Joe Theinert memorial fund nets record $30K in fundraiser

CLIFF CLARK PHOTO | The crowd at a fundraiser for the Joe Theinert memorial scholarship at Claudio’s in Greenport on the evening of Monday, July 16. In its third year, it raised a record amount.

This summer’s cruise aboard the South Ferry’s Lt. Joe Theinert boat to a dinner gala at Claudio’s netted $30,000 for the Lt. Joe Theinert Memorial Fund, according to South Ferry president Cliff Clark.

The event was originated by Steve Pisacano, manager of Claudio’s Clam Bar in Greenport.

Set up by the Shelter Islander’s family, the fund raises money to help veterans and provide scholarships. Lt. Thienert was killed in Afghanistan in June 2010 and the first fundraiser was held only weeks later.

Mr. Clark said Mr. Pisacano approached him in 2010 “shortly after Joey was killed when he read we renamed the Southern Cross the Lt. Joe Theinert and said he wanted to do something in Joey’s honor. He asked if we would consider bringing the boat to the dock so the partygoers could see the boat and walk on board in Joey’s honor. Of course I said I would.”

According to Mr. Clark, the event raised somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000. In year two, it raised a bit more “and this year the net is right at $30,000,” he said.

Lt. Theinert’s Bravo Troop comrades from Ft. Drum attended the event, which was held July 16 and drew 125 people on board the boat, Mr. Clark said.