Spring seemed finally to have arrived on a sunny, warm Easter Sunday. And what better way to celebrate for Jessica and Edward Dennehy, the proprietors of Wantagh’s Mad Men Bespoke Barbers, than to hand out 1,000 protective surgical masks?
The hand-offs were a repeat of their service the week before along Merrick Road in Wantagh, when the couple handed out 2,500 masks, and took place under the watchful gaze of Rev. Liam McDonald, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Hicksville. McDonald sprinkled the masks with his aspergill, blessing them, their wearers and the Dennehys.
McDonald was also available to offer Easter blessings to any who wanted.
Dennehy said he had access to a large quantity of masks since the beginning of March, through his work as a bespoke tailor. “I called many elected officials on both sides of the aisle for help getting them into the country,” he said.
None of them answered or returned his calls.
His break came when he placed a call to Long Beach Police Lt. Richard DePalma, “who answered back in about seven minutes,” Dennehy said. DePalma put him in touch with officers from the Rockville Centre Police Department. Eventually, it led to a connection with former Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Carini, now a Town of Hempstead councilman, and County Legislator Steve Rhoads.
The two officials often work together, because their districts overlap. Rhoads is a volunteer firefighter and ambulance driver in addition to his work for the county.
“They were very professional and wonderful to work with,” Dennehy said. Through them, he was able to begin importing the masks, which are much needed, due to acute shortages.
The Dennehys didn’t say where their next distribution will be, but Edward said they home to keep going for at least the next eight weeks, unless the crisis ends before that.