He’s doing it for love.
Not exactly to fall in love, though he won’t rule that out entirely.
Bachelor Joseph Silva of Patchogue is raffling himself off for the love of a friend and fellow barista, Desiree Vermeulen, who suffered a debilitating stroke in May.
Silva and his co-workers at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company have been raising money to help Vermeulen, a Roast assistant manager and single mother to a 13-year-old, Kaitlin, in her recovery. Vermeulen has been rehabbing at an Oakdale facility and getting progressively better, though she won’t be able to work for awhile.
As for the raffle involving Silva, one person among the many expected to buy tickets for the prize at a July 25 fundraiser will get to wine and dine the 21-year-old for free at the neighboring PeraBell Food Bar.
But he will be chaperoned.
“We’ll sit at the bar and we’ll watch,” said Roast manger Tiffany Rivera, who came up with the idea. “We’ll make sure nobody tries to kidnap him. Someone recently asked, ‘What if he wants to be kidnapped?’ Well, then he just has to give us the signal and we’ll leave him alone.”
Silva is quick to note, however, that he has a girlfriend now of a few months.
Does that mean the person who wins the date has no shot with him?
Silva’s a realist.
“You never know,” he laughed.
Silva, a 2012 Patchogue-Medford High School graduate who’s been working at Roast for about two years, said when Rivera approached him about the date raffle, he didn’t think twice about helping a friend.
“I knew what the cause was for,” he said. “Desiree, she’s just a little of everything, from being everyone’s barista at the coffee shop to being a good person to everyone in the community.”
Rivera said Silva was an easy choice among the employees for the date night prize.
After all, with apologies to the rest of the staff, the goal is to raise as much money as possible for Vermeulen’s recovery.
“Everybody’s always coming in and asking, ‘Is he single?’ What’s going on with him?'” Rivera said. “We have the dance moms coming in and they just drool over him. They go crazy. It’s really funny.”