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    The Rotary Club of Sayville’s Annual Beefsteak Brings Steak to the Seaside
    August 20, 2015 10:19 am  
    The Rotary Club of Sayville’s Annual Beefsteak Brings Steak to the Seaside

    by Liam Hofmeister

    Looking out onto the coast, near 500 guests munched on their succulent steaks. When one thinks about beef as the lobster of land, it makes sense that this year’s Beefsteak was hosted at the Long Island Maritime Museum.

    On Thursday, August 13 at 5 p.m., the Rotary Club of Sayville hosted its 63rd annual Beefsteak, a fundraiser dinner, at West Sayville’s Maritime Museum. About 500 people purchased a $70 ticket for an “all you can eat” style dinner of clams, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, roast beef sandwiches and, of course, filet mignon.

    Given the great turnout and the high quality food, Bill Leigh-Manuell was doubtful any food would be left.

    “All you can eat is going to quickly become all we can serve,” Leigh-Manuell said, standing over a 5 foot long charcoal grill and chuckling through his words. “This is going to be good.”

    Some members of the Ed Travers Band, known as the premiere Jimmy Buffet tribute group of Long Island, provided light bluegrass music to complete vibe. Seaside relaxation met some country barbeque.

    Though people went for the food, guests left the Maritime Museum knowing their money was well spent on the Rotary club’s programs.

    Current president of the Rotary Club of Sayville Pam Greene explained Rotary’s approach to the fundraiser simply:

    “If we take $50,000 in, $46,000 will go back out. It all goes toward charity,” after compensating for the cost of organizing the Beefsteak.

    The 57-member Sayville Rotary Club is dedicated to improving the greater community of Sayville through support of charity organizations. Rotary donates its raised funds to the Sayville Food Pantry, student scholarships and Thursday’s Child, a local childcare agency, just to name a few of the many programs the club supports. A full list of charities that Sayville Rotary donates to can be found on its website.

    The Beefsteak may be one of Rotary’s most profitable fundraisers, but it is also important to the Suffolk community. Nothing brings people together like the breaking of bread, or in this situation, the cooking of meats.

    Rotary volunteers shucked clams in front of diners, wearing Rotary aprons of blue and gold. Past district governors cooked on the grill, and current politicians helped serve the food. People conversed over endless beer. People sitting at picnic tables were raucous with laughter.

    Ryan Henderson found this sense of community to be refreshing. Henderson is from Wyoming, and was at the Beefsteak because he was visiting family.

    “There’s a very strong community base here,” he said. “Over lots of food and alcohol, people laughing together, it’s clear that Sayville is a community built on friendship.”

    Diners wait for food to be served at the Rotary Club Beefsteak.

    The tent under which people eat and converse at the Beefsteak.

    Don Hester and Bill Leigh-Manuell cooking up the coveted steaks for the Beefsteak.

    Rotary Club volunteers, Vinny Leuzzi and Chestene Coverdale, happily serve up some corn.

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