Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) was thrilled to host its first Career and College Information Night presented by National Recruiting Group and Starbucks. The event, held at BBBSLI’s Westbury office, was a perfect complement to the agency’s Healthy Littles Series, which focuses on preparing Littles for the next step in their lives.
“What a great night, we’ve already outgrown our space for this event and we’re planning for next year, but our success tonight can be directly attributed to our incredible volunteers that include the Bigs that came with their Little’s ready to help, the 75 volunteers that came to share their time and life experiences with Littles and our staff that helped every step of the way”, shared Nancy Farrell Travers, BBBSLI Director of Services. She added, “We especially want to thank the Starbucks partners from District 712, who were organized by our very own Big, Mikail Jones, that came ready to help and the professionals from National Recruiting Group, who met individually with each match to help the Littles create their first resumes and gain critical employment advice. We’re grateful for the time and care shown to all of our young professionals”.
From the start, there was an overwhelming response from matches and volunteers willing to come speak to the Littles and to gather professional clothing. The event was fantastic, every Little wrote their first resume, learned how to apply for a job and picked up interviewing pointers. The Littles were even treated to a session with volunteer “stylists” that helped them to tie their own ties and select some professional dress clothing. This event also became a recruiting event, as some of our representatives applied to become Bigs!
BBBSLI would like to express its appreciation to National Recruiting Group and Starbucks for sponsoring this event as well as thank all the representatives who made the event possible including: Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Dental Hygienist Lauren Pulaski, Dr. Janine Kelly, Dress for Success, Estee Lauder, Gates and Goldstein L.L.P., Long Island Nets, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, National Business Capital, Nassau Community College, Nassau County Department of Human Services, New York Institute of Technology, Sports Performance Group, United States Navy and Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Universal Technical Institute and Van Horn and Friedman P.C.
We look forward to adding even more representatives from the community as this becomes an annual event.
To view more photos from the event click here
On Tuesday, March 20th, close to 100 players gathered at The Main Event in Farmingdale for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) 2018 “Poker Night”. The event, presented by The Integrated, raised more than $20,000 in support of the mentoring agency’s programs across Long Island.
“Another fun and lively Poker Tournament in the books! Thanks to the generosity and support of our sponsors and event attendees, the funds raised tonight will allow our agency to provide more children across Long Island with quality mentoring services,” said BBBSLI Director of Development Meredith McCaslin.
Jim Kiley revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Jim Costa, Sr. and Ben Cooper finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a three-piece luggage set and $1,500 Travel Voucher to anywhere in the world. Second prize was an RCA 43” Smart TV, and the third-place winner took home an overnight East End Wine Tasting Getaway.
BBBSLI would like to express our appreciation to presenting sponsor The Integrated. Thank you to our Ace Sponsors: CHIPS Technology Group, Merrick Madmen and Red Hat as well as our Queen Sponsors: Statewide Roofing and Steve Madden.
We also want to recognize those companies and individuals who generously donated prizes; Hotel Indigo East End, Kristin Thorne, NYCB Live!, Skytop Lodge, Steve Madden, The Main Event, The Paramount, and WABC-TV.
To view more photos from the event click here
On Wednesday, February 28th, nearly 200 people packed Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown to attend Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) annual Comedy Night, presented by VICOM Computer Services. The show included performances by five talented comedians who had guests laughing the entire night.
“Thank you to our 2018 Comedy Night Presenting Sponsor, VICOM Computer Services, our table sponsors and event attendees! This year’s event was a huge success and it was great to see so many people enjoying a night of laughter and comedy, in support of mentoring on Long Island,” said BBBSLI Director of Development, Meredith McCaslin.
Special thanks to the event’s table sponsors – CHIPS Technology Group, DYCON Enterprises, Executive Business Association, Network Long Island, Michael & Kelly Stanley, Wells Fargo and Col. E. David Woycik, Jr. (Ret.) Esq.
Some lucky guests went home with fantastic raffle prizes, including a Hotel Indigo Wine & Spirits Getaway for Two, an RCA 43″ Smart TV, a Black Hawk Imports Basket of Spirits and a Fitbit Charge 2 Health Tracker. Thank you to our generous raffle sponsors, Black Hawk Imports, Hotel Indigo, Mary’s Pizza and Pasta of Farmingdale, and Governor’s Comedy Club
We also want to express our appreciation to Andrea, James and the staff at Governor’s Comedy Club whose service and talent helped make the night a memorable one.
To view more photos from Comedy Night 2018 click here
Raising money for an already prevalent cause, like autism or breast cancer, is difficult enough. Raising money to prevent problems before they arise is a whole other challenge. “It’s like investing in your 401k,” said Mark Cox, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Long Island. “You preach to somebody when they’re young, ‘Put money in and you’ll be better off in the long run’…Our biggest challenge is convincing people that investing now in the youth is going to save us money in the long run—less kids going into crime and jail.”
It doesn’t pull on the heart strings but non-profits are businesses, with bills and payrolls and bottom lines that need to be addressed. “You can’t continue to serve more kids unless you’re raising money because in order to provide the proper professional support that these matches need, you need more staff.” Fortunately, when BBBS hired Cox as CEO in 2013, they found exactly the business-minded leader needed.
Cox grew up in Massachusetts and played football and lacrosse at Hofstra. He landed a job with alumni relations before progressing to become the associate director of external affairs in the athletics department, overseeing development, marketing and corporate partnerships. In this role, Cox interacted with many of the school’s donors, one of whom was a board member of BBBS and mentioned an opening with the organization. Content where he was, Cox was reluctant. “I loved what I did at Hofstra and right away I said, ‘no.’ Then I went home, I thought about it, did some research on the organization and said ‘You know what? I’m going to go put an application in.’”
Cox joined as chief development officer and seven years later, in 2013, took the role of CEO. During his time, membership has grown to include more than 500 of Long Island’s youth, thanks in part to Cox’s business acumen. His predecessor began a clothing collection center to help raise money for BBBS. Cox implemented new strategies to claim a 300 percent increase in the center’s net profits. “I was able to use basic business skills to take a look at the expenses and the efficiencies. The biggest thing for us has been utilizing technology to take it to the next level.”
All the money goes back into BBBS, helping increase the number of youths the organization can mentor, a population that, contrary to common thinking, spans the spectrum of backgrounds. “The general public would probably like to think it’s a child coming from a low-income, broken home. It’s not that all the time. We have kids from great family structures, but may have a sibling who has a developmental disability like autism. That child takes up 100 percent of the focus in the home and the family has come to Big Brothers to enroll their other child…to get some guidance and have an adult to spend time with.” No matter their background, participants in the Long Island chapter are plagued by similar issues. “In this day and age there’s a lot of bullying going on and a lot of the areas we serve there’s gang and drug exposure.”
With those issues in mind, and roughly 500 children on BBBS Long Island’s wait list, there is no let down for Cox, who has his foot firmly on the pedal. “My goal in the future is really to continue the growth we’ve been experiencing the past four years that I’ve been here. I think we will continue to make a difference.”