Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00
When she moved with her family from Queens, Kristen Kenny, now 22, needed a place to make friends. Mikey Zangari, now 20, was shy and making friends was difficult.
“The Boys & Girls Club gave me a positive place to find good friends,” says Kenny. “But beyond that it helped me decide to become a teacher.”
Zangari agrees: “I was a timid kid, but coming to the North Shore Boys & Girls Club (NSBGC) helped me come out of my shell and made me more out-going. The club helped create who I am today. It taught me leadership skills and gave me a community to belong to.”
Today, as employees of NSBGC, Zangari and Kenny work with kids who might otherwise end up in a less positive environment.
“We give the kids one-on-one attention, help them with their homework, show them how to live without the influences that can sometimes send you in the wrong direction,” says Kenny. “They know we care, and as a result of that commitment they come to us with concerns and questions they aren’t necessarily comfortable asking other people.”
“We believe that every child has the potential to be great, to be productive, to succeed and to soar,” says Susan Wisnewski, the executive director of the North Shore Boys & Girls Club. “We can help them visualize and realize their future through programs that will both inspire and educate.”
To accomplish this mission, the North Shore Boys & Girls Club provides services that are based on the principles of a youth development strategy which promote the health, social, educational, vocational, character and leadership development of girls and boys served.
“In order to provide these much needed services to the children, we look to the community to help us achieve our goals,” says Wisnewski. “Through annual fundraising events like Casino Night, we are able to keep costs to our membership low, enabling all children to participate in NSBGC activities. At the same time, these events help us forge a stronger bond with our supporters and provide us with a platform to articulate — in a more personal way — the true impact of their contributions on the kids and community at large.”
In collaboration with National Boys and Girls Club Week, Casino Night will be held on Friday, April 20, at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. During the event, NSBGC will honor former New York Giants All-Pro linebacker and two-time Super Bowl Champion Carl Banks and North Shore Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick.
A requested donation of $125 includes a cocktail reception, dinner, open bar all night and $200 in gambling chips for Texas Hold’Em, Roulette, Craps, Black Jack and more.
Casino Night will include a Chinese auction for your winnings and a silent auction featuring New York Giants Super Bowl memorabilia and an exclusive Judith Ripka Jewelry Bar with designs from her 18k couture, sterling silver and 18k gold collections. A live auction will feature several “priceless” experiences, including 18 holes of golf as part of a foursome with Carl Banks and a trip for four golfers to play at the Trump International at Palm Beach and stay at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton for two nights.