The nonprofit group behind the pay-what-you-can Harmony Café concept will be hosting a pop-up lunch on Thursday, July 21, in Patchogue Village.
The one-day lunch at the Patchogue VFW will run from noon to 2:30 p.m. and will also feature music — as well as a special guest speaker, Bob Votruba.
Votruba has logged thousands of miles traveling the country on a specially-decorated bus that declares his own group’s name and mission: One Million Acts of Kindness.
Visiting universities and other locations, Votruba challenges each person he meets to perform a million acts of kindness during the course of his or her lifetime.
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“We will have great food, music, and a wonderful community of people coming together to inspire change, sharing a meal, and spreading kindness,” said Harmony Café’s founder and director, Rosemarie McCarthy.
The idea behind the pop-up events is to simulate what lunch would be like at a café where people from all backgrounds would either pay what’s requested for a meal, pay more, pay less, or pay nothing at all. Those people paying less or nothing would instead volunteer to help the café operate. (Prior coverage below.)
As previously reported, the Harmony Café group is holding several pop-up events at the VFW Hall at 32 Edwards Street to simulate a pay-what-you-can café.
The ultimate goal is to open up a permanent, everyday location somewhere in the Greater Patchogue area. The pop-ups will run once a month to start, with a plan to run Harmony Café dinners and lunches twice a month starting in September.
McCarthy says over 60 community cafés of this type exist throughout the country, although Harmony Cafe would be the first of its kind on Long Island.
Photo: Bob Votruba last week in Southampton.
Note: The suggested donations don’t cover the cost of the Harmony Café pop-up events, McCarthy says, and the group is looking for donors and financial sponsors. They are also in search of chefs to help prepare meals, and musicians and artists to participate as well.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to Harmony Café may reach McCarthy at 631-372-0227, or through the website at harmonycafeli.org.