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 www.bbbsli.kintera.org/5K. 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
On Tuesday, April 12th, Big Brothers Big Sister of Long Island (BBBSLI) celebrated their volunteer mentors (Bigs) at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception, presented by Darby Dental Supply. Volunteers along with their family members, board members and supporters of BBBSLI gathered at Crest Hollow Country Club to celebrate our Bigs for the time and energy they spend positively impacting the lives of children on Long Island. This celebratory reception was held during National Volunteer Week.
“The Volunteer Appreciation Reception is one of our most important events, we get to celebrate our Bigs for all they do for the agency and for their Littles and we also get to introduce the 2016 Scholarship Recipients”, said Nancy Travers, Director of Services for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.
The evening’s program recognized all of the Bigs for the many ways they give of themselves to positively impact the lives of their Littles. Also acknowledged were the 2016 scholarship award recipients. Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors pursuing higher education this fall, who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrate high levels of motivation, responsibility and resiliency in their everyday lives. These scholarships are made possible by supporters of BBBSLI; the families of the late Jeff Grant, Glenn Trovato, and Michael J. Weisbrod, and in honor of Dorothy & John Talotta, who recently established a new endowed scholarship.
The evening concluded with a few lucky Bigs taking home great raffle prizes including a 40” Philips LED LCD TV, a Hotel Indigo East End Wine & Spirits Getaway for Two, and a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
Thank you to Darby Dental their sponsorship of this special event to honor our Bigs for all they do. Thanks also goes to those who donated raffle prizes including: Black Hawk Imports, @Hotel Indigo Long Island – East End, Huntington Learning Center, and P.C. Richard & Son.
Last but certainly not least, BBBSLI would like to express our deepest appreciation to all of our volunteer mentors. It is your commitment and dedication that makes it possible for our agency to make the positive impact we continue to have on the lives of young people across Long Island.
See our Gallery for More Event Photos!
BBBSLI recently teamed up with Hofstra Men’s Basketball to host “A Little Match Up” event sponsored by Col E. David Woycik Jr., (Ret) Esq. The match and mentor recruitment event included speeches from 2015 BBBSLI “Man of the Year” award winner and Hofstra Men’s Head Basketball Coach, Joe Mihalich and former NBA Champion and Hofstra Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Craig “Speedy” Claxton. They spoke to mentors, mentees, family members and guests about the importance of youth mentorship.
After the speeches, players from Hofstra men’s basketball team led the group in a series of warm up exercises and drills followed by a series of 1-on-1 match up basketball games.
In addition to serving as a fun match activity for Bigs and Littles, the event was an opportunity for potential volunteers and families to learn more about BBBSLI’s mentoring programs.
BBBSLI would like to express our appreciation to Head Coach Joe Mihalich, Assistant Coach Craig “Speedy” Claxton, Assistant Coach Jason Posser and the Hofstra Men’s Basketball players for giving of your time to make this event so much fun for all in attendance. Thanks also to David Woycik for your sponsorship. Huge thanks goes to Hofstra Graduate students David Salomon and Jessica Avenia Gamba for coming up with the idea for this event and for all you did to help us organize it.
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On Tuesday, March 8th, 100 players kicked off Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) 2016 Poker & Networking Series at “Poker Night”. The event, sponsored by Mineola Lions Club, was held at The Main Event in Farmingdale and raised more than $23,000. Proceeds from “Poker Night” directly support BBBSLI’s mentoring program and will assist the agency in its efforts to recruit more male volunteers for the 180 boys currently waiting for Big Brothers.
“The message tonight was that we’re laser-focused on recruiting big brothers. We need big brothers because more than 180 families have raised their hands to say they want help for their sons, and they’re all waiting for big brothers,” said BBBSLI Director of Development Jamison Skala. He explained to attendees, “These families have reached out to us because their sons are “at-risk”. They’re at-risk of choosing alcohol/drugs over saying no. They’re at-risk of choosing gang-life instead of sports or other extra-curricular activities. They’re at-risk of choosing to drop out of high school rather than graduate. But Big Brothers change the game. Big Brothers help make those tough decisions easier. Big Brothers change lives”.
Chris Kane revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. David Tan and Mateo Vila finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top PRIZE was a $2,500 Traveler’s Choice Voucher. Second prize was NY Knicks game tickets and the third place winner received a Wine & Spirits getaway for two at Hotel Indigo.
A very special thank you to the event’s presenting sponsor, Mineola Lions Club and our table sponsors which included: CHIPS Technology Group, Clair Bartholomew & Sons Funeral Home, Gerard Kane, KeyBank, Merrick Madmen, Mineola Lions Club, Organized Momentum and Steve Madden.
Thanks also goes to those companies and individuals who donated prizes for the tournament: Allshows.com, Courtyard Travel, Hotel Indigo, LI Picture Frame, PC Richards, Red Door Spa and Steve Madden.
On Wednesday, February 24th, nearly 200 people packed Governor’s Comedy Club of Levittown to attend Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) second annual Comedy Night, presented by Network Long Island (NLI).
The show included performances by five talented comedians who had guests laughing the entire night! Before they took the stage, BBBSLI’s CEO, Mark Cox, spoke about the agency’s need for male volunteers to serve as Big Brothers for more than 180 boys on our waiting to be matched list. He encouraged everyone to spread the word to men they know personally and professionally who might make a great mentor. Mr. Cox further explained how funds raised through Comedy Night will help the agency recruit male volunteers throughout the 40 Long Island towns where boys are waiting for Big Brothers to call their own.
“Mark talked about attending the funeral for the father of one of our good friends and corporate sponsors earlier today,” said BBBSLI Director of Development, Jamison Skala. “His three sons all spoke about the fact that he instilled in them the same two things, the importance of giving back and laughter. Ironic I’d say that so many people joined us to laugh out loud for mentoring and give back, providing the resources we need to make sure more Long Island children beat the odds that are stacked against them”.
Special thanks to the event’s presenting sponsor, Network Long Island (NLI), and to our table sponsors – Advantage Title, CHIPS Technology Group, DeFreitas & Minsky LLP, Executive Business Association (EBA), Scholastic Promotions Awards & More, Tri-Net, Wells Fargo, and Col E. Dave Woycik, Jr. (Ret.), Esq.
The night also included a Chinese Auction, sponsored by CHIPS Technology Group, giving attendees the opportunity to take home one of many great prizes including Billy Joel concert tickets, an East End wine & spirits getaway, and a David Wright & Yoenis Cespedes signed baseball bat. Thank you to our raffle donors – All Shows LLC, Harry Katz Carpet One Floor & Home, Hotel Indigo East End, Nastasi-Silver Group, PC Richards and Red Door Spa.
We also want to express our thanks to Ginny, Andrea, and the staff at Governor’s Comedy Club whose service and talent helped make the night a memorable one.
On January 28th, BBBSLI’s President’s Council hosted “Big Night Out” presented by Vicom. Members of our President’s Council, Board of Directors, and supporters gathered at Parlay Gastropub in Rockville Centre to honor more than 30 Bigs in recognition of National Mentoring Month.
“Thanks goes out to our President’s Council for hatching the idea to host an event that would gather themselves, our Bigs, agency staff, sponsors, and our Board of Directors “, said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. “Guests thanked each other for their volunteerism, leadership and financial support – the energy in the room was incredible.”
A special thank you to the night’s presenting sponsor, Vicom, as well as Friend Sponsors of the event including: A1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage, American Land Services, Greg Parisi/GNP Branded Gear, Koeppel Martone & Leistman, Michael Oliveri and SVAM International.