speak with fairgoers and photograph the event. The Jewish Star will be doing the same on Sunday, when kosher food will be available for purchase. On all three days, a pay-one-price bracelet for each day is available for purchase.
A full list of the South Shore organizations that Community Chest helps can be seen at www.communitychestss.org.