Business Beat

Kids have a blast at Merrick Chamber festival


More than 20,000 children and their parents crowded into the Merrick train station parking lot this past Saturday and Sunday for the Merrick Chamber of Commerce’s annual Kids Fest, which serves as a scholarship fundraiser.

Kids Fest proceeds go to fund scholarships at each of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District’s three high schools –– Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham. In the past, the chamber gave out one scholarship per school. This year it’s giving two. In all, the chamber will offer $6,000 in scholarships, which is among the most awarded by a New York chamber. Recipients must have demonstrated a love for community service through volunteer work.

Randy Shotland, the Merrick Chamber president, said Kids Fest was a resounding success. “We had so much going on, it wasn’t even funny,” he said. Among the many attractions, there were carnival rides, face-painting, a crafts fair, magic show and talent show, judged by Merokean Robbie Rosen of “American Idol” fame.

Ira Reiter, the chamber vice president, said, “The weather was on our side. We had a record number of vendors and a record number of people during the day.”