Riverhead Rotary’s annual East End Garden Festival continues through Sunday, May 19 at Tanger Outlets.

The giant tent sale offers potted plants, flats, shrubs, trees — many grown by local nurseries and greenhouses that generously donate their plants.

The garden festival is a fundraiser for Peconic Bay Medical Center and
Operation International, a volunteer organization of doctors and nurses created in 1996 to provide free medical care to the poor all over the world.

Riverhead physician Dr. Raj Patel is a member Riverhead Rotary and a member of Operational International, formerly known as International Surgical Mission Support. Patel has made two dozen surgical mission trips over the past 20 years, providing medical and surgical care to poor people in Africa, South America, Central America, India and Asia. (See prior story.)

Riverhead Rotary has been supporting Patel’s team of medical providers with donations for several years. So when the Rotary Club agreed to take over running Peconic Bay Medical Center’s annual Garden Festival a few years ago, it seemed fitting to club officials that Patel’s surgical mission team should be a beneficiary of the event, along with the hospital.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.