Archive for the tag 'fundraising'

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:

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.


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.


The new exhibit building and shimmer wall. (Source:

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, 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, 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.”

Source: The Snapper

The Shorefront Y will be teaming up with the Brooklyn Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative (BASDI) to host its Third Annual Walk for Autism, this Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. along the Coney Island boardwalk, starting at West 10th Street. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m.

The annual walk aims to raise awareness and funds in order to create new programs and maintain vital ongoing services and programs to families living with autism and other developmental disabilities. All proceeds from the walk will benefit programs at participating BASDI organizations serving children with special needs throughout southern Brooklyn.

The 1.2 mile walk will conclude at the Shorefront Y, 3300 Coney Island Avenue, where there will be a chance to learn more about special needs programming, network with peers, and enjoy refreshments.

To register for this event, or to make a pledge, click here. To learn more about the Shorefront Y, visit

Source: Google Maps

A Coney Island church that played a major role Sandy relief efforts is now in need of help, according to a story in The New York World.

According to the article, the largest church in Coney Island, the Coney Island Gospel Assembly at 2828 Neptune Avenue, opened its doors following Sandy to be filled with supplies such as canned foods and bottled water and had medical staff working inside. Later, the Red Cross set up just outside the church.

Even before Sandy, the church had deep roots serving the community’s neediest.

Over the years the church had hosted a variety of social services within its walls, including a homeless shelter, summer activities for children, a truancy reduction program and a food distribution service run by Operation Blessing, the Rev. Pat Robertson’s nonprofit. She has counseled families through addictions, illnesses and interventions, and more gang-related deaths than she can count.

The church may have been a lifesaver to those affected by the storm, but it too could use a helping hand. The basement of the church had flooded, causing $1.5 million in damages.

According to the article, the church has received some of the generosity that it has been giving out. In November, it received $125,000 from a non-profit organization called Mercury One and in December it received $75,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation.

These donations have made a difference but the church is still struggling.

The church is currently surviving on weekly offerings at Sunday service. It can’t apply for a loan because there is no way to pay back the money. FEMA can’t help because a house of worship is not eligible for aid, although the House of Representatives has passed a bill that may change this.

Source: LA Boxing Brooklyn / Facebook

Our friends at LA Boxing of Brooklyn (16 Brighton 11th Street), which will soon celebrate its grand opening, dropped us a note saying that they will host a Women’s Self Defense seminar which will benefit local ladies in need of some butt-kicking knowledge, as well as local charities.

Taught by WEC Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough, the seminar will walk attendees through the basics of self-defense. It will take place on Sunday, February 10, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

According to their Facebook page, it’s a free event, but they’re asking for a voluntary donation of $15, which will be given to New York Cares, Chabad of Manhattan Beach and other organizations. Call (718) 975-7100 to reserve a spot.

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