Category Page: Event Highlights

“Big Night Out” Honors More Than 30 Bigs in Recognition of National Mentoring Month

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.

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240 Children and 115 Families Receive Gifts & Meals from BBBSLI Holiday for Kids’ Sake Program

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On December 20th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) brought joy directly to the doorsteps of children and families across Long Island through its annual Holiday for Kids’ Sake program which delivers holiday gifts and meals to those in need. Nearly 50 volunteer drivers gathered at Arrow Transfer and Storage in Hicksville to collect and deliver plenty of presents and two boxes of food to the doorsteps of 240 children and 115 families.

“We are proud to share that 100% of the children and families enrolled in the Holiday for Kids’ Sake program were sponsored, which means every single one of them received multiple items specifically requested on their holiday wish list,” said CEO Mark Cox.

The BBBSLI staff sorted through hundreds of brand new, unwrapped gift donations and gift cards generously donated by supporters of the agency, and hand-picked gifts for the children of those families served by the agency’s mentoring program.

Thanks to the generous donations and support BBBSLI received from 50 businesses, individuals and families, Holiday for Kids’ Sake was able to provide children with that ‘something special’ that they otherwise would not have received. Having presents and a full meal with all the trimmings delivered to their door also helped to alleviate some of the stress on the families, making this a joyful and promising holiday season.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said one grandmother of a child in our program. “I did not expect all this. I am so thankful for this program.”

Each contribution played a part in helping to make this a magical holiday season for so many families and children in need! A very special thank you from BBBSLI to those companies who went above and beyond this year with number of children they sponsored including: BJ’s of Islandia – 55 children, Federated Group – 40 children, OpenLink – 32 children and Nixon Peabody – 24 children.

BBBSLI would like to thank all of the companies, families and individuals who sponsored children, hosted gift drives, made financial donations and gave their time to make this season a bit brighter for so many families and children in need!

Direct Child Sponsorship: Bachman Family, BJ’s – Islandia, Brown Family, Jennifer Cavalieri, Al Diemer, Federated Group, Garden City Group, Gerard Kane, Paula Kinsella, Maryann McGuiness, Meyers Family, National Association of Professional Women, Nixon Peabody, Open Link, Paquette Family, Ross Family, Dan Schmidt, Dan Sedman, Voula Serres and Stephanie Spooner.

Food Sponsor: Dantona Industries

General Program Sponsors: Arrow Transportation & Storage, Advantage Group, Castle Premium, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP, Cox Family, Executive Business Association, Hofstra University, Long Island Business Group, NY Auto Giant, PETSMART, Phyllis Cassell – Care to Knit, Smolinsky Family, Sports Authority, Stop and Shop, John Theissen Children’s Foundation, Wells Fargo Advisors and the Whitmore Group.

Financial Sponsors: Rachel Barrett, Clare Freidlander Foundation, Dantona Industries, Krasner Family, MSC, National Grid – Lamp Lighters, Open Link, Rasa Family, Steel Equities and John Sullivan.


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BBBSLI Hosts ‘All In’ Poker Tournament

On Tuesday, November 17th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) presented its annual ‘All In’ Poker Tournament as part of its Poker & Networking event series. 150 players competed in the sold-out event, sponsored by Steve Madden, held at The Main Event Restaurant & Sports Bar in Farmingdale. The event raised nearly $30,000 in support of quality mentoring on Long Island.

“Tonight, five of our case managers spread out across the room to try their hand at Texas Hold’em (many for the first time) and share their stories of our Big Brothers and Big Sisters changing children’s lives daily,” said BBBSLI Director of Development Jamison Skala.  “It’s my hope that many of the players with us tonight leave with a deeper understanding of the work we do and a greater appreciation for the thousands of hours our volunteers spend mentoring their Little Brothers and Little Sisters.”

Joseph Pennachio revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Chris Angotta and Chris Kane finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a $2,500 Traveler’s Choice Voucher. Second prize was a Reunion Resorts and Golf Getaway and the third place winner received a 50” JVC Smart HDTV.

BBBSLI would like to express its appreciation to the events presenting sponsor Steve Madden. Special thanks to the night’s table sponsors: Aflac, AmericanLand, BFCU, CHIPS, Claimfox, Clair Bartholomew & Sons, Inc., EBA, Fat Guy Media, NLI, PSEG and The Whitmore Group

Additional thanks to those companies and individuals who donated prizes for the tournament including: GNP, Hotel Indigo, NY Jets and Ryan England, PC Richards, Pete Maniscalco, Reunion Resorts- Steve Cohen, Rob Salvatico and Steve Madden.


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Crucial Experiment Defends Title – Crowned 2015 battle of the Bands Champions


Farmingdale, NY (Nov 2015) – Crucial Experiment defended their 2014 title and was crowned Champion of the 3rd Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island Battle of the Bands. The event brought together 100 guests who rocked it out at The Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale in support of mentoring on Long Island.

Contenders included The Lost Souls, Megaweapon, and Crucial Experiment who was back to defend their 2014 title. Crucial Experiment was the first performance of the evening, winning over the judging panel with their mix of alternative rock and original music.

Crucial Experiment has performed together for more than 11 years and includes band members Chris Fahey (Drums & Vocals), Phil Zirkuli (Keyboard & Vocals), Jason DeVore (Lead Guitar), Sean Michel (Guitar), Tom Fogarty (Bass & Vocals) and Jeff Pollack (Percussion).

“I would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors, guests and talented musicians who made this event a great success,” said BBBSLI Director of Development, Jamison Skala. “We all look forward to Crucial Experiment going for a three-peat at our 2016 Battle of the Bands.”

BBBSLI would like to express its appreciation to the band sponsors: Molloy College, Arrow Transfer & Storage and Rosenthal & Rosenthal as well as the night’s award sponsor Meyer Suozzi English & Klein. Additional thanks to the Nutty Irishman Staff, WBAB Street Team, Greg Parisi, Judges, Volunteers and Staff.


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BBBSLI Raises More Than $10,000 at East End Poker Night

On Thursday, November 12th, 60 players competed at the East End Poker Night, hosted by Westhampton Rotary and Southampton Rotary. The poker and networking event benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI), was held at the beautiful Hotel Indigo in Riverhead and raised more than $10,000. 

“It’s great to see so many communities come together. Participants in the tournament are thankful for  the ability to help more at risk children from the East End of Long Island achieve success in life”, said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.

Michael Sandusky from Sound Beach, NY revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. David Mogull and Paul Trotta finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a Hotel Indigo Wine & Spirits getaway for two. Second prize was a pair of NY Giants tickets in the Chase Club with VIP parking pass and $75 gift certificate to Southampton Publick House, and the third place winner received a 40” Samsung Smart HDTV.

BBBSLI would like to express its appreciation to Hotel Indigo, Westhampton Rotary and Southampton Rotary for hosting the event. Thank you to the night’s beverage sponsor, Southampton Publick House and to the table sponsors Markowitz Fenelon & Bank LLP, Kelly & Hulme PC Attorney at Law and Tracy Collins Interiors.

Additional thanks to those companies and individuals who donated prizes for the tournament: Beach Hand Car Wash, Bridgehampton National Bank, East Moriches Fuel, GNP Branded Gear, Hotel Indigo, PC Richards, RBC Wealth Management and the Vanderslice Family.


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

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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.


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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island