Story by Lon Tytell
This year’s Community Showcase, sponsored by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce (WVCC), took place on Sat., May 20. The event was held outside for the first time in downtown Warwick, on Main St. and Railroad Ave., and attracted a record number of attendees.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this supercharged event gives local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations an opportunity to showcase their products and services to the local community.
Major sponsors who helped make this year’s event a great success were Westchester Medical Center (WMC) Health, St. Anthony Community Hospital, ShopRite of Warwick, WVT, Edward Jones Investments, Myles Wealth Management, Seely and Durland Insurance, Solar Maximum, and State Farm Williams Insurance and Financial Services.
Representatives from WMC Health and St. Anthony Community Hospital provided free health information and giveaways such as hand sanitizers, mirrors, prescription pill boxes, tissues, and coloring books.
“Bon Secours Charity is happy to be a corporate sponsor of the Warwick Chamber of Commerce Showcase each year. The Chamber is the hub of the wheel as far as Warwick businesses and these events give us great exposure to the community. Today’s Community Showcase was a great event. We’re so happy that the Chamber decided to move us downtown this year,” said Barbara Demundo, Director of Community Outreach for Bon Secours Charity Health System.
Employees of ShopRite of Warwick informed visitors of the new products in the store and the expansion plans for the store. They also sold chocolate bars, magnets and umbrellas to raise money for their veteran’s campaign, which includes underwriting the major costs of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight including: breakfast, transportation to Stewart International Airport, and air fare to Washington D.C.
Volunteers from Guiding Eyes for the Blind were on hand to recruit puppy raisers. Taking on a puppy involves the initial training which is finished at the training center in Yorktown Heights, NY to train them to serve as guide dogs. The organization meets at the Warwick Senior Citizen Center, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick, on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m.
Members of Scout Troop 45 also were at the event to offer insights into the benefits of the organization. The Scouts helped set up and take down the tables for the vendors. The Warwick Valley Rotary shared their community projects and fundraisers and invited visitors to join their club. Other organizations present at the Community Showcase included Warwick Playground Dreams Corps, the Warwick Valley Humane Society, the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department, and Back Pack Snack Attack.
Family activities offered during the day included a martial arts demonstration, face painting, fire trucks, Oakie Dokey the Clown, and music played by the Rock Underground of Greenwood Lake.
Michael Johndrow, the Executive Director of WVCC, was pleased that the vendors were able to benefit from the event, which gave more space for attendees to visit each of the businesses and non-profit organizations.
“The merchants on Main St. and Railroad Ave. also saw an increase in business from the foot traffic. We are looking forward to hosting this event again next year outside,” said Johndrow.