First ROSE Fest raises $2,500 for local food pantry

Festival raises money for Porch Pantry


It was a day of sunshine, live music and community fundraising at Glenwood Landing American Legion Post 336 in Glen Head last Saturday, during the first ROSE Fest, sponsored by the Sea Cliff home décor store Restoration Oak. The event raised money for the Porch Pantry, a small nonprofit in Glen Cove that delivers meals to food-insecure families in the city and surrounding communities.

“We had about 28 vendors, live music and gorgeous weather,” said Dina Corigliano, a co-owner of Restoration Oak and the organizer of the event. “This is the first time we did this kind of charity event, and I think we had a good turnout. The bands were great, [and] it was a beautiful day with lots of volunteers.”

ROSE Fest, which stands for Restoration Oak Summer Event, was created by Corigliano and her partner and Restoration Oak cofounder, Omar Rivera, as a way to give back to their community by donating to a local charity that supports families in need.

“We had been wanting to do some sort of charity event for a while, and we actually didn’t know about the Porch Pantry at first,” Corigliano said. “We put out some feelers on Facebook, looking for a local charity to work with, and Kim” — Kim Velentzas, one of the pantry’s cofounders — “reached out to me. We ended up meeting up and touring their facility. We really thought they would be a great fit for this event, and believe the work they do is really important. They’re all volunteer-based, and rely 100 percent on donations to do the work they do, so we knew the money would be going to a great cause.”

The Porch Pantry started as a few Glen Cove moms looking to help local families who didn’t have enough food during the coronavirus pandemic. They were working together at Robert M. Finley Middle School when Covid-19 hit, and saw a need to help families who relied on the school’s food pantry, but stopped receiving help when the school and its pantry closed as the virus spread.

The Porch Pantry delivered food to more than 300 families in the Glen Cove area at the height of the pandemic, and still drops food off on a regular basis to about 275 families.

“We rely solely on monetary and food donations — different businesses help out and donate sometimes,” Velentzas said. “We receive daily bagel donations from a bagel shop in Glen Cove, and sometimes we receive fresh produce from Island Harvest … it’s truly a community effort.”

ROSE Fest raised an estimated $2,500, all of which will be donated to the Porch Pantry, according to Corigliano.

“Dina and Omar worked so hard to put this event on,” Velentzas said. “It was very generous of them to reach out to us and make the Porch Pantry the beneficiary of the donations. It was a great event for the community as well. It was lovely to give residents the opportunity to get out in the community and enjoy some live music and all the great vendors.”

“We’re looking to make this an annual event,” Corigliano said. “The goal is to pick a different charity each year to focus on and benefit through fundraising. We’re hoping to make it bigger next year. This first event was a good learning experience for us — we saw what worked and didn’t work. We only had about two months of planning time, and I’m really proud of the outcome we were able to achieve.”

“They did a great job,” Velentzas said. “It was lovely. For a first-time event, I was really impressed. The vendors were fantastic and unique, with great products and decent price points. The music and food was excellent. Based on the amount of people I saw there, I believe the event was a success.”