Toys for Sick Children Foundation, founded and run by local resident John Theissen, is hosting a Casino Night benefit in June for its Back to School Program. This program will help needy children from low income families across Long Island by providing them with new clothes and new school supplies for the 2003-2004 school year. Approximately 200 local children in kindergarten through high school will be provided with items. Each child will receive new clothes to wear, including everything from socks and underwear to shirts, pants and new shoes. The supplies will include, but are not limited to, backpacks, spiral notebooks, pencils, pens and other classroom necessities.
Back to school time can be difficult for many children whose families cannot afford new clothes or school supplies. Every child should have a chance to attend school and feel good about themselves. Students have shown that many children do not attend the first day of school because they are too embarrassed that they do not have new supplies and clothing. New clothes and school supplies are all significant items for a child who would otherwise go without.
The children will be given a profile page to fill out, which will include their name, age, sex, favorite color, clothing size, shoe size, what their preferences are as far as dresses or pants for girls and sportswear or plain clothes for boys. These children will be carefully selected through agencies and centers across Long Island. The distribution will take place in late August or early September before their first day of school.
In the past, the Toys for Sick Children Foundation has been able to sponsor a few children, and through this Back to School Program, they are able to help many more children. The foundation plans to make this an annual event. The children who have been touched by the foundation's donations in the past have made them realize there is a greater need out there and they are hoping to provide those children in need with higher self-esteem as they begin their new school year.
Local residents can help in the effort by attending Casino Night, to be held on Thursday, June 5 at the Woodbury Country Club from 6 to 11 p.m. Residents are invited to try their luck at dice, black jack, roulette and more while enjoying a gala buffet, music, dancing and open bar. Many prizes will also be offered.
Residents are invited to sponsor one of the 15 gaming tables for various fees. Sponsorship will be noted by a sponsorship sign on the table, which will include two tickets to the event and recognition on the events brochure. Options are sponsoring two roulette tables ($350 each), two dice tables ($350 each), eight black jack tables ($350 each), two poker tables ($350 each) one wheel table ($350 each) or be an event platinum sponsor ($5,000 each) for which they will receive 10 tickets to the event, name on a platinum sign and $2,000 worth of chips to play with.
Ticket reservations are $75. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by May 30. For more information, contact the Toys for Sick Children Foundation: 1632 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY 11793; phone - 679-5098, fax - 679-3338.