'Cooking with a Veteran': St. Patrick’s Day edition

Twenty soda breads, 60 pounds of corned beef and 55 pounds of cabbage


VFW Post 2913 Cmdr. Dave Rogers and his crew of about 15 volunteers cooked and served 80 people St. Patrick’s Day meals in an effort to raise money for the post and Island Harvest. At $12 per meal, including corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots as well as a few slices of homemade Irish soda bread, the group was able to raise $700 for Island Harvest. The other half helped bolster the post’s programming for veterans in need of assistance.

“These kinds of fundraisers help us continue the programs that encourage community outreach,” Rogers said, also noting that the volunteers loved getting together and had a really nice day.

Volunteers included Scott, Lee, Jeff Molitor, Adam Gallardo II, Nicole Maria, George Barrett, Nancy Barrett, Rob Novotny, Donna Zephrine, Shannon Montgomery-Jones, Pete, Mildred, Maria Shine and Rogers’s dog Grunt, who kept watch.

They started the morning off making soda bread, then moved to corned beef and cabbage and later shepherd’s pie. After hours of cooking, the volunteers capped off the day with a surprise guest appearance from Irish step dancers.

The crew managed to make 20 Irishsoda breads, 60 pounds of corned beef, 55 pounds of cabbage, 50 pounds of potatoes and 25 pounds of carrots, equating to over 80 meals including 17 meals to the Long Island Against Domestic Violence shelter. Rogers made the special delivery.

George Barrett kneads one of the 20 Irish soda breads prepared fresh and handmade the morning of the fundraiser
George Barrett kneads one of the 20 Irish soda breads prepared fresh and handmade the morning of the fundraiser

“We are so grateful for the continued support of the VFW,” said LIADV executive director Wendy Linsalata. “They were kind enough to think of us, and our shelter residents had a nice surprise and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a deli- cious corned beef and cabbage dinner that they didn’t have to cook.”

People who ordered their meals ahead of time picked them up at the post on Wednesday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, including Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy, who said the food was excep- tional.

“It’s another thing Dave has added to his resume,” Kennedy said of Rogers’s cooking skills. “He is nonstop and such a great addition to our community.”

Next up, Rogers said, will most likely be a Cinco de Mayo meal, being that the soup kitchen is occupying their kitchen space for the Easter holiday.

The supplies are mostly collected through donations to help offset costs and support the amount of money raised.

"We loved getting together like this and being able to help the community,” he added, happy to feel like they are still serving.


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