On Friday, June 1, 2018, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester hosted its 24th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner, celebrating literacy and the arts. It was a star-studded party with over 400 guests and attendees included Joseph Abboud, Paul & Cathy Shaffer, Sloan Wainwright and Vanessa Williams, to name a few. The event honored Carolyn Quinn as the Humanitarian Award recipient and Peter Pucci as the John Beach Award recipient.
The gala was held at beautiful Birdstone Farm in Cross River, New York. Guests strolled through the charming stables and gathered outdoors to enjoy cocktails, appetizers and a bucolic vista. It was an evening of amazing performances! The highlight of cocktail hour was a dance performed by Club kids, which they helped choreograph during a semester-long workshop with honoree Peter Pucci. Later, the Club’s Cheer Squad brought the crowd to their feet with enthusiasm.
The Club’s President, Stuart Marwell, President & CEO of Curtis Instruments, unveiled a new Club awareness/volunteer campaign featuring Westchester-based celebrity/community leaders, such as Paul Shaffer, Joseph Abboud, Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Robert Klein, Sandra Lee, Alan Menken, Rob Thomas, the Wainwrights, Vanessa Williams, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Many of these leaders enjoyed having their children learn to swim at the Club.
Following a career at the Windward School in White Plains, honoree Carolyn Quinn began her volunteer work at the Club as a literacy tutor. She developed writing and reading workshops for kids at the Club and is a board member. Carolyn emphasized that “an unfortunate reality is that by middle school, there is no time left in the curriculum to help kids improve their reading fluency, yet this skill is critical to their success in school.” The literacy programming implemented by Carolyn at the Club is filling this gap.
Honoree Peter Pucci, a Lucille Lortel Award winner and a Drama Desk Award recipient, recently brought his talents to the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, sharing the joy of movement and choreography with Club kids. Peter made a heartfelt plea for continued support of the arts in education, sharing “any time kids have stress or problems, the opportunity to participate in the arts helps them to focus and be more productive.”
Two areas of programming significantly expanded at the Club include College Quest and Civic Advocacy and Leadership. The Club’s 2018 Youth of the Year, Stephanie Trejo, said, “I was a shy girl, afraid to speak up for myself, and now I am going to SUNY New Paltz this fall all because of the support I received at the Club, where for the last nine years, 100% of our seniors (including those designated at-risk) have gone on to college or technical school.”
About the BGCNW
Over 500 kids attend the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco daily, a safe place with committed teachers, mentors, tutors and volunteers. Over 85,000 free, nutritious meals are served to the children in after school programs each year— 67% of whom live at or below the poverty level. In addition, 50,000 kids have learned to be water-safe, while learning the benefits of physical fitness and good health. For nine years running, 100% of the Club’s high school seniors, including those deemed at-risk, have graduated on time and gone on to college or technical school.
News Courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester