Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 17 June 2011 00:00
Some families on the North Shore need some help after school. Many hard-working parents cannot be home at 3 p.m., so they need a place where they can trust that their kids are not only being taken care of, but also getting their homework done.
Fortunately for some Manhasset area families, there is Adventures In Learning, an after school program serving local elementary students in need for 42 years and running. At Adventures In Learning, or AIL, kids are bused directly from school to a safe, nurturing environment where trained teachers and caring staff provide a healthy snack, give one-on-one help with homework and then engage the students in fun and educational activities like dance, science, sports, art, music and Scouting.
AIL is the only free program of its kind on Long Island. Even more amazing, the whole thing is privately funded. Generous donations from community members keep it all going. Every year, caring donors help ensure that local families can utilize AIL’s services as one more way to help their kids achieve great things.
The most recent show of local generosity was at this spring’s wine tasting, where AIL invited supporters to the Saint Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset.
Amidst the grandeur of the historic mansion, AIL’s dedicated supporters got the chance to learn about a variety of fine wines. Moving throughout the elegant halls of Saint Ignatius, attendees were invited into different rooms where specific wines were paired with appropriate hors d’oeuvres. Famed sommelier Lee Campbell, a celebrity in her own right in the Manhattan/Hamptons high-end restaurant circuit, led the fun, teaching guests about each delicious wine as they traveled the retreat house.
As far the pairing, local residents and AIL supporters Angela and Gino Barbuti, owners of La Boite en Bois in Manhattan, provided many of the wines and Mr. Barbuti, the restaurant’s chef, coordinated the selection of hors d’oeuvres to accentuate each vintage. AIL Board President Kurt Kiess also arranged for two cases of fine wines from Napa Valley to be put up for silent auction and to serve as raffle prizes.
It was no wonder that the turnout was great. Even on a rainy Sunday night, the atmosphere was bright and enthusiastic.
AIL Executive Director Diana Holden said she was thankful to all those who made the event, and who continue to make the program, a success.
“It is wonderful that the community appreciates the role AIL plays in people’s lives and continues to support us,” Ms. Holden shared. “I’d also like to thank all the volunteers who worked so hard to help us put together such a beautiful evening.”
There is another chance to have fun and help AIL next Thursday, June 23 from 7 – 9 p.m. at Ann Taylor, Americana Manhasset. Stylists are available to help you find the perfect look. You may choose from new merchandise and sale items. There are hors d’oeuvres and wine while you shop! Ten percent of pretax purchases made on Thursday evening, June 23 and all day Friday, June 24 will be donated to Adventures in Learning.
For more information on donating or volunteering at AIL, visit www.adventures-in-learning.org or call 365-7131. Readers may also mail checks to Adventures In Learning, Inc., PO Box 1054, Manhasset, NY 11030 or use PayPal on the website.