Corned beef cook-off raises funds for sick child


Cooper Graham has been in and out of Cohen Children’s Medical Center for the last year due to a rare form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma. Since the diagnoses, there has been a rally under the CoopStrong banner for the 1-year-old during the family’s time of need.

On March 16, politicians from Nassau and Suffolk came together and raised $5,000 for the family during a corned beef cook-off at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho.

“They’ve been supportive to us from day one and we can’t thank them enough,” said Cooper’s father Michael Graham, who is also an Oceanside fire commissioner, “from Butch Yamali, the owner, to the elected officials. It means the world to us.”

City of Glen Cove Mayor Pam Panzenbeck took home the corned beef trophy, taking it away from Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino who won last year and received second place this year. Third place went to the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jen DeSena. The lowest score went to Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, who Blakeman joked was “so busy in Washington this week he didn’t have time to marinate it,” and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, who is Irish, won second to last place.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman praised the community and family for their continued support and resilience.

“Cooper Graham has a serious and rare illness and it’s been unbelievable how this Nassau County community has come together for him and for other kids that have this affliction,” Blakeman said. “This is a little something from us to try and raise money for research and to find a cure for this disease.”