SOMERS, N.Y. - After the pandemic bared its ugly claws this spring, the folks at Progressive Animal Hospital found themselves feeling especially blessed by the outpouring of support from the community.

Despite all that overwhelmed pet parents were dealing with, they had somehow found the time for friendly chats with the staff at the veterinary office. They also sent over lunches, coffee, and homemade snacks.

Although veterinary care was eventually deemed an essential service and providers were allowed to operate, things could have been really “ruff” for the hospital in this COVID-19-impacted economy had it not been for the faithful patronage of its four-footed clientele.

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“We were so lucky not to have been forced to close,” Deborah Frishman, the practice’s office manager, acknowledged recently.
Frishman’s husband, Dr. Andrew Frishman, owns Progressive, which has been serving the community for 15 years.

Originally located in an old Victorian house at Route 202 and Lovell Street in Lincolndale, the practice moved to a former insurance office at the Somers Towne Centre in February. It has since been renovated and become, Deborah Frishman said, “a state-of-the art facility.”

Knowing that more people than ever are hurting financially now, the Frishmans searched for an appropriate way to express their gratitude for the support they’ve received. Their idea was to sell protective face masks and using the proceeds to help local residents in need.

The couple reached out to Tracy Reimann, the new president of the Somers Lions Club, for guidance.

The international service group, which routinely raises funds for organizations such as Friends of Karen and My Brother Vinny, this year has had to ramp up food distributions and other charitable efforts.

Reimann suggested they contact Theresa Reda, a longtime social worker for the Somers Central School District who runs the free and reduced-price meal plans for students. She also organizes efforts to provide financial assistance to families during the holidays.
Reda could get the funds to the right folks while protecting their privacy, Reimann told the Frishmans.

Turning the proceeds into meals and gift cards for groceries that could be redeemed locally also helps local businesses, Deborah Frishman pointed out.

The masks were designed by illustrator Simone Kurtz and Tabitha Pearson Marshall, creative director at Halston Media, parent company of The Somers Record, and produced by T3 LogoWear, a promotional apparel business based in Baldwin Place.

It was important to the Frishmans to involve other community businesses in their project.

The design depicts a team of essential workers lifting up Old Bet, a 19th century circus elephant that is now the town’s totem animal.

The Frishmans ordered 50 masks for children and 200 for adults. The black, red and white face coverings arrived last week and are being sold for $10 each.

Any community group or local business that wants to get involved by selling the masks should contact Deborah Frishman. The masks are available at Progressive Animal Hospital, 268 Route 202, in the Somers Towne Centre. The office can be reached at 914-248-6220 or info@progressive-vet.com.

Since they are selling them “curbside,” it is a cash-only transaction.

For hours and other information, check out PAH’s website, www.progressive-vet.com.