Steak, cigars and laughs
Patchogue Rotary Club’s 22nd annual Steak & Cigar fundraiser will take place on Wed., June 13. Tickets are on sale now.


Steak, cigars and laughs



The Patchogue Rotary Club is at it again — for the 22nd year to be exact — with its Steak & Cigar Dinner, now in its fourth year at the Patchogue Theatre for Performing Arts and PeraBell Food Bar. 

Not only does the Rotary’s largest annual fundraising event serve up delicious steaks and noteworthy cigars, but it’s all for a guilt-free good cause, supporting the local community.  

The annual fundraiser began in 1996 as a smaller function, with friends and community members gathering at the local BrickHouse Brewery for steak and cigars while listening to a comedian. It soon grew to accommodate a larger crowd at the Holbrook Country Club, still only raising a modest $40,000. Over the years, the club has booked magicians, illusionists and mentalists among their growing list of comedians. Fast-forward to 2018. The event, which will take place on Wednesday, June 13, is booming, selling a few hundred dinner tickets to PeraBell for steak and cigars, after which they will make their way to a sold-out Patchogue Theatre for entertainment, raising over $200,000.

Chair of the event Gary Zanazzi says he expects about 200 at dinner and over 1,000 people in the theatre. “It’s going to be a great night,” he said.

Laughs this year will be provided by impressionist Frank Caliendo, known for his dead-on impersonations of John Madden, George Bush, Robert De Niro, Jay Leno and so many more. His career includes stints on Mad TV and NFL Sunday, and he has appeared numerous times on various late-night TV shows. The invitations to this year’s event are as humorous as expected, featuring Caliendo and reading: “We’re gonna be frank this year. Buy a damn ticket!”

Tickets to the event are on sale now for $250, dinner and show, or tickets to just the show start at $45. All the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward supporting the Patchogue Family YMCA, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center and, for the first time, Stony Brook University Hospital’s new tick-borne disease center.

“The money is greatly appreciated — it helps us continue to run programs for the community,” said Donna Boyle, executive director of the Patchogue Family YMCA.

“The hospital is so grateful,” added Rachel Schnabl, vice president and chief development officer at BMHMC, adding that the Y and the hospital often coordinate during events. Danielle Holton, executive director of development at Stony Brook Hospital, added that they are also grateful for the support, especially considering the growing concern for tick-borne illnesses, hoping to enhance treatment.

In years past, money raised has gone towards the Y’s programs, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital’s Knapp Cardiac Care Center and the lobby renovation. All the remaining funds collected will go towards supporting the Rotary’s yearly initiatives.

Kevin M O’Connor, president and CEO of BNB, title sponsor, said the bank is a proud sponsor of the event and feels as though the support is a “no-brainer.” “As a local community bank, events like these are exactly what we should be doing,” he said.

Sponsors of the event include but are not limited to Bridgehampton National Bank and Motorola Solutions and also a number of sponsors including the Knapp-Swezey Foundation, Brown’s Automotive Group, PeraBell Food Bar, Clare Rose Inc. and others who made the event possible. There are also sponsorships from $300 to $25,000.

The cocktail hour, steak and cigar distribution begins at 5 p.m. at PeraBell Food Bar; the show starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. To purchase tickets for the dinner and/or show, please call 631-981-4364 or contact the Patchogue Theatre box office by visiting