Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 09 July 2010 00:00
Carlyle on the Green, overlooking the challenging black golf course at Bethpage State Park, is a place where many Long Islanders choose to host their most festive gatherings. However, on Wednesday, June 30, the venue was host to not just the 10-year anniversary of the “Party in the Park” series, but also the wrap party for the episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which provided a new home for the Lutz family of East Setauket. The crew and volunteers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition were provided free admission tickets to the event, which included the music of bands The Mystic and Hi-Tek Reggae, dancing, cigar rolling, and the delicious appetizers of the new Taste 99 menu. The Lutz family themselves received VIP treatment at the event.
Alure Home Improvements, located in East Meadow, led the build on the Lutz home in their eighth project for the popular show. While Alure was the main builder and a major contributor, each of the makeovers rely heavily on volunteers to get the bulk of the work done. At the ceremony, Sal Ferro, president and CEO of Alure Home Improvements, spoke about his pride in the Long Island community for stepping forward to help people in need.
“This wasn’t about Alure; we put the call out, and Long Islanders answered the call,” said Ferro.
According to Steve Carl, owner of Carlyle on the Green, Ferro contacted him about the possibility of throwing a party to thank the Extreme Makeover crew and volunteers for their efforts, and Carl quickly agreed to be a part of such a worthy event. “A lot of the Carlyle is about giving back; I attribute a lot of my success to that,” said Carl. The venue is host to approximately 40 charity events per year.
Before 9 p.m., Carl estimated that there were 800 guests at the event. However, by the end of the evening, approximately 1,500 guests were in attendance.
While Extreme Makeover: Home Edition normally picks worthy families, the Lutz’ story is particularly moving: Unable to have any children, couple Grace and John Lutz adopted 18 children, including seven with Down syndrome. After the couple passed away, their daughter Kathleen gave up her career and came home to take care of her six Down siblings. Tragically, Kathleen had a grand mal seizure and was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Her brother, John Jr., moved home to care for his sister and other siblings, sacrificing his career in the process. However, the condition of their 40-year-old house was creating yet more difficulties for the struggling family. Now, thanks to the efforts of the crew and the volunteers, the family can make a fresh start.
“We are thrilled that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has selected a Long Island family for this makeover and we are excited to not only make a difference in the lives of the deserving Lutz family, but to also play a major role in inspiring the Long Island community to come together for a great cause. Even before the family was announced, we’ve been overwhelmed with a huge amount of community support from Long Islanders wanting to help without them even having any idea of who they would be helping. Seeing the love and support surrounding this family will make this experience even that much more special,” said Ferro in a prepared statement.
In addition to celebrating the conclusion of another Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project, the party also marked the official debut of Carlyle on the Green’s new Taste 99 menu. The new menu includes items like fried calamari, coconut shrimp, and mussels Provençal.
At Carlyle on the Green, “Country Club Wednesdays” featuring music, dancing, and the Taste 99 menu, will continue throughout the summer; an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featuring the Lutz family will air as a part of the show’s eighth season, when the show returns this September.