A New Hyde Park merchant has agreed to help sponsor in part Nassau County’s “Free Wedding for a Veteran” contest.
Pat & Joe Rodgers of US Limousine Service in New Hyde Park were one of two dozen sponsors helping to donate the various goods and services needed for a full ceremony and reception for Marine Sgt Ryan Donnelly and his fiancée, Army veteran Tina McGrory.
“I am proud and honored to join with all of you, our local businesses, to give back to our military community and to help one lucky couple start their lives together in a very special way,” Nassau Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement.
Donnelly and McGrory will receive, free of charge, a bridal gown, reception for up to 50 people, hotel rooms for the couple and their out of town guests, flowers, DJ, video and photo services, and party favors.
Runner’s up for the contest (Rafael Encarnacion and Fiancée Jessica Allain) will receive a free night & breakfast at the Viana Hotel in Westbury & other gifts.
Westbury Carle Place Chamber President Frank Frisone said the idea for the wedding was born out of both TD Bank and the Viana Hotel's constant quest for ways to give back to the community.
“The idea of giving back to those who served our country, and fought for us, seemed the right thing to do,” Frisone, Store Manager at TD Bank Westbury said. “Both couples we chose are very deserving. The small community businesses that make up the Westbury Carle Place Chamber of Commerce were only too happy to take part in furnishing the event.
Sgt. Donnelly served in three tours of duty, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. During his last deployment to Iraq in 2005, his Humvee was struck by an IED. After weeks of infection, his right leg was amputated above the knee. He received the Purple Heart.
Donnelly, a LI native who works in the LI Local 200 Plumbers Union apprenticeship program, said he enlisted in the Marines to “help preserve the American way of life.”
Encarnacion served two tours in Iraq and is scheduled to go back for a third. His fiancée is currently pregnant with their first child. He is also NYPD.
The complete list of participating sponsors are:
- Viana Hotel, (Nancy Lupo, Director of Corporate Sales & Alan Mindel, co-owner) for holding this event & donating rooms for wedding party & guests; helping organize ceremony.
- TD Bank Vice Presidents Carol Hasenstab & Eileen Baker; and Sales Manager Frank Frisone, for coordinating the sponsors, & selecting the winner
- Nancy Fernandez & Victoria Laura, Westbury-Carle Place Chamber of Commerce
- Honorable William B. Wise, Village of Westbury Trustee
- Michele Cacioppo of Sir Speedy in Westbury – Invitations
- Joe Reider, San Giorgio Florist in Carle Place – Centerpieces/Flowers
- Lisa Chalker, of Family Affair Distributing Inc in Massapequa– 10 Amenity Baskets (one for each guest room)
- Carolyn Schechner of Sandy’s Shoes, Massapequa Park – Wedding Shoes for the bride
- Frank Cunha of Taking the Plunge Films – Video
- Joe & Karin Franchino from Mk Wellness in Westbury –Gift Basket
- Eric Greco of Jordan Fashions in Westbury – Wedding Dress
- Brain Friedman, a CPA from Plainview - Complimentary tax return
- Joseph Delucia from Maria’s Bakery in Westbury – Wedding Cake
- Joanna Rodrigues of Cookies By Design, in Williston Park – Favors
- Pat & Joe Rodgers of US Limousine Service in New Hyde Park
- Bill Moseley of Moseley Photography Group - photographer
- Rich Calcasola from Maximus in Carle Place - Hair and Makeup
- Richard Nelson from Tuxedo Park in Carle Place - Tuxedo
- Phil Vollaro of After Hours Music, in Bethpage & Plainview – DJ
- C. William Gaylor, III, Lynbrook Associate Village Justice, will perform ceremony. (Judge Gaynor is a veteran himself, having served more than 23 years on active duty, attaining the rank of “Lieutenant Colonel” in the US Army.)
- Jerry Scotto and Westbury Manor – Rehearsal Dinner
- Nancy Colleary from Carle Place – Portrait of Wedding Gown
- Charlene Nolasco, owner of Chae Design – designing a wedding website
- Rob Pepkin, owner of The Jewelry Studio in Plainview – donating the wedding bands