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BBBSLI Walk for Kids’ Sake Event Raises Nearly $55,000 to Support Mentoring on Long Island

On April 25th, 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted their annual Walk for Kids’ Sake event, presented by GEICO, raising nearly $55,000. This annual event provides an opportunity for the community to join together and raise funds to help BBBSLI sustain and grow the number of children served through their mentoring programs, which provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, 1-to-1 mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever

Over 200 walkers braved the chilly spring morning and came together at Eisenhower Park in support of mentoring on Long Island. Everybody warmed up with a stretching session led by the GEICO gecko. As is tradition, to signify the matches BBBSLI will be able to support with funds raised from this event, a Big and Little match are selected each year to blow the horn marking the start of the 5K walk. This year, the honor went to Big Brother Brian Mangan and his Little Brother Brian who were celebrating their one year match anniversary to the day.

“All the parts that make the whole of BBBSLI came together once again this weekend to Walk for Kids’ Sake in support of mentoring on Long Island,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s Director of Development, Jamison Skala. “As a result, we’ll be able to make and support thirty new matches for children who’ve been waiting for a Big Brother or Sister of their own”.

Amongst the many walkers completing the 5K course thru the park this year were Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife Linda. The event concluded with a Finishers’ picnic which featured a surprise visit from Chucky Cheese to entertain the many children in attendance.

Thank you to our sponsors that made the event possible included Presenting Sponsor, GEICO and Gold Sponsor, Lightpath. Additional support came from our Silver Sponsors including: Advantage Group, Capital One Bank, CHIPS Technology Group LLC, Dycon Enterprises, Garden City Group, GNP Specialites, Inc., Glass and Dooley, Jim's Deli, Katz & Zlotnick, LI Mass Mutual, New York Auto Giant, Sanders Sanders Block Woycik Viener & Grossman, PC, Stop and Shop of Levittown, Utz, V.T. Mancusi, Inc. and our Bronze Sponsors including: Competitive Events, Cohen, Hoenigmann & Badolato, Dan & Ivy Greenburg, Scholastic Awards and More, Shoreline Insurance and Kelly & Michael Stanley

Donations can still be made online at www.bbbsli.kintera.org/5K. The 2015 Walk for Kids’ Sake provides the opportunity for the community to join together in support of BBBSLI, making the power of mentoring accessible to a greater number of children on Long Island who are facing adversity.


On Tuesday, April 14th, Big Brothers Big Sister of Long Island (BBBSLI) celebrated their volunteer mentors (‘Bigs’) at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception, sponsored by Darby Dental. Volunteers, board members and supporters of BBBSLI gathered at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, to celebrate over 25,000 cumulative hours of time and energy spent annually to positively impact the lives of children on Long Island. This celebratory reception was held during National Volunteer Appreciation Week.

“Without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers, it would not be possible for Big Brothers Big Sister of Long Island to make the positive impact we continue to have on the lives of kids across Long Island”, said Mark Cox, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sister of Long Island. “Thank you to Darby Dental for sponsoring tonight’s event and allowing us the opportunity to honor our volunteers for all they do”.

During the evening’s program, all Big Brothers and Big Sisters were acknowledged for their volunteerism in mentoring children facing adversity. Special recognition was given to those Bigs who have been matched with their Littles for over six years.

Also acknowledged were the 2015 scholarship award recipients. Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors pursuing higher education this fall, who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrate high levels of motivation, responsibility and resiliency in their everyday lives. This scholarship opportunity is generously made possible by supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island as well as the families of the late Jeff Grant, the late Glenn Trovato and the late Michael J. Weisbrod.

Volunteers were surprised at the end of the evening by an a Capella performance by Hofstra University’s singing group, Sigma’Capella, which concluded the evening’s wonderful celebration on a high note!


On Tuesday, March 10th, 130 players – novices to the 2002 WSOP Main Event Champion – kicked off Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island’s 2015 Poker & Networking Series at “Poker Night”. The packed event, sponsored by Steve Madden, was held at The Main Event Restaurant & Sports Bar in Farmingdale and raised close to $24,000. The funds raised at “Poker Night” directly supports BBBSLI’s mentoring program and will allow the agency to create 10 new matches between now and our next fundraising event.

“It was great to see so many new faces tonight. It’s a testament to the quality of networking that happens at these events bringing together individuals from so many different backgrounds all to support our mission”, said BBBSLI Director of Development Jamison Skala.

Robert Varkonyi revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. Jeff Leibowitz and Jeremy Ecker finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top PRIZE was a $1,500 Traveler’s Choice Voucher. Second prize was a 50’ inch Samsung LED TV and the third place winner received a Wine & Spirits getaway for two at Hotel Indigo.

Thanks to those companies and individuals who donated prizes for the tournament: Hotel Indigo, Steve Madden, L.I. Picture Frame, Chris DeSimone and Manny DeFreitas.

A very special thanks event’s presenting sponsor, Steve Madden and our table sponsors which included:

Atlantic Agency

Blair Insurance

CHIPS Technology Group

Executive Business Association

Fat Guy Media

Judicial Title

MassMutual LI Metro

Merrick Madmen

New York Auto Giant

The Murph's Famous Bloody-Mary Mix

“LOL for Mentoring” Comedy Fundraiser Night

On Wednesday, February 25th, more than one-hundred thirty people gathered at Governor’s of Levittown to attend the first annual “LOL for Mentoring” Comedy Fundraiser Night benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI).

A special thank you to the night’s presenting sponsors, Executive Business Association (EBA) and Network Long Island (NLI) who made the event possible. Both groups value the power of networking and decided to bring their members together for a night of networking and lots of laughs, all in support of BBBSLI’s mentoring program which helps to change the lives of children throughout Long Island for the better …forever!

“Those in attendance at our Comedy Fundraiser Night thought enough to come out to support the work BBBSLI does, everyone laughed, and some of us laughed so hard we cried”, said BBBSLI Director of Development, Jamison Skala. “It brings to mind a quote from Jim Valvano who said, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that … you're going to have something special”. We know we have something special at BBBSLI, and the turnout tonight validated that.”

In addition we’d like to thank our table sponsors 1st Equity Title & PinkTie.org, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, DeFreitas & Minsky, Feldman Kramer & Monaco, GNP Branded Gear, Hille Design, Janney Montgomery Scott, Meyer Suozzi and Rosenthal & Rosenthal who helped support the event.

The night also included Chinese auction style raffles giving attendees the opportunity to take home one of the many great prizes including a 50” Samsung LED-TV, Hotel Indigo wine & spirits getaway for two and a custom framed Mariano Rivera dirt & jersey collage.

Thanks to all those who helped make the night a memorable one. We look forward to coming together again to “LOL for Mentoring” at next year’s Comedy Fundraiser Night!

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