Graybeards Group Collects Over $100,000 For Sandy Victims in Rockaways

CBS 2 - November 19, 2012

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Every one of them has been hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, but a group of men in the Rockaways has managed to raise a lot of money to help neighbors who need it even more.

"We're a group of guys who played basketball together," Graybeards president Steve Stathis told WCBS 880's Alex Silverman.

But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor two months later, their shift focused.

"We decided long ago to help our neighbor in a time of need," Stathis said. "Well, we're the ones in need right now."

The Graybeards count almost 200 people among their membership, including police officers, firefighters, attorneys and accountants.

Almost all the members, including Kevin Boyle, are dealing with devastation in their own homes.

But still, Boyle said, "We think we can do better than other larger organizations - the well-known ones - able to help the community."

Already, the Graybeards have raised more than $100,000.

"Seven thousand dollars coming in from a woman in Oregon," Stathis said.

Families who need the funds from Breezy Point to Broad Channel will get $500 for now, Stathis said.

"It's not going to rebuild a house, obviously, but it'll show people that there are people that care," he said.