Lorice “Lari” Staudinger Fiala has devoted her entire lifetime to public service and charity for the benefit of the Patchogue-Medford community and beyond. A businesswoman and heiress to The Colony Shop, one of the oldest retail operations in the Village of Patchogue, which her mother founded in 1946, Lari has served as a member of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, the Patchogue Women’s Club, and the Lioness Lions Club — including terms as president of each of those important organizations.
Her awards and honors are many. In 2000 she received an award for her support and dedication to the Chamber of Commerce and the business community. In 2004 the Town of Brookhaven Women’s Services honored her as Woman of the Year in Business, and in 2010 the Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition honored her as its Member of the Year. Her charity work is widespread and boundless. One highlight is the annual “Walk for a Guide Dog” which she established with the Lioness Club in 2003. To date the event has raised enough funds to nurture, train and develop 29 puppies into fully qualified guide dogs on behalf of the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation. Lari has been the recipient of two very high honors with Lions International, a Melvin Jones Fellowship and the Robert J. Uplinger Award.
Lari was born in Greenport in 1935, moved to Patchogue in 1946 and attended Medford Elementary and the old Patchogue High School on South Ocean Avenue. Not surprisingly, she was voted by her fellow graduates as the girl who “Did Most for the Class” of 1953. After graduation she began working at The Colony Shop. In 1959 she married Frank Fiala and moved to East Patchogue where she still resides. Mr. Fiala passed away suddenly in 1982. Lari continues to be an active member of the Village of Patchogue Community and is a welcoming ambassador for our community.