SARANAC LAKE - A fundraising campaign spearheaded by Jacob Stanbro of Nonna Fina restaurant has generated thousands of dollars for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
On Tuesday afternoon, Stanbro presented a check for $18,419.48 to American Red Cross North Country Chapter Executive Director Lynn Gilbert and chapter board member Susan Friedmann of Lake Placid.
Stanbro initially planned to do a small fundraiser involving his restaurant to bring food to the affected areas, but after speaking with other members of the business community and learning they were interested in helping, his plans changed.
From left, American Red Cross North Country Chapter board member Susan Friedmann and Executive Director Lynn Gilbert accept a check from Saranac Lake restaurateur Jacob Stanbro for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts Tuesday in Berkeley Green in Saranac Lake. Not pictured are Barbara Rice of Rice Furniture and Greg Moore of Bear Essentials, who were also key players in the fundraising campaign.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
It turned into a village-wide effort to raise as much money as possible for relief in the communities affected by Sandy. Local businesses donated a percentage of their sales to the fundraising campaign. Stanbro went door to door through downtown, taking donations from individual businesses. He and other members of the business community also collected money from people going to vote at the Harrietstown Town Hall on Election Day in November.
As the donations continued to come in, Stanbro contacted Gilbert, a Saranac Lake native, for help. Gilbert said she suggested making a monetary donation to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts rather than an in-kind donation that would be difficult to deliver to those affected by Sandy.
"I am extremely grateful for all of the hard work that Lynn and the American Red Cross have done to help our fundraising efforts go to the right place," Stanbro said in a press release.
"It was a pleasure working with Jake on this project, and we at the American Red Cross are so grateful for the fundraising efforts of the Saranac Lake community," Gilbert said.
Other key partners in the fundraising campaign included Rice Furniture co-owner Barbara Rice, Gregory Moore of Bear Essentials, the Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
The American Red Cross has so far provided food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Sandy. The agency is now focused on how to help support long-term recovery efforts as the need for emergency services declines.
Any funds donated for Hurricane Sandy beyond what is needed for emergency relief will be put to use serving the long-term needs of communities and individuals affected by the disaster.