Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 11 June 2010 00:00
The Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich celebrated their 40 years of service to the community at the home of Robin and Enrique Senior of Laurel Hollow on Saturday night, April 24. Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) said, “The event was wonderful and for a needed and appreciated cause to help our youth and our families. It was an honor to attend. The Seniors truly exemplify the saying, ‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.’ Everyone present just cares, has compassion and are devoted to helping others.”
YFCA Board President Tim Archdeacon thanked Robin and Enrique Senior for hosting the fundraiser for the third time. He welcomed guests saying, “With your support, the generosity of the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay and the hard working staff at the YFCA, we are able to continue our important mission.”
Mr. Archdeacon asked for a moment of silence to honor the late Tom Reardon saying, “He served the YFCA for seven years as president and many more years as a board member. He was a dedicated member of our community, active in too many charities to name and an all-around-giver. Please join me in a moment of silence on the memory of our dear friend, Tom Reardon.”
Mr. Archdeacon also recognized Shirlee Gerstein, who has been with the agency since its inception and who, late last year, marked 40 years of service to the YFCA. Their mission statement is to provide a wide range of mental health and social welfare services designed to strengthen the lives of individuals and families of the Hamlet of Oyster Bay and its surrounding communities – without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or ability to pay.
He said, “Shirlee Gerstein has been the face of the YFCA her entire career. She has dedicated her life to helping others. She’s sat quietly without judgment as thousands of families and children come through our doors seeking help.
“She’s worked with many other charities to ensure food is available for those in need. At Christmas time she works diligently to match anonymous donors with anonymous recipients to ensure no family in our community is without. When we run a little short on bus fare for our summer camp scholarships, Shirlee flips through her rolodex and raises the money needed to make sure every kid gets to camp. And what’s most amazing in all of this is that Shirlee has never done this for accolades. She’s probably not even comfortable right now being recognized for her efforts. Her sole reward: the smiles on the faces of the children and families she and the YFCA have helped.
“Shirlee you’re an example of charity we should all aspire to. On behalf of the YFCA board and all of our supporters, thank you.”
Jack Bernstein added, “Shirlee Gerstein is an amazing lady who has been there for 40 years. She was there when I was here on the board. And Lynwood Bullock’s daughter is here. He is the guy who started this, Lyn and the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay: Abby and George O’Neill.” Mr. Bernstein served as board president. He said he came to the event especially to honor fellow Rotarian and friend Tom Reardon.