Category Page: Event Highlights

18th Annual Presidential Gala Raises $225,000 for Mentoring on L.I.

On Thursday, October 6th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted its 18th Annual Presidential Gala at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.  As the mentoring agency’s premiere fundraising event of the year, the Gala drew 340 guests and raised $225,000 for BBBSLI to continue providing quality mentoring and support services to Long Island’s youth.

This year’s Gala honored “Man of the Year” Rich Grossi, Executive Vice President – Product and Engineering, OpenLink and “Couple of the Year” The Honorable Scott Horowitz, President, Shore Line Insurance & Pamela Horowitz, Business & Mathematics Teacher, Westhampton Beach H.S.

The highlight of the evening was hearing from Big Brother Barry and Little Brother Phil who spoke about their close bond and the impact being matched has had on their lives. Phil talked about how Barry’s wisdom has shown him a new way of thinking that has had an immense positive effect on his life.

Guests listened intently as Phil shared a story about an especially profound moment when Barry took a quarter out of his pocket and explained that whether the coin lands on heads or tails it has the same exact worth. He used it as an analogy to instill the life lesson in Phil that he is always worth the same amount whether it was his best of days or worst of days. Phil explained how this one moment with Barry helped change his entire mindset in a positive way. Not only did this life lesson help him personally, but Phil explained how he was able to pay it forward when he helped a suffering friend by remembering what Barry taught him with the quarter analogy.

In addition to Phil and Barry, a dozen more Littles and their Big Brothers & Sisters joined us at this year’s event. The event included a Chinese auction raffle featuring a variety of prizes and guests also had the opportunity to bid on incredible silent auction items.

BBBSLI would like extend our sincere gratitude to this year’s honorees and its sponsors for helping to make our 18th Annual Gala such a success.  Thank you to our VICE PRESIDENTIAL Sponsors — Frank J. Antun Foundation, Jen & Rich Grossi, OpenLink, Shore Line Insurance, and Col. E. David Woycik, Jr. (Ret.), Esq.; SENATE Sponsors — Darby Dental Supply and New York Community Bank; CONGRESSIONAL Sponsors — Advantage Title, Bob Catell, CHIPS Technology Group, Hellman & Friedman, Macy’s and VICOM; PARTY Sponsors — Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, CPA’s, Katz Zlotnick & Associates/Applied Pension Services and Lazer Aptheker Rosella & Yedid; LINEN Sponsor — The Finishing Touch; and MATCH Sponsors — Koeppel Martone & Leistman and Michael Stern, Wells Fargo Advisors.

To view more photos click here




More than $15,000 Raised at 5th Annual Cruisin’ for Kids’ Sake Event

On September 17th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) raised more than $15,000 at its 5th Annual Cruisin’ for Kids’ Sake event!

20 supporters on their motorcycles came together and hit the road to promote BBBSLI and our mission to provide one-to-one mentoring to at-risk youth across Long Island.  The funds raised at this year’s ride will allow BBBSLI to provide mentors to children who have been waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister to call their own. 

With the sun shining, riders arrived to the E. David Woycik, Jr. Building in Levittown for breakfast, where they each received a pair of custom fit Harley Davidson sunglasses, before heading east for a scenic ride to Greenport, NY where they enjoyed lunch at Claudio’s Restaurant.

BBBSLI would like to express our appreciation to the riders and to all those who helped support this event with their financial donations. 

To view more photos from the event click here to view our photo gallery page





Hamptons Offshore Invitational Raises Nearly $240,000 for Mentoring on the East End

On Sunday, August 21st the sun set on the 16th Annual Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament (HOI), benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI). The nine-day tournament, hosted by The Shinnecock Marlin and Tuna Club (SMTC), had 59 registered boats and raised nearly $240,000 to support BBBSLI’s mentoring programs for children facing adversity on the East End of Long Island. 

For years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island has been serving children on the East End of Long Island with their High School Bigs Mentoring Programs at Hampton Bays, Sag Harbor and South Hampton.

“It is wonderful to have the support of so many sponsors, anglers and dinner guests helping to make this year’s tournament such a success,” said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. “The support we receive goes beyond a dollar amount as this will help us continue to change lives of children on the East End.”

Headquartered at Oakland’s Restaurant & Marina in Hampton Bays, the tournament closed with 500 people gathering at the tournament awards dinner. After announcing the winners of each division and species, the Doug Oakland Memorial Trophy was awarded for the most bigeye tuna caught during the tournament. To view a complete list of the 2016 Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament winners please visit

The crowd filled with anticipation as the winning raffle ticket was pulled announcing Scott Rucky as the winner of the 23’ Center Console Sportsman Fishing Boat provided by White Water Custom Sportfish Boats.

BBBSLI would like to give special thanks to all of the sponsors who helped support this event including:

Platinum Sponsors: White Water Custom Sportfish Boats, George Vickers, Jr. Enterprises, Harry Bachrach, Shore Line Insurance, Wahl Rich Group, White Water Outfitters. Gold Sponsors: Owen & Laurie Schwartz, Sportsman Boats, Hampton Watercraft, Haskell’s Bait & Tackle, Oakland’s Restaurant and Marina, Riverhead Building & Supply, South Shore Docks, Spellman’s Marine, Staten Island Yachts, Unity Electric, East Hampton Dental Group. Captain’s Meeting Sponsor: Absolute Detailing & Overtemp Marine. Valet Sponsor: Village Auto Body. Silver Sponsors: Framingham Foundation, Fish & Wildlife Unlimited Taxidermy, Inc., Shinnecock Marlin & Tuna Club, Dave Bofill Marine, Bridgehampton National Bank, Montauk Brewing Co. Trophy Sponsors: Robert Kandell, Dave Baroncelli, Trident Funding, Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches, Shore Line Bulkheading. Sponsors Kandell Farnworth and Pubins, US Merchant Marine Academy.

Thanks and congratulations to Pamela & Scott Horowitz, who are being honored as “Couple of the Year” at BBBSLI’s Presidential Gala (October 6th) for their many years of service to this tournament and all the children who’ve benefited from BBBSLI’s east end mentoring programs over the years.  For event & sponsorship information, or to buy tickets, please click here 

For additional photos click here

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BBBSLI & Levittown Swim Association Partner to Provide Free Swim Lessons

Over two dozen children who were once afraid of the water and lacked basic safety skills are now swimming thanks to free 1-on-1 swim lessons offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) who teamed up with the Levittown Swim Association (LSA) to provide swim lessons this summer.  The swim lessons were part of BBBSLI’s Summer Series which included a variety of free activities for kids and their mentors to participate in together.

“For many of the kids, it was their first time learning to swim, most were fearful, but each one learned basic skills and had 1-on-1 instruction. We can’t fully express our gratitude to the LSA leadership and the volunteer swimmers who were simply incredible,” said Nancy Travers, Director of Services for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.

LSA is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization swimming program where children develop and learn competitive swimming skills, and then use them to compete against each other in swim meets during the season.

” Levittown Swimming Association is all about kids helping kids. When BBBSLI approached us to give swim lessons to children who didn’t swim, our swimmers could not step up fast enough”, said Carol Wyckoff, LSA President.

Watching the best swimmers in the world compete in the Olympics is a great reminder that until a young person is given the opportunity to learn … there is no telling what they are capable of achieving.

BBBSLI would like to express its deep appreciation to the Levittown Swim Association (LSA) and all of the volunteer instructors. Special thanks to LSA leadership Carol Wyckoff, Sarah Greer and Tracey Tucci who worked closely with us to make this amazing opportunity possible!

View News 12 story to hear Little Brother Sebastien and his Big Brother Tom talk about the swim lessons in their own words:


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BBBSLI Hosts Kickoff Reception for 18th Annual Presidential Gala

On July 27th, 100 supporters gathered outdoors at the Crest Hollow Country Club for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) Gala Kickoff Reception. The event raised $100,000 for BBBSLI’s 18th Annual Presidential Gala set to take place on October 6th at Crest Hollow.

The night featured the announcement of this year’s honorees including “Man of the Year” Rich Grossi, Executive Vice President – Product and Engineering, OpenLink and “Couple of the Year” The Honorable Scott Horowitz, President, Shore Line Insurance & Pamela Horowitz, Business & Mathematics Teacher, Westhampton Beach H.S.

BBBSLI would like to express its sincere gratitude to the companies and individuals who purchased sponsorships, tables and journal ads for the upcoming Gala event. We truly appreciate the generosity of all those who donated including: Frank J. Antun Foundation, OpenLink, Col. E. David Woycik, Jr., Jen & Rich Grossi, Darby Dental, Bob Catell, Advantage Title, VICOM, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, Katz Zlotnick Associates, Cohen Hoenigmann & Badolato, The Finishing Touch, CHIPS Technology, Inc., CARR Business Systems, Kelly & Michael Stanley, Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, ADP & Barnum Financial Group.

For details about Gala sponsorship opportunities and to read more about this year’s Honorees click here 


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BBBSLI’s Summer Sizzle Poker Tournament Raises $21,000 for Mentoring on L.I.

On July 19th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) held their 2016 “Summer Sizzle” Poker Tournament presented by ZBF Geothermal at The Main Event in Farmingdale. Nearly 100 players doubled down to raise $21,000 in support of youth mentoring on Long Island.

“In the spring, we said we’d make [Sweet] 16 new matches during the NCAA Tournament from the proceeds from Poker Night, and we did”, said Jamison Skala, BBBSLI’s Director of Development. He also shared, “When we received a donation that enabled us to invite an entire table of Bigs to play in this tournament, we were thrilled that we’d be able to display the fruits of our program team’s labor.  Ten Big Brothers were introduced to a thunderous round of applause.  Being able to put faces to the new (and current) matches we’ve made brings it all home, and the success of tonight’s event proves that”.

Scott O’Neill of East Norwich revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Greg Sibilio and Len Hecker finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a $2,500 travel voucher.  Second prize was a 49” LG Smart TV and the third place winner received a Hotel Indigo Wine & Spirits East End Getaway for two.

A very special thank you to the event’s presenting sponsor, ZBF Geothermal and our table sponsors which included: Atlantic Insurance Agency, CHIPS Technology Group, Executive Business Association, The Merrick Madmen, Nawrocki Smith CPA’s, Steve Madden, Whitmore Group and ZBF Geothermal.

NEW for this tournament, we want to thank Courtyard Travel as the event Prize Sponsor and all those who donated including: Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia, Hotel Indigo, PC Richards and Steve Madden.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island