Category Page: Event Highlights

17th Annual Presidential Gala Raises Nearly $230,000 for Mentoring on L.I.

Gala 2015 Collage 1

On Thursday, October 1st, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) held its 17th Annual Presidential Gala at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. The spectacular event drew over 350 guests and raised nearly $230,000 for BBBSLI to continue providing quality mentoring and support services to Long Island’s youth.

This year’s Gala honored “Woman & Men of the Year” Felecia Wilson, Vice President, Judicial Title Insurance Agency LLC, Joseph Hoenigmann, Co-founder & Shareholder, Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, CPA’s PC and Joe Mihalich, Head Coach, Hofstra Men’s Basketball.

“I would like to congratulate” Felecia Wilson, Joseph Hoenigmann and Joe Mihalich as our ‘Woman & Men of the Year’,” said CEO Mark Cox. “The Gala was a huge success and we extend our sincere gratitude to our honorees and sponsors for their continued support.”

The highlight of the evening was hearing from an alumni match Big Sister, Amy and Little Sister, Kayla who both spoke candidly about their experiences as a mentor and mentee over the last 13 years since they were first matched. Kayla recalled some of the struggles she faced as a young child, caused by multiple family issues, and shared how meaningful it was to have Amy as a constant presence in her life to confide in and turn to for guidance.

Amy reflected on a poignant conversation the two shared when she helped a young Kayla realize for the first time that attending and graduating college was a real possibility in her life. The crowd was brought to their feet as Kayla shared, “Now I stand before all of you as a college graduate from Shippensburg University with a major in Criminal Justice and minor in Spanish. I am currently taking several steps towards my ultimate goal of becoming an FBI agent.”

BBBSLI Director of Development, Jamison Skala who served as the emcee throughout the night’s dinner program shared, “I’ve received so much positive feedback about how this year’s Gala brought to life the incredible relationship that exists between our supporters, staff, volunteers and the children we serve”.

Guests had the opportunity to bid on incredible live auction items such as tickets to Super Bowl 50, a night with Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, an amazing home dinner party for 10 catered by the chef of world-famous Rao’s Italian restaurant and an evening with the Yankees’ closers including the all-time greatest closer in MLB history, Mariano Rivera.
BBBSLI would like extend our sincere gratitude to this year’s honorees and sponsors for helping to make our 17th Annual Gala such a success. This year’s Vice Presidential Sponsors were Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, CPA’s PC and the Frank J. Antun Foundation while Capital One Bank, Hofstra University Athletics and New York Community Bank were the Senate Sponsors. Advantage Group, Barnum Financial Group, Darby Dental Supply LLC, Katz Zlotnick & Associates and Applied Pension Services, LLC, Macy’s and OpenLink served as Congressional Sponsors. Party Sponsors included, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman LLP, E. David Woycik, Jr., Fat Guy Media, Lazer Aptheker Rosella & Yedid PC and Michael Stern, Wells Fargo with Mario Molino as a Match Sponsor.


Gala 2015 Collage 3 Gala 2015 Collage 2









More than $15,000 Raised at 4th Annual Cruisin for Kids’ Sake Event


Abcd C4KS 2015 Riders 2On September 19th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) raised more than $15,000 at its 4th Annual Cruisin for Kids’ Sake event! A dozen 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 before heading east for a scenic ride to Greenport, NY where they enjoyed lunch at Claudio’s Restaurant. 

“It was great to keep this year’s ride on Long Island, where we serve all our children; we saw some great back roads and neighborhoods out in Suffolk County,” said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. “I am also thrilled to announce we raised enough money to secure our anonymous donor challenge grant of $5,000.”  

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 additional photos from our Cruisin for Kids’ Sake event click here 


Hamptons Offshore Invitational Raises Nearly $250,000 for Mentoring on the East End

Fishing Collage 3

On Sunday, August 23rd the sun set on the 15th 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 66 registered boats and raised nearly $250,000 to support BBBSLI’s mentoring program services for children facing adversity on the East End of Long Island. 

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 and Sag Harbor. In addition to these programs, BBBSLI is pleased to announce the start of a new High School Bigs Mentoring Program at South Hampton beginning this fall.

“It was wonderful to have the support of so many individuals and sponsors helping to make this year’s tournament such a success,” said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. “Funds raised at this event benefit BBBSLI and the East End community by allowing us to increase the number of local children served by our mentoring program.”

Headquartered at Oakland’s Restaurant & Marina in Hampton Bays, the tournament closed with approximately 600 people gathering at the awards dinner. Before announcing the winners of each division and species, a moment of silence was observed in memory of the late Doug Oakland, who was a friend of the agency, avid fisherman and longtime supporter of the HOI Tournament. Additionally, this year’s dinner featured the inaugural Doug Oakland Memorial Trophy – awarded for the most bigeye tuna caught during the tournament which was won by David Mambrino, Captain of the boat Chasin Tail.

The crowd filled with anticipation as the winning raffle ticket was pulled announcing Stan Sigerson from Manorville, NY as the winner of the 24’ Center Console Everglades Fishing Boat (valued at $110,000) provided by White Water Custom Sportfish Boats.

BBBSLI would like to give special thanks to the Chairman of the Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament, Scott Horowitz, and to all of the sponsors who helped support this event including:

Platinum Sponsors: Harry Bachrach, RBC Wealth Management The Nydegger Investment Group, Owen & Laurie Schwartz, Shore Line Insurance Agency Inc., George Vickers Jr. Enterprises, Inc., Wahl Rich Group, White Water Custom Sportfish Boats, White Water Outfitters. Gold Sponsors: Dave Bofill Marine Inc., Everglades by Dougherty, Hampton Watercraft & Marine, Haskell Local Outfitters, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Oakland’s Restaurant & Marina, Riverhead Building Supply, South Shore Docks, Inc., Spellmans Marine, Staten Island Yacht Sales, Unity Electric Company. Cockpit Buckets Sponsor: RBC Wealth Management The Nydegger Investment Group. Captain’s Meeting Hospitality Sponsors:, Absolute Marine Detailing. Valet Parking Sponsor: Village Auto Body. Silver Sponsors: Framingham Foundation, Shinnecock Marlin & Tuna Club

To view a complete list of the 2015 Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament winners please visit

Fishing Collage 111863319_10153580875864579_2553464471239725613_n - Copy (2)

Nearly $80,000 Raised at BBBSLI’s 19th Annual Golf Tournament

On Monday, August 10th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their 19th Annual Golf Tournament at The Muttontown Club in East Norwich, NY. This year’s event presented by Dantona Industries, honoring Don Dantona, raised nearly $80,000 in support of mentoring on Long Island.

“All of the sponsors and golfers who joined us, enjoyed a perfect day of weather and top-notch service from the great staff at Muttontown. We are grateful to be able to honor the longtime friendship and support of Don Dantona and Dantona industries,” 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 Devin, matched with Big Brother Bob since May 2014, took the podium as the guest speaker. “Before Bob, I never had a man in my life to help push me to excel in my academics, athletics and personally. He guides and encourages me to be the best version of myself,” shared Devin.

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

  • Team Low Net with a Callaway-handicapped team score of 62 (-9) David Woycik, Jr., Rudy Caroleo, Rod Cooney and Mike Alleva
  • Individual Low Gross with a score of 69 (-2), Robert Codignotto

In addition to thanking Dantona Industries and Don Dantona, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island would like to express appreciation to all of the golfers, supporters and sponsors including:

  • Dinner Sponsor: Ike, Molly & Steven Elias Foundation
  • Barbeque Lunch Sponsor: Bob Catell
  • Cigar Sponsor: CHL Mortgage
  • Breakfast Sponsor: James M. Conboy
  • Awards Sponsor: Fat Guy Media
  • Golf Cart Sponsor: Dantona Industries
  • Golf Ball Sponsor: Broadridge
  • Beverage Cart Sponsor: Holden & Flynn Universal Contractors, Inc.
  • Putting Green Sponsor: Merrick Madmen
  • Longest Drive Sponsor: DeFreitas & Minsky
  • Closest to the Pin Sponsors: The Murph’s Famous Bloody Mary Mix & UTZ

Visit our Galleries page to view more photos from the event


Golf 2015 Collage 1Golf 2015  Collage 3

Summer Sizzle 2015 Poker Tournament Raises more than $25,000

It was a full house at The Main Event Restaurant & Sports Bar in Farmingdale on July 21st for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) 2015 Poker & Networking Series “Summer Sizzle” presented by ZBF Geothermal. One-hundred people doubled down to raise more than $25,000 in support of youth mentoring on Long Island.

“The fact that nearly 100% of our active Littles graduated high school this year and that the majority of them are pursuing some form of higher education really resonated with the crowd tonight. We also had four Big Brothers playing in the tournament, so it was great to see people make the connection between their donation and the matches supported by our programs”, said Jamison Skala, BBBSLI’s Director of Development.

Ed Miller revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Todd Althem and Matt Schieferster finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a $1,500 travel voucher. Second prize was a Hotel Indigo Wine & Spirits East End Getaway for two and the third place winner received 40” JVC “Smart” HDTV with ROKU.

Other prizes for those at the final table included an Xbox 360, a Steve Madden Limited Prize Pack with a $250 gift certificate, a Samsung 7” Tablet and much more! Thanks to those companies and individuals who donated prizes for the tournament including: Greg Parisi, Hotel Indigo, L.I. Picture Frame, NBTY, PC Richards and Steve Madden.

A very special thanks to the night’s presenting sponsor, ZBF Geothermal and our table sponsors who helped support the event which included: CHIPS Technology Group, Executive Business Association, Fat Guy Media, MassMutual LI Metro, The Merrick Madmen and The Whitmore Group LTD.

Thanks to all those who helped make the night a success. We look forward to seeing everybody again at The Main Event in Farmingdale for BBBSLI’s “All In” Poker Tournament on November 17th!


BBBSLI Hosts Annual Summer Picnic Sponsored by The Federated Group

On Sunday, June 14th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their Annual Summer Picnic at Heckscher State Park. This year’s event was sponsored by The Federated Group 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.

“The Annual Summer Picnic is an eagerly anticipated event that provides an opportunity for those in our program to connect with one another outdoors while making positive and lasting memories”, said Mark Cox, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. “We are thankful to The Federated Group for making this special day possible for our Bigs, Littles and their families”.

DJ Joe played music and games throughout the day while Bigs and Littles took to the fields playing softball and dodge ball. Inside the pavilion, others took fun pictures with props in the photo booth, played board games and created hand print murals which will be displayed in the Levittown and Islandia offices.

In addition, every child was invited to select brand new books from the book fair table and also received backpacks filled with giveaways. 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, cotton candy and tons of big smiles.

BBBSLI wants to express a special thank you to the volunteers from The Federated Group and Chase who assisted BBBSLI staff members throughout the day in running the event. Additionally, we would like to thank our food, drink and snack sponsors including Jim’s Deli, Snapple, ROAR and UTZ Snacks.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island