Graybeards Spruce Up The Claddagh Inn
More than 50 members of The Graybeards, a grassroots non-profit community group, their families, and a healthy handful of other tireless volunteers, gathered on Saturday, May 17 at the Claddagh INN on Beach 73rd Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard for their annual Spring Spruce-up. It was a daunting task. The inside of the place had to be cleared so that the walls and floor could get a much needed paint job. On the outside, mountains of debris had to be hauled into dumpsters and garbage trucks.
The Graybeards went to work at 7 am. Some eight hours later they found themselves overlooking a place transformed. In place of the junkyard, was a tidy garden with new flowerbeds. The inside had its fresh coat of paint and a lemony-fresh smell.
During their backbreaking endeavor, the Graybeards learned that garbage trucks can consume an awesome amount of debris. Equally awesome was the fact that the Beards filled seven such garbage trucks and two dumpsters.
More than elbow grease went into the day. The Graybeards spent more than $2,000 on materials and equipment.
The great success of the day, however, was dependent on more than The Graybeards. Without huge contributions from others, the Claddagh miracle wouldn’t have happened.
The Sanitation and Parks Departments supplied both trucks and manpower. A big tip of the hat goes to City Councilman Joe Addabbo and his assistant Sandee Doremus for making the arrangements with Sanitation. And the folks from Parks - Richard Murphy, Estelle Cooper, and Jim Cafaro - were crucial and generous. A local resident lent the Graybeards a payloader, one of those tractors with a big shovel, and boy, was that ever needed. The Independence Foundation donated $1000 to the cause and a sturdy trio from Project Liberty showed they can offer more than emotional support as they joined in the gardening efforts and final cleanup.
Papa’s Pizza, Ciro’s Bakery, Ludwig’s Catering, and the Harbor Bake shop supplied much needed and delicious provisions. Monsignor Geraghty of St. Francis De Sales offered the Small Hall for the post clean-up party. (Though party might be a stretch—-everyone who helped were too pooped for a party).