BIG BIRTHDAY BASH FOR SAM WOOD’s 50th
This in Newsday:
When luxury home builder Sam Wood, right, turned a half century old, he raised not hell but a house.
The invites to his Oct. 23 birthday bash at Surf’s Out restaurant in Kismet requested $40 donations to Habitat for Humanity’s Suffolk affiliate in lieu of gifts. With his 14-year-old daughter Mallory at the door asking guests “Where’s the check?” Wood later presented a big one to the nonprofit.
How much? He thought his 200 friends, clients and subcontractors loved him to the tune of $10,000 but was “impressed” when they gave him the gift of $15,000 to give to Habitat.
“In the scheme of things on Long Island . . . it’s a drop in the bucket, but it might help supply the kitchen or the appliances on a couple of houses,” said Wood, a Kismet resident.
The owner of Sam Wood Inc., which specializes in smaller, second homes on Fire Island, the Hamptons and the North Fork, said he’d been mulling a fundraiser birthday for about a year.
“When you get to be 50 years old, you pretty much got everything that you could ever want,” Wood said.
He chose Habitat because his mother in Florida volunteers for the group and he’s also familiar with the nonprofit’s ReStore, a Ronkonkoma warehouse where Suffolk’s Habitat sells new and gently used building and home goods donated by homeowners, builders and home goods companies. Wood said he has donated new windows, almost new appliances and other items from homes that he renovates or builds.
Lately, the economic times and shaky real estate market have not been the best for the builder, but the businessman is already thinking of making future birthdays fundraisers for good causes.
“The point is even though the economy’s not that good, people still got to think of how to give back,” he said. “Everyone had such a good time, they’re more than willing to spend more money next year to come.
“People are coming up to me for literally months afterward, saying, ‘It was the best party I’ve ever been to’ and I said, ‘OK, next year it’s going to be a minimum of a hundred a head’ and they’re like ‘No problem.’ "
Les Scheinfeld, associate director for Habitat’s Suffolk affiliate, said the money will go toward a three-bedroom house in Bay Shore. Construction will start on the property early next year, as soon as a family is picked, he said. The house will be gutted during renovations and will have a porch added on, he said.
Permission Habitat for Humanity Suffolk affiliate
The idea originated several years ago when I saw this Beatles band we decided to turn it into a fund raiser, it was actually conceived to be twice as big including both the Inn and the Surf's Out with a larger donation to get in and all my customers to be invited (about 400) and the 300 friends, family, Kismet residents, and some customers that ended up being invited. Business hasn't been what it was 2 years ago, so I procrastinated in planning and then the Inn was already booked for the fishing contest. So it ended up at the Surf's Out with 200 invites attending we raised approximately $14,000 with more coming in the last few days. According to most people’s review it was the biggest, best party in Kismet History...Strawberry Fields plays at BB Kings every Saturday and they played at Shea Stadium for the 40th Anniversary of the Beatles. The only sad part is the few people who shunned the event because it was held at the Surf's Out...Too bad. Many calls and emails came in about me doing it again next year which I will seriously consider seeing as I did not even tap into any corporate sponsorship that I have access to.
It was some historic party!
Ther weather couldn’t have been more awful – torrential rain but for Kismetics, a tough breed .nothing would keep them from The Big Party
Phyllis B – nothing is gonna keep me away!!!
THE SPEAKERS FOR THE SAM ROAST
MC Dom had some choice opening remarks …
That tickled Sam’s family: Grace Walther, Sam's sister Wendy and her fiancee Wayne and Sam's brother Fred.
Sam's brother Chris
Daughter Mallory “I’ve known Sam all my life…..”
Goldstein gave a T Shirt………
…for me? Really?
Even a couple of lawyers
(always good to have a few lawyers around)
brother-in-law Mike Walther – funny speech!
Russ Mayer (flew in from Nebraska for party!)
Even buddy/garbage man John Altieri hobbled on stage for a few “cherce” remarks
Surf’s Out owner Paul got in the spirit
These boy s are up to something
Me & My Shadows…………
The Best Bookends Ever
Barbara doesn’t believe her
Best Buddies Believe each other
Lou works his charm
Am I not gorgeous????
PYT’s: Pretty Young Things
Madonna & and child!
Ooops The tent is leaking
How lucky is this guy!!!
A happy alliance
Jimmy’s In Heaven
Skee’s in Heaven
That must’ve been funny
The Liotta’s kickin’ back
She said that???!!!
This guy’s face says it all
You go, Girl
The important people
Diane and Billy Connaughton
We are soooooooo happy
Am I not glam!!!!
C’MON EVERYBODY LETS DANCE!
The only crasher - but its not a party without Johnny Thunder
Sam’s gettin’ down!
Look, my dad thinks he can dance
I’ll just break out some moves while no one is looking
Ah Youth in bloom
We love Jimmy
The hosts with the most!!!
Thank you for coming………
Still raining – what a night!!!
From Amy weeks after the party:
As of today, raised 13,700.00 for Habitat. Donations still coming in. There were 182 people at the party!! Have heard from many people who want party to be an annual event! My friend Kevin put this slide show together for us, its great!
Rumor has it Sam liked hus party so much he might have an encore this year!
I say YES!