THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF BELLPORT AREA PRESENTS
‘BEACH BALL THE ART OF SUMMER, 2015’
The Boys & Girls Club of Bellport Area held their 12th Annual Beach Ball at the gorgeous Bayfront home of Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond. Over 550 people attended the festive affair and by the end of the night the event raised over $330,000, the largest amount raised in Beach Ball history.
A 6pm kick off; guests were treated to cocktails and delicious bites provided by Chef John Wiecks, and served by Boys & Girls Club teens. The evening also featured a spectacular Live and Silent auction themed around the “Art of Summer” with items ranging from an OMEGA watch to a personal Grucci Fireworks show.
Midway through the event, Executive Director, Tracie Romandetti, took the stage to thank all of the attendees and the organizers including Event Chair, Barry Podgorsky. Tracie then proceeded to introduce the club’s 2015 Youth of the Year, Christina Colas. Christina was brought to the stage to speak about her incredible journey and how the club was such an important part of her life. “The Boys & Girls Club came through to me at a point in my life where I needed an escape, ” Christina stated. She continued, “Just knowing that I had a group of people care about me put a smile on my face in times of darkness.”
After Christina’s moving speech, Christie’s benefit auctioneer, Lydia Fenet took the stage for the live auction. Hot ticket items included a personal Grucci Fireworks show, which went for $8,000 to Alexandra Lebenthal, who then told Lydia that she would be donating the show to next year’s Beach Ball event. Perhaps the most exciting item of the night was four VIP tickets to the Global Citizen Festival with VIP performances including Ed Sheeran, which sold for $10,000. Immediately following the auction, guests were escorted outside where they enjoyed an awe-inspiring private show from Fireworks by Grucci to close the evening in style.
Guests included: Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond, Barry Podgorsky, Debbie and Phil Grucci, Dana Buchman, James Danziger, John DeStefano, Jim and Libby Ryan, Howard and Katia Read, Mark Petheram, Michael Mullaney, Carl Hedin, Bob Morris, Jay Johnson, Tom Cashin, Stefan Beckman and Terence Noonan.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area has been operating since 1965 as the Bellport Area Community Action Committee Inc. (B.A.C.A.C.) and affiliated with BGCA in 1996. The Club serves over 700 members, between the ages of 5-19, and many other youths through various annual activities. Members are young people from disadvantaged economic, social and family circumstances; nearly three-quarters of annual household incomes are $19,000 or less and one-third receive some form of government support.
Its mission is to inspire and enable all young people and especially those in the Bellport Area and South Shore. In 2012, they completed a 28,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in North Bellport which includes teen & junior game rooms, teen & junior learning centers, computer lab, teaching kitchen, library, dance room, recording studio, gym and community room/theater. Historically, the North Bellport neighborhood is a high-need area that has suffered chronic indications of community disorganization, poverty, crime and drug abuse, gang violence, academic failure and high dropout rates.
All proceeds from the Beach Ball contribute to the operating expenses of the Boys & Girls Clubhouse and ensure that over 700 children, ages 5 through 19 have a safe place to learn, grow and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging and community.