Operation TP Pyramid

On Thursday July 19th Veterans of Foreign Wars Post-2913 joined together with the other United Veterans of Patchogue organizations, American Legion Patchogue Post 269, Amvets Post 111 – Patchogue L.I. N.Y. to work together with the Congregational Church of Patchogue, Medford Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community to build the Worlds Largest Pyramid of Toilet Paper to support L.I. Against Domestic Violence, United Veterans Beacon House, and Island Harvest.

When Reverend Dwight Lee Wolter first brought up the idea at the Alive After Five meeting 3 months ago Commander of Post 2913 Dave Rogers jumped at the opportunity to get the veterans involved. Having been homeless once himself Rogers understood the importance of the project and got to work to get donations.

What made this project special was that while we got some mostly small donations from organizations and corporations, the largest being from750.00 from Sam’s Club through the Walmart Foundation, most of the collection of toilet paper was very grassroots, with members of the community collecting toilet paper to donate.

As word spread more people wanted to get involved including Morgan an engineer from J R Holzmacher P.E., LLC who came up with the plan to design the pyramid, and was very hands on in building it. Susan Henke Brinkman and her daughters got very involved as well, not only donating and helping move toilet paper from one place to another but helping to build the pyramid.

Being that this is an issue that effects many people of all walks of life it was easy to understand all the different groups that got involved the Turkish Cultural Center, the Islamic Center, Temple Beth El, United Methodist Church, politicians, businesses and non-for-profit organizations.

Some of the biggest impacts came from Eva Rodriguez-Greguski and Legislator Rob Calarco who collected 780 rolls, when Giunta’s Meat Farms allowed the church, Girl Scout Troops 1103/908 and veterans to collect TP outside their store for a total of 2.7k rolls. the Veteran Service Organizations chipping in; between District 1 NY VFW, Suffolk County Council VFW, William Hughes of VFW Post 5350, VFW Post 4927, Centereach, Post 1384, Andy Veiga, VFW Post 2913, American Legion Post 269, MOC PUP TENT 65 we were able to collect enough for 3600 rolls of TP and Medford Chamber of Commerce who through their contacts and members and with the hard work of Linda Tobin Davis and Erinkelly Connell collected 2k rolls.

During the event people showed what makes Patchogue so special, not only did people donate, others who were originally there for Alive After Five stopped to help. Either donating to the cause, helping to place TP or moving boxes closer so those building had access. We even got help from Andrea Dee who helped put TP high in her stilts. At the end of the evening a women came up to me and told me she came all the way from Las Vegas to witness this project.

Besides the passer by’s that helped we had visits from the Mayor of Patchogue Paul Pontieri, Cleveland Johnson III of Congressman Lee Zeldin, Assemblyman Dean Murray, David Kennedy of the Patchogue Chamber.

Though we were not able to beat the World Record, we did accomplish our main goals of raising awareness of the issue and giving some relief to the organizations we support through this project. Because of that L.I. Against Domestic Violence was able to get their 3k rolls for the year, Island Harvest about 1.2k, the church soup kitchen about 500 rolls with United Veterans Beacon House receiving almost 8.3k rolls (they go through about 28k rolls a year between all their facilities). The organizations did not have to wait to receive their donations they were able to take them home that night.

Thank you to all that donated, supported, helped spread the word, helped build and than pack them up again to go to the organizations. Special thank you to all the members of the VFW that came out to support this program; (Past Commander) George Barrett, (PC, PCC) George Egan, (jr Vice CMDR) Jeff Molitor, (guard) Peter Palamidis, (member) Mike Babulak, (Past Commander Post 2937) Walter Maresco, (Sr Vice Commander) Scott McKendrick, (SCCVFW Commander) Bill Hughes.


Published by daves-studio

I truely believe that "Even ordinary life can be immortilized through art". I have always been awed by the mystery of how people are connected and for most of my life as an artist I have looked for new ways to express what was inside of me, what I was feeling and how I wanted people to view and understand what I wanted to say. This caused me to restrict my art to forms that others could understand. I was speaking to the masses, but I was not using my own voice. Over time I realized that it was not so important weather people truly understood what I was saying but rather that I was speaking so I started to look for the way to think out loud and be heard and have found that voice in papercutting. My work is a mixture of Eastern and Western Art that I started after a visit to China in 2004. while there I discovered the ancient and demanding art of Chinese paper cutting and line drawing. On my return from China I began to make connections between the craft of paper cutting and my years as a soldier. The results of this unusual connection have been beautiful two and three dimentional metaphors of the importance of time and the fragility of life and democracy. Paper cutting itself can be found in many cultures and just like in China those cultures for the most part have thought of it as a decorative or folk art, few artists have explored the idea of using this form of art in a more substantive way. It is part of what has attracted me to papercutting in the first place. While the beauty of paper cutting was appealing, more appealing was the idea of using this fragile material to represent serious and even realistic ideas. The process that I use for my paper structures is the same as found in traditional Chinese paper cutting. What is different is the paper, the way it is displayed and the topics talked about in the art. It is these differences in the works that make them stand out from other forms of paper cutting and structures. Instead of using traditional types of paper for papercutting I have made the cuttings out of aluminum or mirror paper. The paper was chosen for its reflective properties, not just for making the art brighter but for the ability of the viewer to see reflections of themselves in the art, showing a connection between the viewers and the subjects in the work. While most paper cutting are laid flat on the board these works are placed between two pieces of glass in the front of the frame allowing the light to cast shadows on the background, making these papercutting sculptures of art. The other aspect of this work that is different from traditional paper cutting is that each piece is individually designed and not mass produced. This is an important aspect of my work as it is about keeping the appeal of POP art while reducing the images to singular forms. My hope for the future is to continue to explore ways to bridge the techniques and styles of paper cutting and western ideals of art. Not just as a way for me to produce my art but as a way to communicate western ideas in Asia and Asian ideas in the West. For art is the only true international language that all people no matter where they come from can appreciate, and it is through art that we can learn about other cultures beyond mere words.

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