Archive for the tag 'fundraising'

The Friends of the Sheepshead Bay Library have organized book sales.

The Friends of the Sheepshead Bay Library have organized book sales.

It looks like the Sheepshead Bay branch of the Brooklyn Public Library has its own “Friends of” group, a committee of neighbors who raise funds and contribute to programming for the local site.

We’ve just received word that today, August 8, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. there is a “carnival” at the library to bring in donations for improvements to the institution. There will be refreshments and live entertainment, and all donations go to supporting the Sheepshead Bay branch at 2636 East 14th Street.

We’re not sure how long the Friends of group has been around, but it’s happy news to us. Sheepshead Bites encourages you to get down there and spend a little money so the local library can get the improvements it so desperately needs.

UPDATE (12:24 p.m.): Sheepshead Bay Library supervisor Svetlana Negrimovskaya emailed us a little more information about the Friends group:

The most unique library “Friends” group was formed by the members of our monthly “Russian Literature Club” and very soon, teens ages 14-18 from our young adult “Books and Cooks” weekly program joined the adult Friends. (run by  Friends group President. Anna Nemirovsky – member of the Sheepshead Bay Russian Literature Club) Group was formed very recently!

Teen friends are not only helping with fundraising for their home library, but they also enjoy cooking and baking multicultural recipes in the library kitchen, as well as conducting interactive storytelling, puppets shows, arts / crafts workshops, stage readings, board games for children, teaching e-mail and computer skills to seniors.

Source: MyTudut/Flickr

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is announcing that he has joined forces with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens to host a back to school collection drive for local students in need.

Residents are being encouraged to donate new school supplies including notebooks, crayons, back packs, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, highlighters, washable glue sticks, 2-pocket folders, 3 x 5 line Index cards, etc.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “As we turn the calendar on the month of August, we begin to prepare our students and families to go back to school. For some families, the need to get their kids ready to learn and participate in another school year poses a financial challenge, and so we are being asked to help out and make a donation of some essential items. This year I hope that this community will again come together to support our neighbors in need so their children can have the same opportunities this year in the classroom. I hope you will join me in making a donation.”

Those wishing to make a donation of items can drop them off on or before Friday, August 15th at either of Senator Golden’s district offices at 7408-5th Avenue or at 3604 Quentin Road. For more information, please contact the Senator Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is backtracking on details of an overseas trip in which he spent more than $1,300 in campaign funds at a hotel, three restaurants and a gift shop in Barcelona and Germany, bringing guffaws from good government advocates.

The local pol’s European spending, first reported by the New York Observer, covered a three-day spree in February. Cymbrowitz’s campaign finance disclosures show he spent $189 at a souvenir shop in Munich, which he filed away as “office expenses.” In Barcelona, the assemblyman spent $819 at the five-star Hotel Majestic, and nearly $300 over four visits to three restaurants, including the top-rated tapas bar Cerveceria Catalana.

Asked about the spending by Sheepshead Bites following the Observer article, Cymbrowitz spokesperson Adrienne Knoll forward the following statement which was also sent to the Observer:

As the child of Holocaust survivors, I promised my parents I would do everything in my power to help Holocaust survivors and to not let our world fall into the destructive grips of fascism ever again. In keeping that pledge I made more than 50 years ago, I visited Munich, Germany, and had an opportunity to visit the Dachau memorial site, where more than 32,000 Jews and non-Jews were killed. During my visit I was reminded of the fact that one in four of the approximately 140,000 Holocaust survivors in the United States – 38,000 of whom live in Brooklyn, the majority of them in my district – are living at or below the poverty line.

After a number of Russian-speaking survivors in my district were denied benefits from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany due to bureaucratic snafus, my office intervened. To advocate on behalf of these Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors, I met with a board member from the Claims Conference during my trip to Munich, as well as with a number of board members back here in the U.S., in order to rectify the situation and to ensure that some small measure of justice is achieved.

I also met with city officials in Munich to discuss the issue of Neo-Nazism and how the German government works on putting together programs for the Jewish community to help Jewish seniors and children. As the state legislator with the largest Sephardic Jewish population in the state, I was invited to Barcelona to meet with city officials and members of local, prominent Jewish organizations.

The spokesperson added the following, “[Cymbrowitz] went with other legislators. [The Observer] made it sound like a solo excursion and that wasn’t the case.”

However, after follow-up questions asking Cymbrowitz’s office to specify legislators were also on the trip, the spokesperson reversed course on that assertion.

“One correction….he didn’t go with other legislators. Sorry,” Knoll said, via e-mail.

In response to our request for details on his being “invited” to Barcelona, we received another e-mail stating, “He was not invited to Barcelona. That was an error. As the assemblyman who represents a large Sephardic community with roots in Spain, he went to Barcelona to meet with the remaining members of the Sephardic community to talk about the rise in anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism.”

Cymbrowitz’s office did not respond to additional questions about the “city officials and members of local, prominent Jewish organizations” he met with while in Barcelona, and declined to provide an itinerary or appointment calendar.

His office also declined to explain why $189 was spent at a souvenir shop and listed as “office expenses” for the campaign.

The expenses did not involve taxpayer money, and campaign finance regulations allow funds to be spent at the candidate’s discretion, so long as they can explain how it relates to their office they’re running for.

Cymbrowitz’s spending, though, has brought criticism from Common Cause, a good government group that advocates for tighter controls of campaign spending as well as publicly financed campaigns.

“This kind of conduct, using campaign dollars to stay at five-star hotels, to buy expensive souvenirs in exotic places, simply fuels the public cynicism about elected officials and campaigns,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause. “There should be clear delineation between what is and isn’t a campaign expense, especially since so many public officials don’t seem to have their own guidance system about what’s appropriate.”

Lerner said Cymbrowitz’s explanations – and back-tracking – doesn’t pass the sniff test, and reflects poorly on Albany culture.

“It’s kind of amazing. He’s trying to come up with justifications [for travel spending] after the fact. It just seems to be egregious to justify the spending at five-star hotels and restaurants in the interest of Holocaust survivors. It’s really kind of unbelievable,” she said.

She added that she doubted his claim of visiting Barcelona’s small Jewish community to discuss antisemitism, since most contemporary incidents are in central Europe.

“There seems to be tenuous connection [between visiting Spain and his duties as an office-holder] and there should be a full accounting of the facts and a precise record of his activities. Then voters can decide for themselves,” she said.

Previous walk. (Source: Shorefront Y)

Previous walk. (Source: Shorefront Y)

The following is a press release from the Shorefront Y:

This Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., the Brooklyn Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative (BASDI) & the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach will host its Fourth Annual Walk for Autism.

The annual Walk for Autism seeks to raise community awareness as well as crucial funds needed to develop additional programming along with maintaining vital ongoing services that are now available to families living with Autism & other developmental disabilities in southern Brooklyn. All proceeds from the walk will benefit programs at participating organizations serving children with special needs.

Walk for Autism participants, along with local politicians and participating organizations will gather right on the Coney Island boardwalk at the end of West 10th Street. This 1.2 mile walk will then conclude at the Shorefront Y (3300 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235) where there will be an opportunity to learn more about special needs programming, network with peers, & enjoy refreshments.

What: Fourth Annual Walk for Autism

When: June 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM (registration starts at 10:00 AM)

Where: Coney Island Boardwalk at the end of West 10th Street in Brooklyn, NY 11224

Cost: Registration fee is just $10 per person and includes a raffle ticket & a free t-shirt.

Early registration is encouraged; however participants will be able to register on the day of the event starting at 10:00 a.m. For those who would like to register in advance or make a donation, please visit the following website:

http://www.shorefronty.org/autism-walk.aspx

Participating BASDI organizations are Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton-Manhattan Beach, Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, & Kings Bay YM-YWHA, in partnership with UJA-Federation & J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, & NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

tete

The folks over at Tete-a-Tete Cafe (2601 East 14th Street) are teaming up with the Shorefront Y, the Kings Bay Y, the JCC of Bensonhurst and several other organizations to help raise money for area children with special needs.

From now until June 8 – exactly one month from today – the cafe will be donating 50 cents from the sale of every medium-sized latte or cappuccino.

The funds will go towards the Brooklyn Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative (BASDI) Fourth Annual Walk for Autism, which takes place on June 8 at 11 a.m. along the Riegelmann Boardwalk. The walk helps raise money for free programs for kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, helping Southern Brooklyn families who struggle with the financial burden required to meet their kids’ special needs.

Aside from buying some java, you can register to participate in the walk itself ($10), or donate money through the Shorefront Y’s website.

The New York Aquarium in Coney Island broke ground on Friday on a new shark exhibit officials hope will revitalize the institution.

The 57,000-square-foot facility called “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” will hold 115 species including more than 45 different kinds of sharks, and guests will be able to view the creatures from all sides with the installation of a 360-degree coral reef tunnel.

Last year we reported that the aquarium had been all but destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, with repairs costing taxpayers approximately $65 million The new sharks exhibit carries a $157.1 million and is due to open sometime in 2016.

“You will be surrounded on all sides by not only sharks, but by schools of bright colored bony fish and the sort of beauty of the tropics that we all associate with diving,” Jon Forrest Dohlin, aquarium director and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told the Daily News.

The new building will be three-stories high and there will be a laboratory above the exhibit for children to learn more about the many species inside. On top will be a roof-deck overlooking the ocean.

In December, we wrote about the flashy “shimmer wall” that will wrap around the facility, on which neighbors can make a small donation to have their name digitally projected on one of the 33,000 aluminum tiles.

Source: NYAquarium.org

The new exhibit building and shimmer wall. (Source: NYAquarium.org)

Superstorm Sandy dealt some devastating damage to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, and much of it still remains closed today. But the institution says they’re seeing this as an opportunity to launch a new chapter in its history, and it’s forging ahead with plans for the first new facility and exhibit in years: “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!”

The ultra-modern building will abut the boardwalk, hoping to lure in a few new faces with its glitzy look.

But that look is also helping their fundraising goals. The entire exterior is wrapped in a shimmer wall, “a mesmerizing work of art” built of 33,000 aluminum tiles that “use wind and reflective sunlight to create a fluid, glittering surface reminiscent of schooling fish and ocean waves.”

To help raise funds for upgrades and repairs to the entire aquarium, they’re now allowing donors to purchase virtual tiles with their names on it. The virtual tiles will move around the shimmering wall, customized by the donor with colors, animal themes and messages for the aquarium.

Why should you donate? Jon Forrest Dohlin, the director of the New York Aquarium, says in an op-ed in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that the institution plays a critical role in supporting the local community, but it’s still suffering setbacks from Sandy:

A beloved Brooklyn landmark, the WCS New York Aquarium was closed for seven months for the initial cleanup after it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. While many of the complex electrical and life support systems for the animals still need replacement, there is much to celebrate this holiday season.

More than 350,000 people have visited since the aquarium’s partial reopening this past May. We’re also looking ahead to the expansion and transformation of the aquarium as we lead the renaissance taking place in Coney Island.

The aquarium is important to the economy of New York City, to the education of our city’s school children, and to the conservation of New York’s ocean and waterways, and WCS marine conservation efforts around the world.  An economic engine in South Brooklyn, we pump about $58 million into the local economy, see 12,000 kids in our classrooms and reach about 220,000 more students who visit our facility and use our science education programs each year. These roles will grow stronger with the rebuilding of those exhibits devastated by Sandy and the opening of our new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit in 2016.

You can learn more about Ocean Wonders: Sharks! and the shimmer wall here, as well as make a donation.

Seigel with staff and volunteers during the turkey raffle.

Seigel with staff and volunteers during the turkey raffle.

A CIH community affairs member with a patient during the turkey raffle.

A CIH community affairs member with a patient during the turkey raffle.

Eleven years ago, a doctor at Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) decided to do more than heal his patients, he wanted to ensure they had full stomachs on Thanksgiving eve. So Dr. Warren Seigel, chairman of the hospital’s pediatrics department and director of adolescent medicine, kicked off an annual tradition of raising money to raffle off turkeys and halal chickens to his patients in need.

Seigel and his team raised enough money this year to distribute 102 turkeys and halal chickens before the holiday. Most of the funds came from employees at the hospital and support from Metroplus.

The tradition began 11 years ago when Seigel was surprised to find that many of his patients would not have a traditional holiday turkey. At first he thought it was a cultural difference – the hospital’s patience cover the gamut of Brooklyn’s diversity – but later learned that many couldn’t afford the holiday fowl.

Seigel, though, didn’t want to simply hold a turkey giveaway for needy patients.

“We were very sensitive to the fact that people don’t want to receive a handout,” he said. So he turned it into an event with movies, face painting and other entertainment for his adolescent patients, and held a free raffle for the turkeys and chickens as part of the event. “So it’s not like we just gave them something; they won something,” he said.

No one left the event empty-handed, he noted, saying that toys and treats were also distributed.

Although the event was born 11 years ago, this was only the 10th time they did it. Superstorm Sandy squashed the plans last year.

“When Sandy hit we had no electricity. We had no way to do this. We couldn’t even pick up the turkeys because there was no gas in our cars. It made us feel bad because it was the time when people needed it the most,” Seigel recalled.

But the return of the tradition, and the enormous amount they managed to distribute this year, signaled a welcome return to normalcy.

“It’s just wonderful. It makes [our patients] feel so wonderful and it reminds all of us how lucky we are,” Seigel said.

Source: GoodNCrazy/Flickr

The Shorefront Y is hosting a Children’s Book Fair on Sunday, November 24, from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. to help raise money for the institution’s special needs children, seniors and early childhood programs.

There will be tons of kids books, as well as readings, raffles, arts and crafts and a special performance by an Israeli dance troupe. No kids event would be complete without photo opportunities with Cinderella, Harry Potter, Iron Man and Shrek.

The fair will have specially priced books and educational product including from popular series, award-winning titles, new releases and best sellers from more than 100 publishers.

If you can’t make it, you can still help the Shorefront Y raise some much-needed money for their programs by making purchases through their online book fair, available until December 7. Just visit please visit www.scholastic.com/bookfairs, click “FIND A FAIR” and enter 11235 in the zip code field.

The Shorefront Y is located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue, and the rair runs from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Participants in this year’s Autism Walk.

When the Southern Brooklyn community wants to raise awareness for a good cause, they know how to do it – even in stormy weather.

On Sunday, May 19, approximately 170 Southern Brooklyn locals gathered at the New York Aquarium to walk 1.2 miles of the boardwalk to Coney Island Avenue. Together, they marched until Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Beach to raise awareness for autism.

Lilach Koch, the Special Needs Program director at the Shorefront Y, said that walks like this are vital to create greater knowledge and education about autism, as well as raise funds.

“This will create a community that recognizes and accepts individuals with autism and supports their families,” Koch said.

The three main goals of the walk? To educate, to recognize, and to gain support for the programs for disabilities.

“It’s important that the leaders of the community understand that it’s a great cause. We are here. We need your support. These programs are scarce,” Koch said.

Two other local Jewish Community Centers – the JCH of Bensonhurst and Kings Bay Y – collaborated on the effort.

Autism is a developmental disorder of brain function. Characteristics typically include impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests.

According to AutismSpeaks.org, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify 1 in 88 American children on the autism spectrum. Statistically, there are more children affected by autism than diabetes, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome combined.

The event saw well known community figures like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and a host of community volunteers.

“Our mission is to strengthen the skills of our clients and support them and their families from early childhood to adulthood. We believe in our developmentally disabled clients and direct them to become more independent, functional and happy individuals,” Koch added.

Koch explained that many of these programs are free to the community, and that Southern Brooklyn families cannot afford many of the more expensive options available.

“We do understand our families’ needs on both the practical and emotional levels, and we constantly seek for channels to provide families with as many free and low cost services and programs as possible,” said Koch.

Karreell Pereira, a Shorefront Y member, visits the community center weekly with her husband and young boys.  Her two sons, age seven and eight, were at the event as well, supporting after-school classmates.

“It means a lot to me, being around other parents. It opens my eyes. It shows me how other parents operate, and shows me how blessed I am,” Pereira said. “We are capable of making a drastic change. These programs need to be nourished and should be promoted.”

“They love it here,” she said. “It opens their eyes to what’s really going on in our community. It helps you see not only your situation, but other people’s situations.”

Currently, the Shorefront Y offers free after-school programs for children ages 5 to 13, a Sunday Funday social skills recreational program for children ages 5 to 12, and a series of other educational workshops for parents and families. They hope to support families in need.

Michelle Pisani-Hinojo said that rain or shine, she will support this walk for years to come. Her 11-year-old daughter, Amber, has autism.

“The weather put a damper on the event, but not on the spirit. It makes me feel like I’m not alone. The public is becoming aware. It feels good that people are willing to work together for awareness,” Pisani-Hinojo said.

“It’s symbolic, you know? Some days will be sunny days, and other day’s it’ll rain,” Pisani-Hinojo said. “Even on the bad days, you need to stay strong and still be supportive. We can’t give up.”

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