Category Page: Event Highlights

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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BBBSLI Hosts Annual Summer Picnic for Bigs, Littles & Families

On Sunday, June 12th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their Annual Summer Picnic at Heckscher State Park. This year’s event was sponsored by Principal Payments and was attended by more than 200 Bigs, Littles and their families. Each year the summer picnic provides a fun-filled day of food, music, games, art and other activities.

“We had a great day yesterday for the picnic and a great turnout. It is so important that we get a chance to bring everyone together to get to know each other”, said Nancy Travers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island Director of Services. She added, “Seeing new friendships forged between Bigs, Littles and families made the day even better”.

DJ Joe played music and games throughout the day while Bigs and Littles took to the field playing softball, dancing and jumping in the inflatables. Inside the pavilion, others took fun pictures with props in the photo booth, did arts & crafts and created hand print murals which will be displayed in the Levittown and Islandia offices.

As Bigs & Littles arrived, they all received BBBSLI T-shirts. Giveaways also included new books from the book fair table and a variety of gently used sporting equipment provided by Play It Forward. Thanks to a donation from BCNY/Synclaire Brands, Littles and their siblings were also invited to choose from a large selection of brand new designer shoes to take home. The pavilion was filled with excitement as our raffle winners were announced sending many Littles home with wonderful prizes. The fun-filled afternoon concluded with dessert, snow cones, cotton candy and tons of big smiles.

In addition to thanking presenting sponsor Principal Payments, BBBSLI wants to express a special thank you to the volunteers from National Charity League Inc. who assisted BBBSLI staff members throughout the day in running the event. Additionally, we would like to thank the local establishments that donated prizes to the raffles, including Tiger Martial Arts, Laser Bounce, Huntington Learning Center, and Dave & Busters as well as our drink and snack sponsors including Snapple, NBTY and UTZ Snacks.


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Nearly $100,000 Raised at BBBSLI’s 20th Annual Golf Tournament

On Monday, June 6th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their 20th Annual Golf Tournament at The Muttontown Club in East Norwich, NY. This year’s event presented by Broadridge Financial Solutions, honoring Tom Gambaro, brought together 108 golfers and raised nearly $100,000 in support of mentoring on Long Island.

“Tom [Gambaro] hit it out of the park this year; nine of today’s 27 foursomes were the direct result of his hard work on behalf of the event all the children we serve.  As I mentioned during my remarks, I’m confident that in the dinner crowd was a first-time attendee or two – like Tom was 14 years ago – who’ll become future golf honorees,”  said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.

Tournament guests began their day with an elaborate breakfast buffet on the outdoor patio, followed by time at the driving range and putting greens. Golfers enjoyed a barbecue lunch, cocktail reception, buffet dinner, awards ceremony and raffles.

During dinner, BBBSLI’s mission was brought to life as Little Brother Marven and Big Brother John spoke about their match. “When I first heard I was getting a Big Brother I was really nervous, but once I got to know John I felt so comfortable. I think John and I will have the best time of our lives doing things together,” shared Marven.

Congratulations to this year’s tournament 1st place winners:

Men’s low gross with a score of 69 – Bob Madden

Women’s low gross with a score of 99 – Sonia Whang

Team Low Net with a Callaway-handicapped team score of 60– Mike Aleva, Rudy Caroleo, E. David, Woycik, Jr., Bob Madden

In addition to thanking Presenting Sponsor Broadridge Financial Solutions and Honoree Tom Gambaro, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island would like to express appreciation to all of the golfers, supporters and sponsors including:

Dinner – Ike, Molly & Steven  Elias Foundation
Breakfast – Freedom Mortgage
Cocktail Reception – Stifel Investment Services
Golf Cart – Dantona Industries
Awards –  Hofstra Athletics                               
Locker Room – American Land Services, Inc.
Beverage Cart – American Land Services, Inc.
Driving Range – Fidelity
Golf Ball –  Broadridge Financial Services
Gift – GNP Branded Gear
Putting Green – Merrick Madmen
Longest Drive – Advantage Title
Closest to the Pin – National Business Capital & Network Long Island

To view all photos from the event check the galleries section of our website in the coming days

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BBBSLI Announces New Slate of Board Officers for 2016-17 Year


 Board Slate 2016 with Photo Caption

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) would like to announce the new slate of officers for its 2016-17 Board of Directors: Board Chair, Thomas Slome; Vice President, Richard Grossi; Treasurer, Michael Paley and Secretary, Liz Meyers.

On June 1st, BBBSLI held its annual Board of Directors meeting at the Garden City Hotel. The new slate of officers was installed at a Leadership Reception which took place following the annual meeting. The Leadership Reception was attended by BBBSLI Board members, President’s Council members and staff.

BBBSLI would like to thank all the members of our 2016-17 Board of Directors for their ongoing commitment and dedication to our agency’s mission. To view a complete list of BBBSLI’s Board of Directors click here

BBBSLI Hosts Inaugural Fashion Show Event

On May 18, 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their Inaugural Fashion Show, presented by Steve Madden. Nearly 200 people gathered at NYIT de Seversky Mansion to watch BBBSLI Big & Little matches walk the runway modeling a range of looks from “thrift store chic” to formal wear.

Donna Drake, executive producer & host of Live It Up with Donna Drake served as the event’s guest emcee. Ten Big & Little matches modeled collections from Savers, Popi’s Place, Southern Tide and Lord & Taylor. BBBSLI staff members also participated in the show modeling a collection of fur and leather outerwear from Tsontos Furs.

This event offered attendees a unique opportunity to witness the fun dynamic and special closeness shared between Bigs & Littles. Funds raised at the Fashion Show will assist BBBSLI in its efforts to match many of the 200 children on our inquiry list waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister of their own.

A big thank you to the BBBSLI Fashion Show committee and presenting sponsor Steve Madden. Appreciation also goes to: Light & Sound Sponsor: Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Runway Sponsor: Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, CPAs PC, Hair & Makeup Sponsor: Red Door Spas, Match & Collection Sponsor: Savers and Collection Sponsors: Lord & Taylor, Popi’s Place, Southern Tide and Tsontos Furs.

Thanks to Dessert Sponsors: Little Kitchen Creations by Wendy, Design by Dana and Roxanna’s Baked Goods as well as to our Raffle Sponsors including: Butera’s, Cactus Salon, Chakrings, Cousins Paintball, Cozy Corner, Donna Drake Media, Flowers by Edwards, Fortunoff, Hotel Indigo, Kelly Family Chiropractic, Lazar’s Chocolate, Lisa Vitulli, Long Island Lacrosse Academy, Long River Asian Fusion, L’Oreal, Mieka, Ms’tique, Oheka Castle, Party in the 516, Popi’s Place, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salon Per Le, Starbucks, Steve Madden, The Paramount, The Space at Westbury, Time to Play Magazine, Tsontos Furs and Umberto’s.

Last but certainly not least, BBBSLI would like to express our gratitude to all of our Bigs & Littles whose participation and star performances truly made this inaugural event such a success!


Additional photos from the Fashion Show will be posted in the coming week to the gallery section of our website.


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BBBSLI Walk for Kids’ Sake 2016 Raises Funds to Support Mentoring on Long Island

On May 14, 2016, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their annual Walk for Kids’ Sake event, presented by GEICO. This annual 5K event provides an opportunity for matches, board members, staff and the community to join together and raise funds to help BBBSLI grow the number of children served through their mentoring programs.

Nearly 200 walkers came together at Eisenhower Park on the beautiful spring morning in support of mentoring on Long Island. DJ Joe Bova played music as everybody warmed up with a stretching session led by the GEICO gecko. Siblings Angelica, Gianna and Anthony who are all Littles in the program received the honor of blowing the horn to mark the start of the 5K walk.

Funds raised at and following this event will assist BBBSLI in matching many of the 200 children on our inquiry list waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister of their own. The event concluded with a Finishers’ picnic which featured face painting, balloon art and inflatables to entertain the many children in attendance.

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor GEICO and to all of our Silver sponsors who made this event possible including: Applied Pension Services, Capital One Bank, CHIPS Technology Group LLC, Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, CPAs PC, Dycon Enterprises, GNP Branded Gear, Glass and Dooley, Jim’s Deli, Katz & Zlotnick, Sanders Sanders Block Woycik Viener & Grossman, PC, Stop and Shop of Levittown and Utz.

Donations can still be made online at 2016 Walk for Kids’ Sake funds provide the opportunity for BBBSLI to make the power of mentoring accessible to a greater number of children on Long Island who are facing adversity.


View all the pictures from Walk For Kids’ Sake 2016 here


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