For more than two decades, fireworks in July has meant a holiday bonus check for East End nonprofit groups.
That’s because Cross Sound Ferry Services donates the bulk of proceeds from its annual fireworks cruise to a charitable organization on the East End. Another chunk of the proceeds is distributed to graduating seniors at North Fork high schools, who win $1,000 scholarships from the New London-based ferry company.
On Tuesday, Cross Sound Ferry Services presented a $5,000 check to the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, the beneficiary of the 2016 fireworks cruise.
The annual cruise takes passengers from Orient to view a spectacular fireworks display off the coast of New London put on as part of that city’s annual Sailfest, a three-day event on the New London waterfront featuring tall ships, live music, vendors and amusement rides. The 30-minute Sailfest fireworks show, choreographed to music, is the fourth-largest in the Northeast, according to organizers.
Cross Sound Ferry’s annual cruise has raised more than $500,000 for charitable groups on the East End since the company first started the cruise 27 years ago, according to Stan Mickus, Cross Sound Ferry Services director of marketing and public affairs.
“Every dollar goes to causes on the East End,” Mickus said Tuesday.
North Fork Breast Health Coalition is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides free support services to local breast cancer patients. The organization’s programs include “Lend a Helping Hand,” which provides grants to breast cancer patients, as well as massage therapy, yoga, reflexology and support group services.
“A little bit goes a long way because we are an all-volunteer organization,” said Melanie McEvoy, North Fork Breast Health Coalition vice president. “We are very grateful to Cross Sound Ferry for this generous gift.”