Rena Levine Levy & Steven Levine

Rena Levine Levy & Steven Levine

Humanitarian Honorees

Rena Levine Levy & Steven Levine

To understand the journey of these two siblings from Jericho, New York to being the recipients of the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award is to understand what has always been most important to The WindMill: Family, Giving and Feeding People.

At its core, The WindMill is a family business. Now owned by Rena and Steven, there isn’t a member of the family that hasn’t worked in the business at some point in time.

Their parents, Eleanor and Leo Levine, along with Leo’s brother Eddie, bought the original WindMill Restaurant of West End, Long Branch in July, 1976. The very first check of the new business was written to charity, a tradition that Eleanor kept in place with the opening of each new business. With that philosophy of giving, it is easy to understand why Rena and Steven are so dedicated to the giving back to the community.

Rena has a long history with the FoodBank, as well as several other charitable organizations. During her tenure on the Board of the FoodBank, she, along with then Executive Director, Brooke Tarabour, envisioned and actualized the Humanitarian of the Year Award and Dinner. It is especially humbling to her to now be the recipient of what has become such a prestigious award. Her latest activities on behalf of the FoodBank include 10,000 Hot Dogs, an awareness program for Childhood Hunger, and The Season of Giving, another program geared toward providing meals for children.

Steven began his community involvement during his tenure as a gas station owner in Newark and it seems to grow every year! He began with a Christmas Day visit to a shelter for women. That project has now grown into a WindMill Company- wide program which provides food and gifts for local families. Steven heads the team of employees and neighbors and makes sure that each and every request for services is met with dignity and kindness. This year the program was extended to help students from Long Branch High School and students from the Boys and Girls Club of Red Bank. Another of his favorite charities is Holiday Express; this year he oversaw the cooking and distribution of over 1000 hot dogs!

Together the brother and sister team support one another in their efforts to say yes to each request made of them. Steven is often seen cooking hot dogs and Rena is always sending out gifts in response to requests for donations. Their parents taught them well and it their deep desire that their children and grandchildren will carry on the tradition of not only counting their blessings. but sharing them too.