Category Page: Event Highlights

BBBSLI & Levittown Swim Association Partner to Provide Free Swim Lessons

Over two dozen children who were once afraid of the water and lacked basic safety skills are now swimming thanks to free 1-on-1 swim lessons offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) who teamed up with the Levittown Swim Association (LSA) to provide swim lessons this summer.  The swim lessons were part of BBBSLI’s Summer Series which included a variety of free activities for kids and their mentors to participate in together.

“For many of the kids, it was their first time learning to swim, most were fearful, but each one learned basic skills and had 1-on-1 instruction. We can’t fully express our gratitude to the LSA leadership and the volunteer swimmers who were simply incredible,” said Nancy Travers, Director of Services for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island.

LSA is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization swimming program where children develop and learn competitive swimming skills, and then use them to compete against each other in swim meets during the season.

” Levittown Swimming Association is all about kids helping kids. When BBBSLI approached us to give swim lessons to children who didn’t swim, our swimmers could not step up fast enough”, said Carol Wyckoff, LSA President.

Watching the best swimmers in the world compete in the Olympics is a great reminder that until a young person is given the opportunity to learn … there is no telling what they are capable of achieving.

BBBSLI would like to express its deep appreciation to the Levittown Swim Association (LSA) and all of the volunteer instructors. Special thanks to LSA leadership Carol Wyckoff, Sarah Greer and Tracey Tucci who worked closely with us to make this amazing opportunity possible!

View News 12 story to hear Little Brother Sebastien and his Big Brother Tom talk about the swim lessons in their own words:


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BBBSLI Hosts Kickoff Reception for 18th Annual Presidential Gala

On July 27th, 100 supporters gathered outdoors at the Crest Hollow Country Club for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s (BBBSLI) Gala Kickoff Reception. The event raised $100,000 for BBBSLI’s 18th Annual Presidential Gala set to take place on October 6th at Crest Hollow.

The night featured the announcement of this year’s honorees including “Man of the Year” Rich Grossi, Executive Vice President – Product and Engineering, OpenLink and “Couple of the Year” The Honorable Scott Horowitz, President, Shore Line Insurance & Pamela Horowitz, Business & Mathematics Teacher, Westhampton Beach H.S.

BBBSLI would like to express its sincere gratitude to the companies and individuals who purchased sponsorships, tables and journal ads for the upcoming Gala event. We truly appreciate the generosity of all those who donated including: Frank J. Antun Foundation, OpenLink, Col. E. David Woycik, Jr., Jen & Rich Grossi, Darby Dental, Bob Catell, Advantage Title, VICOM, Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, Katz Zlotnick Associates, Cohen Hoenigmann & Badolato, The Finishing Touch, CHIPS Technology, Inc., CARR Business Systems, Kelly & Michael Stanley, Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, ADP & Barnum Financial Group.

For details about Gala sponsorship opportunities and to read more about this year’s Honorees click here 


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BBBSLI’s Summer Sizzle Poker Tournament Raises $21,000 for Mentoring on L.I.

On July 19th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) held their 2016 “Summer Sizzle” Poker Tournament presented by ZBF Geothermal at The Main Event in Farmingdale. Nearly 100 players doubled down to raise $21,000 in support of youth mentoring on Long Island.

“In the spring, we said we’d make [Sweet] 16 new matches during the NCAA Tournament from the proceeds from Poker Night, and we did”, said Jamison Skala, BBBSLI’s Director of Development. He also shared, “When we received a donation that enabled us to invite an entire table of Bigs to play in this tournament, we were thrilled that we’d be able to display the fruits of our program team’s labor.  Ten Big Brothers were introduced to a thunderous round of applause.  Being able to put faces to the new (and current) matches we’ve made brings it all home, and the success of tonight’s event proves that”.

Scott O’Neill of East Norwich revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Greg Sibilio and Len Hecker finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a $2,500 travel voucher.  Second prize was a 49” LG Smart TV and the third place winner received a Hotel Indigo Wine & Spirits East End Getaway for two.

A very special thank you to the event’s presenting sponsor, ZBF Geothermal and our table sponsors which included: Atlantic Insurance Agency, CHIPS Technology Group, Executive Business Association, The Merrick Madmen, Nawrocki Smith CPA’s, Steve Madden, Whitmore Group and ZBF Geothermal.

NEW for this tournament, we want to thank Courtyard Travel as the event Prize Sponsor and all those who donated including: Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia, Hotel Indigo, PC Richards and Steve Madden.

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BBBSLI Hosts Annual Summer Picnic for Bigs, Littles & Families

On Sunday, June 12th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their Annual Summer Picnic at Heckscher State Park. This year’s event was sponsored by Principal Payments 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.

“We had a great day yesterday for the picnic and a great turnout. It is so important that we get a chance to bring everyone together to get to know each other”, said Nancy Travers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island Director of Services. She added, “Seeing new friendships forged between Bigs, Littles and families made the day even better”.

DJ Joe played music and games throughout the day while Bigs and Littles took to the field playing softball, dancing and jumping in the inflatables. Inside the pavilion, others took fun pictures with props in the photo booth, did arts & crafts and created hand print murals which will be displayed in the Levittown and Islandia offices.

As Bigs & Littles arrived, they all received BBBSLI T-shirts. Giveaways also included new books from the book fair table and a variety of gently used sporting equipment provided by Play It Forward. Thanks to a donation from BCNY/Synclaire Brands, Littles and their siblings were also invited to choose from a large selection of brand new designer shoes to take home. 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, snow cones, cotton candy and tons of big smiles.

In addition to thanking presenting sponsor Principal Payments, BBBSLI wants to express a special thank you to the volunteers from National Charity League Inc. who assisted BBBSLI staff members throughout the day in running the event. Additionally, we would like to thank the local establishments that donated prizes to the raffles, including Tiger Martial Arts, Laser Bounce, Huntington Learning Center, and Dave & Busters as well as our drink and snack sponsors including Snapple, NBTY and UTZ Snacks.


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Nearly $100,000 Raised at BBBSLI’s 20th Annual Golf Tournament

On Monday, June 6th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their 20th Annual Golf Tournament at The Muttontown Club in East Norwich, NY. This year’s event presented by Broadridge Financial Solutions, honoring Tom Gambaro, brought together 108 golfers and raised nearly $100,000 in support of mentoring on Long Island.

“Tom [Gambaro] hit it out of the park this year; nine of today’s 27 foursomes were the direct result of his hard work on behalf of the event all the children we serve.  As I mentioned during my remarks, I’m confident that in the dinner crowd was a first-time attendee or two – like Tom was 14 years ago – who’ll become future golf honorees,”  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 Marven and Big Brother John spoke about their match. “When I first heard I was getting a Big Brother I was really nervous, but once I got to know John I felt so comfortable. I think John and I will have the best time of our lives doing things together,” shared Marven.

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

Men’s low gross with a score of 69 – Bob Madden

Women’s low gross with a score of 99 – Sonia Whang

Team Low Net with a Callaway-handicapped team score of 60– Mike Aleva, Rudy Caroleo, E. David, Woycik, Jr., Bob Madden

In addition to thanking Presenting Sponsor Broadridge Financial Solutions and Honoree Tom Gambaro, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island would like to express appreciation to all of the golfers, supporters and sponsors including:

Dinner – Ike, Molly & Steven  Elias Foundation
Breakfast – Freedom Mortgage
Cocktail Reception – Stifel Investment Services
Golf Cart – Dantona Industries
Awards –  Hofstra Athletics                               
Locker Room – American Land Services, Inc.
Beverage Cart – American Land Services, Inc.
Driving Range – Fidelity
Golf Ball –  Broadridge Financial Services
Gift – GNP Branded Gear
Putting Green – Merrick Madmen
Longest Drive – Advantage Title
Closest to the Pin – National Business Capital & Network Long Island

To view all photos from the event check the galleries section of our website in the coming days

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BBBSLI Announces New Slate of Board Officers for 2016-17 Year


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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) would like to announce the new slate of officers for its 2016-17 Board of Directors: Board Chair, Thomas Slome; Vice President, Richard Grossi; Treasurer, Michael Paley and Secretary, Liz Meyers.

On June 1st, BBBSLI held its annual Board of Directors meeting at the Garden City Hotel. The new slate of officers was installed at a Leadership Reception which took place following the annual meeting. The Leadership Reception was attended by BBBSLI Board members, President’s Council members and staff.

BBBSLI would like to thank all the members of our 2016-17 Board of Directors for their ongoing commitment and dedication to our agency’s mission. To view a complete list of BBBSLI’s Board of Directors click here

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