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Roast staffer recovering in Oakdale, could return soon


After about a month of online and in-person fundraising, staffers at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company in Patchogue took a drive to Oakdale to visit a beloved colleague recovering from a stroke.

There, they presented Desiree Vermeulen with a check for $7,325.

They also got some good news.

“She should be home in a few weeks,” said Roast manager Tiffany Rivera. “She’s working really hard at her physical therapy. I even saw her stand up on her own.”

Rivera said Vermeulen, who has a 13-year-old daughter, Kaitlin, cried when she received the gift.

“She knew we were fundraising but she didn’t know to what extent,” Rivera said. “I was really happy to see her happy. It’s hard for her to be there away from her daughter, family and friends.

Vermeulen, who suffered the stroke in May, is a Patchogue native and an assistant manager at Roast.

The money will help her pay bills while she’s away from work.

Amy Russo hands a check to Desiree Vermeulen in Oakdale. (Credit: Sara Guido)

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of Email him your story ideas or tips: