This Weekend: Breakfast fundraiser for fire-damaged Manor businesses

Above: Dawn Ceeno, the owner of the Moose-Be-Morning Coffee Shop, behind the counter in happier days. Photo contributed by Carolyn Bivins.

Dawn Ceeno and her daughter Rain, the owners of the Moose-Be-Morning Coffee Shop, lost their entire business in a fire on November 20. The blaze burned the historic Hoos Building at the center of Livingston Manor to the ground, and destroyed three other businesses and a photographer's studio. Moose-Be-Morning was the only retail business without insurance.

The Rockland Relief Fund, a nonprofit administered by the Livingston Manor Community Center, aims to help the Ceenos and the other businesses rebuild. The fund has already raised $2,500 since the blaze, and now graphic designer and Manor booster Carlolyn Bivins has organized a breakfast fundraiser to raise more. 

This Saturday from 6am to 11am at the United Methodist Church on Pearl Street, students from Manor Ink, the student newspaper that Bivins advises, will be cooking and serving pancakes, scrambed eggs, and any pastries or baked goods that folks drop off that morning. For $7, you can get a full breakfast and help out local Main Street businesses. 

Both Ceenos will both be on hand. In a press release, Bivins writes that Dawn Ceeno is hoping that she can rebuild Moose-Be-Morning: 

Dawn is touched by everyone’s willingness to lend their support and feels that she may be able to get back in business.

The Times Herald-Record published a nice story about the Manor's resilience in the face of multiple disasters this week. (We wrote about it too, just after the storm.) The THR interviewed the Fosters, owners of the Hoos Building, about their plans for the future: 

Since the fire, Ryan Foster and his family have faced the task of dealing with insurers and preparing for the site's eventual cleanup. They are also asked repeatedly about rebuilding plans, Ryan Foster said.

No answer exists for that question right now, not with so many other questions to answer first, he said. But there is at least a sense of hope in the possibility, he said, especially when so much time and energy have gone into the Manor's resurrection.

"If you go through hardship, it makes what you're doing more important," Ryan Foster said. "If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth it."

Pancake Breakfast Community Fundraiser, 6am to 11am, United Methodist Church, Pearl Street, Livingston Manor. $7, children 4-10 $5, under 4 free. 845-439-3333. More info in two press releases from Bivins below: 

A Pancake Breakfast to Benefit the Livingston Manor Community Center’s Rockland Relief Fund will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church on Pearl Street in Livingston Manor. They’ll be serving fresh buttermilk pancakes, link sausage, scrambled eggs, orange juice, coffee, tea and freshly baked breakfast treats. The staff of Manor Ink, the library-based, youth-led newspaper, will be on hand helping to cook and serve. Dawn Seeno and her daughter Rain, the owners of the Moose Be Morning Coffee Shop, which was lost in the fire, will be there as well. Dawn is touched by everyone’s willingness to lend their support and feels that she may be able to get backin business.

Anyone that wants to volunteer as waitstaff, in the kitchen, clean-up or as a baker please email or call Carolyn at 845-439-3333 or Van at (845) 439-8050. Attention Bakers: If you’d like to bake a crumbcake, muffins, breakfast pastry, etc. that also would be welcome! Just drop them off at the church Saturday morning.

The donation is $7, children 4-10 $5 and under 4 eat free. All proceeds will go to the Livingston Manor Community Center’s Rockland Relief Fund to help those in need from the Hoos Building fire.

Rockland Relief Fund – A little history

Don Simkin, and others, started the LM Community Center about 20 years ago, with a focus on youth programs--the Center was in what was the VFW hall on Pearl St until it was torn down after the '06 floods, though the community center was no longer in it at that point. State funding had dried up after a few years, but the LMCC remained active in supporting such things as LM's Renaissance group, the Ice Carnival, the Trout Parade, Operation Holiday and Johnny Darling. The Rockland Relief Fund started up after the 2006 flooding, helping advise folks where and how they could get state and federal assistance, and dispersing about $80,000 to dozens of affected individuals and businesses.

There was about $20,000 left in the coffers after that, and additional assistance has gone out to people affected by localized flooding in 2007, 2008 and again this year. The fire that destroyed the Hoos Building focused a lot of attention on those businesses, and another $2,500 has come in so far to the Fund's account. We know we'll be helping out Dawn Ceeno, who lost her entire investment in Moose-Be-Morning in the fire and had no insurance. The other businesses are dealing with their insurance companies now; it's not clear if they will need help. There was a photographer, Ellen Brooks, renting out studio space upstairs; she lost 4 years worth of work; but we don't know yet if she had insurance.

The donations we've collected go entirely to people in need, since the minimal expenses, like the PO Box fee and accountant bills, are covered by separate endowments. Anything not spread around in the wake of any current disaster sits in the bank, awaiting the next one!