Members of the Nanuet Rotary Club will be camping out along
Route 59 on Friday night to draw attention to the plight of Syrian refugees. Nanuet
Rotary President Joseph Modafferi said members will take turns staying in the “ShelterBox,”
from 3 p.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Modafferi said the purpose of the camp out is to educate people about Nanuet Rotary’s efforts to raise donations to purchase ShelterBoxes for temporary housing for the refugees forced to flee from their homes. The Nanuet Rotary has contributed three or four shelter boxes, which cost about $1,000 each.
According to ShelterBox’s web site, each green Shelter Box is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.
Nanuet Rotary is one of Rotary International’s 34,000 clubs with more than 1 million members worldwide. Rotary International is a service organization and has partnered with ShelterBox to help refugees and victims of disasters. The Nanuet Rotary is made up of 30 community members who want to give back to their community.
“Currently, we’re shipping (Shelter) boxes to Syria and the area around Syria for the refugees,” Modafferi said.
Modafferi, whose term as president began on July 1st, said he expects four or five Rotary members at a time to take turns staying at the campsite on the grassy area in front of the Route 59 shopping center with Growler & Gill and Rockland Mattress.
The Nanuet Rotary set up a shelter tent in the spring at Growler & Gill’s Spring Fest and decided to take advantage of the additional people coming into the area for its Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest on Saturday. Modafferi said Rotary got the opportunity to speak to many people at the Spring Fest and raised $500 through raffles and although he expects they will receive donations this weekend, he said the camp out’s purpose is educational.
Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe co-owner Mike Fitzgerald said he expects about 500 people to attend the fest, about the same number as the spring event. He said a new local brewery, Andean Brewing Company of Blauvelt, will debut its Pumpkin Porter Ale and Rockland County's first brewery, Defiant Brewing Company of Pearl River, will serve its newly released German wheat beer, Barron Von Heffeweissen, at the Fall Fest.