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.