With Spring comes a number of “flings” – that means fundraisers. Many adopt causes. Some causes adopt others. Some come from relationships and involvements. Certainly explains mine.
I chair the Board of Directors on Services Now for Adult Persons (“SNAP” before the acronym had other worthy uses!). The Board’s biggest concern involves the completion of a new center to house several of our programs and offices, including a senior center serving four communities where I spent most of my life – Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, New Hyde Park – and Queens Village. My affinity began when I joined my local Community Board 13 during law school and learned public funds to serve northern nabes of the board went to a site outside because no center existed within the community district. I recall raising the issue and Board Chair, to her credit, secured seed money to create SNAP. After law school I joined the staff of the local Council Member as counsel (for whom I also became chief of staff several months later), I worked to secure City support for the program which grew to serve more of our elders every year. When I left public service I joined SNAP’s board becoming board chair almost two years ago. Its big event – an Annual “Wine Down” – takes places as Summer winds down (September 20) (You can donate here.). Support and attendees welcome!
Through my involvement in the Fraternal Order Knights of Pythias, we get to support a number of causes supported by the Order, its New York Grand Lodge and my home lodge, FDR Lodge 613. We look forward to a Radio Bingo event to support the Pythian Diabetes Research Association which my good friend and Lodge brother Craig Shink serves as President. Our current New York Grand Chancellor Dave Stanger has long been involved with the Special Olympics and while many Pythians volunteer at a fall “olympiad” at Cantiague Park, David secured Grand Lodge approval to run a Dinner Dance through our Pythian Humanitarian Fund. At time of drafting this, FDR support for this event includes at least three tables, including many of my friends from our Basketball program; David’s chief deputy, Ted Pashko also a friend (first) and lodge brother, coordinates this gala and enjoys a reputation for fun events.
Earlier this month my friend and Lodge brother Bob Kaufman ran a Pancake breakfast through the Humanitarian Fund to support our Veterans and Servicemen and women. A May Humanitarian brunch serves as chief fundraiser for the fund which supports several causes and annually awards several (college) scholarships to member’s worthy children.
Through Gotham, our Season of Giving raises donations in a mostly grassroots manner through passing the envelope our our breakfast, lunch, and dinner meet-ups or via credit card (fees waived – thank you Marc Halpert!). Two times charities I support were selected by Michael Garibaldi who impartially selects from the business cards submitted with the donations under the careful supervision of Lisa Waterman. The second time was indirect but Raj Goel, bless his heart, directed the funds to the Knights of Pythias and we will be formally directing the donation as part of my Lodge’s (Kings-FDR Tolerance – Foundation) Charitable Awards in June.
Through Gotham relationships, I discovered and support the Theresa Foundation founded by Gotham member Vincent Russo and wife Susan. It honored Gotham co-founder Fred Klein a few years back and me the next year. Both events proved rather successful. This year’s gala also recognizes all previous honorees and Shelly and I look forward to the very nice event.
Since Shelly and I celebrate another year together today, I thank her for her love, friendship and support – always in my heart! We took in a show for our anniversary last night – Jersey Boys – and at the curtain call the cast made an appeal for Broadway Cares. Cast members stood outside the theatre with red buckets for the audience to contribute. We did out part there upon our exit.
Not everyone can support every cause and charity. If any of the above work for you please consider. Thanking everyone because all of us support and give as generously as we can.
Feel free to plug those that matter to you in the comments below (or where you find this commentary linked on social media).