Featured Letter: Young people with vision on the North Fork

Dogtown owners in a 2010 photo with several of their furry friends, from left: Anthony Pollina with Tulip, James Dosch with Zoey and Rebecca Dosch holding Sunny. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder photo)

To the editor:

One of the concerns raised about Southold Town is the lack of opportunities for the younger generation to make a living. Indeed, I agree that there are limitations, but it might be good to recognize some young people who are truly entrepreneurs. 

I never imagined a doggie day care in Southold! Isn’t that a New York City-type business? Anthony and Rebecca Pollina believed differently and so we have DogTown.

Rebecca took a course that required her to develop a business plan and this is what she came up with. This young couple had the vision to recognize that as our town grew, it changed and so did its needs. Now we have a place to bring our dogs if we travel to see grandchildren, have an emergency, or have to be out for the day.

I never dreamed a dog day care and boarding facility would offer such comfort.

Fitness Advantage is another example. Sarah Sirico, a 1997 graduate of Southold High School, started this business and had the foresight to develop a fitness center that caters not just to the younger set, but also to seniors, a large part of our population. Dan Hagerman, Sara’s younger brother, is a trainer for the very fit but he has also helped me and other seniors to press through the aches of getting older, deal with balance issues and just get up from the floor! Some gyms are intimidating, but these young people created a business that serves us all.

I am always struck by the courage, initiative, and vision of these young people. It must not have been easy yet they took the risk and did the work. Surely there are other opportunities here in Southold that I can’t see, but someone in the next generation will.

Marguerite Schondebare, Southold