FTM Xmas Party

Full Throttle Magazine’s 8th Annual Winter Wonderland Party/Toy Drive/Toy Run

Presented by 1-800 HURT911, Hosted by Selden F.D.

Benefits The Child Life Program at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital & Ski’s Kids

Story by Lee Sheridan

Photos by Sonny McKuskie, Cowboy, Ron Monteleone,

This event is a favorite amongst many members of our FTM family. And although G-Man and I do have other FTM events that we present each year, this one, without a doubt, is closest to our hearts. We start our committee meetings for this 2 day event by mid-March. Operation Elves, as I like to call them, is comprised of individuals from local firehouses, FTM family members, and friends from the community who share our passion of helping the children at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital ‘Child Life Program’. It takes a lot of planning, leg work and dedication to turn out a successful event, and with that being said, I would like to thank everyone who works tirelessly alongside us throughout the year. At this point of my story, I would also like to commend Selden F.D., who hosted our meetings and went above and beyond to help insure a safe and triumphant event this year, as well as in 2015.

The maiden voyage for this event was 8 years ago. Fingers from WBAB, our toy ride grand marshal, was on board with us right from the start. It was a rainy Sunday in December and about 12 bikes showed up. That year we raised less than $5,000, but delivered nearly 1000 toys thanks to our dearly, departed friend, Ski Gajewski, hence the name that is part of the title of this event, who was a 911 first responder, and who passed in 2011from cancer, due to the work he performed at ground zero.

As of 2016, FTM has signed a $75,000 pledge with SBCH and so far, with the help of so many business owners, members of the motorcycle community and caring individuals, we have raised over $45,000.  Each year, the amount of money we raise and toys we collect has grown, with this year being our biggest single donation ever in the amount of $21,000 and thousands of toys. The many toy drive boxes that are displayed at a large variety of local shops, always helps to push the amount of toys that we collect to over the top numbers.

Last year’s party was held on Nov 30th, 2017, returning to 89 North in Patchogue, NY. Support came in from all over Long Island and the boroughs. The Winter Wonderland title received its name because of the breathtaking décor that the Lovely JoJo uses to transform this basic music venue into a holiday wonder. The G-String Band (www.gstringrocks.com) once again donated their time to entertain the crowd. Folks absolutely love this band, who play everything from classic rock, to dance music. DJ Joey, who also donates his time for the cause each year, gets the crowd up on their feet by delivering a mix of holiday and rock music. Miss Full Throttle 2017-2018, Adriana Amaya, graciously posed with her fans for photos, and dazzled us on stage when she sang with the band. FYI – this lady has a set of pipes that will knock your socks off. Not many vocalists can bring down the house when singing A Cappella.

So many of our guests raved about the delicious feast of food that filled 5 six foot long tables. Everything was cooked to perfection by local restaurants and deli’s, who so generously donate every morsel on the buffet. And as always, the evening ended with enough deserts to satisfy beyond the average sweet tooth. Decadent chocolate candies, homemade cookies, cupcakes, and chocolate covered pretzels were enjoyed and gone as quickly as we could refill the trays. Many thanks to our buffet captain, Vickiemarie (Centereach F.D) and those who assisted her including Julianne Warren, Chaka Delmar and other helpful hands.

Our Chinese Auction is famous for offering high-end merchandise and exceeding at least 65 items, including elegantly wrapped baskets filled with wonderful gifts, which are stylishly displayed on tables lining the entire front of the venue stage. This year it was decided that we would hold a live auction, which was a huge success. Folks won trips to Disney, east-end country club golf outings, weekends at prestigious spas, a Keith Urban autographed guitar & photo, case, amp and music book (donated by Doreen from Doreen’s Flowers) and so many other extravagant prizes. I would like to thank Dana Berkman, Barbara Barker and Jenn for their years of assisting in collecting auction items. A special thanks to Dana for helping me in creating many of the auction baskets and manning the entire Chinese and live auction operation on the night of the event. This year we welcomed Marion Warren, Lisa Cummins, Sue Spero, Darlene Lombardo and Andrea Kagan to our soliciting team. These ladies did a fantastic job of bringing in not only many beautiful items, but a large amount of monetary donations as well.

The evening was filled with so much kindness, laughter and a lot of love. Santa & Mrs. Claus (Bobby & Lucky Colon), who are as adorable as they can be, tell me that this celebration is at the top of their list of favorite events to attend. The holidays can be very stressful for so many, I like to think that the Winter Wonderland event helps folks to unwind, relax and capture the true meaning of the holiday spirit.