Long Beach community coming together on Thanksgiving

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Like many businesses in the West End, Swingbelly’s, which opened six years ago in Long Beach — there is another location in Lynbrook — was destroyed after sustaining major flood damage during the storm. And yet immediately afterward, despite contending with his own losses, Sean Sullivan set up a grill on West Beech Street within 48 hours of the storm, Kelly Sullivan said, and hosted a free happy hour in front of his boarded up restaurant where he cooked ribs, flipped burgers and served beer. And not even a week after the storm, Swingbelly’s joined forces with Shine’s bar and restaurant to serve free meals to residents.

“We set up a grill and we did a free happy hour … to lift spirits,” Kelly Sullivan said. “That Sunday after the storm, we joined forces with Shine’s and other businesses. We set up a smoker at Shine’s and did a Sunday supper, and just fed everybody.”

“The city is devastated, but we are strong,” LBSA board member Billy Kupferman said. “I have never seen people come together like this in my life. There is such a sense of community. Sean [Sullivan] is a hero — his restaurant was destroyed but his main concern is the people of this town and making sure they don’t miss Thanksgiving. The LBSA is 100 percent behind his effort and proud to be on board.”

“This is going to be a great day and will provide a ton of people who might not have had it otherwise with a great Thanksgiving,” Kupferman added.

“Skudin Surf and Surf for All are honored to be able to service our community in any way that is needed during the next several months of rebuilding through clothing drives, providing warm food and shelter, raising funds to restore community property, and working together to lift the spirits of those devastated by this disaster,” said Skudin Surf’s Cliff Skudin.

Will Skudin and Jim Mulvaney of Surf for All added, “Whether it’s the kind of money that jingles, or the kind of money that folds, it is more appreciated than they could ever express in words.”

To donate, visit http://tinyurl.com/az6gyus, or for more information about volunteering, visit Swingbellys BBQ's Facebook page www.Skudinsurf.com, www.Surfforall.org and www.longbeachsurfersassociation.com.
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