NORTHPORT, New York, May 22
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
A band, food, drinks, beautiful weather: what more could you ask for on a Saturday afternoon?
How about adding a good cause into the mix?
This Saturday, The Whales Tale in Northport has you covered with the Emily DeGregorio fundraiser, which aims to aid DeGregorio, who suffered a fall in 2011 that rendered her an incomplete quadriplegic.
“She’s just such a lovely lady,” said Chris Modelewski, one of the drummers for the Northport band Just Cause, which will be hosting the night. “I know [DeGregorio] from when we studied for the New York State bar examination together many, many years ago and through her brother, Bob. She can talk to you about anything, from Renaissance art to NASCAR racing.”
Through the course of her rehabilitation since her accident, DeGregorio and her brother’s resources have run thin, Modelewski said. To help alleviate that fiscal stress, the Emily DeGregorio Special Needs Trust was created and the fundraiser was set up.
“This trust was founded to try and make [DeGregorio’s] life just a little bit easier,” Modelewski said. “The funds raised will go towards buying her an adaptive use van so that she can get around a bit easier.”
While DeGregorio only has limited mobility in her left arm and does not yet have the adaptive use van, she will not be kept from attending the fundraiser. DeGregorio will be able to welcome all those who attend and will hear the smooth sounds of Modelewski and Just Cause.
The band started about four years ago, the brain child of attorney (and guitar player) James Matthews.
“When I mentioned to [Matthews] that I was interested in drumming for him, I told him I’d only do it on one condition: we’d only play for charitable causes,” Modelewski, who chairs the Town of Huntington’s zoning board of appeals, said.
Since then, the band has traveled all over Long Island playing without charge for causes like aiding victims of Superstorm Sandy, supporting wounded veterans, and, now, DeGregorio.
“All of the band members donate their time and instruments to perform for charities that benefit deserving people in need of help,” Modelewski said of Just Cause’s 13 other members.
The fundraiser will run from 1-5 p.m. The restaurant is located at 81 Fort Salonga Road in Northport, in the same complex as the Britannia Yachting Center.
“The weather is supposed to be perfect so it really should be a nice, fun event,” Modelewski said.
Donations can be sent in advance of Saturday to Modelewski at 44 Elm Street, Suite 18, Huntington, NY 11743 and made payable to the Emily DeGregorio Special Needs Trust. Donations will also be accepted on the day of the fundraiser.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record (Thursday, May 22, 2014; Front page)