Festive atmosphere gathers for Chamber’s Holiday Carol-oke Kickoff Mixer

When the holidays approach, people usually think about gatherings filled with delicious food, gifts, and festive music. 

That’s exactly what type of celebration took place at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Holiday Carol-oke Kickoff Mixer at Millie’s Old World located in Bricktown Commons in Charleston. 
The event was sponsored by Metro One Loss Prevention Services Group, a loss prevention company that prides itself with rapid response and consistently delivering a professional service that safeguards their clients’ assets, employees, and brand. 
The night attracted nearly 100 revelers who came ready to network with other businesses and share ideas in a relaxed setting. For many attendees, the night was a golden opportunity to make their first visit to the restaurant which opened during the summer.
Brandon Carrabba, who is co-owner of Millie’s along with his brother Vince, was grateful the Chamber provided the opportunity to showcase the new Italian eatery to dozens of new customers.
“We’re waiting for that movie theater (Regal Bricktown Charleston) to open so holding events like this is a good way to let people know we’re here,” said Carrabba. “I’m trying to build a base because although we want the crowds from the movie theater, we also want those regulars. 
“We’re a family restaurant. As much as customers can come over from the movie theater, I want to have my regulars that come here all the time that we’re loyal to, and they’re loyal to us,” he said.
In addition to sampling the delectable food, which included various types of meatballs and pizza, Millie’s was also able to show off its splendid interior. Chamber President and CEO Linda Baran informed guests that Millie’s would be honored at the annual Building Awards on Dec. 7 for Excellence in Interior and Interior Decorating.
Attendees had the chance to win some gifts as Chamber members donated several raffles. Donations were provided by American Golf, The Behrins Law Firm, Casale Jewelers, Empire State Bank, Gerald Peters, Millie’s, Moving Pictures, Northfield Bank, RPM Insurance Agency, and SCARAN. Everyone in attendance also received a discount coupon from Millie’s towards a future visit.
Further adding to the festive mood was a DJ who played holiday music and provided guests the opportunity to belt out their favorite holiday and non-holiday karaoke songs. 
Lastly, to help contribute to the giving season, guests were asked to donate to the Gift of L.O.V.E. Toy Drive, which is sponsored by Chamber member IAmEmpowering. 
This year’s goal is to provide over 5,000 gifts to youth, teenagers and young adults (infant to 21 years old) who will be spending their Christmas in one of the hospitals on Staten Island. Leftover toys will be distributed to Staten Island organizations who work closely with families who are less fortunate.
“We love partnering with the Chamber. The Chamber has a heart in everything they do. And the Gift of L.O.V.E. Toy Drive is sharing more love with our community,” said Danielle Reyes, who is a co-founder of IAmEmpowering along with her husband, Chad. 
“There’s so much need on Staten Island that I don’t think we really know about. The Gift of L.O.V.E. Toy Drive wants to penetrate and give back to our community and children to make it a more memorable holiday,” she said. “What I love about the toy drive, and especially partnering with the Chamber, is that us coming together is spreading more love,” Reyes said.

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