April 26, 2012
Insurance woes put pressure on Locust Valley Chamber
Neighbors chip in to save events
Skyrocketing insurance costs — the result of a recent lawsuit — threatened to put the kibosh on Locust Valley Chamber of Commerce events, but chamber members, area businesspeople and residents have come to the rescue.
They have raised the cash for a $3,000 policy — more than four times the cost of insurance before the suit was filed.
A local resident who fell at a 2010 Chamber-sponsored event filed the suit, which the Chamber only learned about when their original policy was cancelled.
“We had to postpone several activities that the community has come to expect around this time of year,” Kaye Weninger, treasurer and former president of the Chamber told the Guardian before the full amount needed to purchase the policy had been raised.
The activities she was referring to included Restaurant Week and its concomitant Art Walk, highlighting the works of Locust Valley High School students in 50 shops throughout the community.
The popular “Mothers and Mutts” dog festival, which has been held for the last five years on Mother’s Day to benefis the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove, will also be delayed.
Weninger, the manager of J. McLaughlin and a passionate advocate of Locust Valley, its shops and its schools, spoke with pride about the work Chamber members do that many don’t know about.
“We are 100 percent responsible for all the hanging baskets, including watering them throughout the summer, the gardens, and garbage pick-up of 18 receptacles in the community which we pay for ourselves. We don’t hold a fundraiser because so many other groups do, and we don’t want to compete.”
The Chamber, she said, relies on its members’ dues and contributions toward the events we hold. “We plan our budget for the year ahead based on expenses the prior year.” They also relied on a small surcharge to help offset the insurance cost.
“We are fortunate for and grateful to the many members of the chamber and residents who have come forward and contributed to help us get insurance,” said Len Margolis, president of the Chamber.