OSSINING, N.Y. – When Hurricane Sandy caused devastation to the East Coast and knocked out power to thousands in Ossining, Mike and Miriam Risko opened their music store to help residents escape the cold and power their electronic devices.
While power was restored days later and much of Ossining weathered the storm without trouble, the Riskos decided local residents and community members could help those who weren’t as fortunate.
After discovering some local ties to a community hard hit by the Hurricane on Staten Island, the Riskos organized a fund-raiser and concert Thursday night at their studio in Ossining and helped raise $2,000.
“A lot of people around here didn’t have heat or power and we were lucky that we never lost power and we were happy to open up just so people had a place to keep warm,” said Mike Risko. “But afterward we heard about how badly places like the Jersey shore and Staten Island were hit and made the problems we had locally seem much smaller.”
Thursday’s fund-raiser is set to assist students and families at P.S. 6 Cpl. Allan F. Kivlehan School on Staten Island. Ossining resident Michele Kantrowitz said she is friends with faculty at the school and was heartbroken when she heard stories of some of the families affected.
“A lot of the homes there were destroyed and flooded and right now they’re in the process of knocking down walls during the holiday season when we have so much,” Kantrowitz said. “Some people don’t have homes to go to and this is the holiday season and it’s about giving and we thought what better way than to give what we can to our neighbors?”
Miriam Risko said she was amazed to see how many people came out to donate.
“We were really lucky and it has been amazing the way everyone has come together to donate,” she said. “We’ve had people from Briarcliff Manor and Croton and Ossining stopping by just to donate. They couldn’t come to the concert but they wanted to help in some way. I think that says a lot about our community.”