Social service agency celebrates its 100th anniversary
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
HeartShare Human Services of New York raised $700,000 at its Spring Gala and Auction on March 27, an event that also marked the 100th anniversary of the non-profit social services agency based in downtown Brooklyn.
Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, was the guest of honor at the gala, which took place at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
More than 1,100 people attended the dinner, where they got the chance to rub elbows with television celebrities and bid on items up for auction that included electric guitars autographed by music legends Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Bon Jovi, a 22-seat luxury suite behind home plate at Yankee Stadium, and a hotel stay, airfare and tickets to see Justin Timberlake in concert in New Orleans.
Scissura, who said he was honored to receive recognition from HeartShare, praised the agency. “As a lifelong Brooklynite, it is inspiring to see that HeartShare is doing such important work in my home borough. It’s also incredibly impressive that HeartShare has endured 100 years and has become a thriving New York business in the process,” he said.
HeartShare provides a variety of services to the developmentally disabled, the elderly and HIV-AIDS patients, including housing, education, job training and counseling. The agency serves a population that ranges from infants to senior citizens.
“HeartShare was founded in 1914 as a Brooklyn-based organization to care for New York’s neediest children. Today, we are a $150 million and the third largest children’s services agency in New York. Our journey continues into a second century service,” said Bill Guarinello, the agency’s president and CEO.
Guarinello is also chairman of Community Board 11 in Bensonhurst.
At the gala, HeartShare also paid tribute to 80 of its former honorees with its Centennial Anniversary Award, recognizing outstanding service on behalf of the community.
Among the former gala honorees in attendance were National Grid President Kenneth D. Daly (2012); President and CEO of American Stock Transfer Company LLC Mark C. Healy (2011); “Get Smart” actress Barbara “Agent 99” Feldon, (2007); President and CEO of Victoria’s Secret, Sharen Jester Turney (2005); Emmy Award winning actress Linda Dano (1992); and actor Danny Aiello (1990).
The awards were presented by Guarinello and CUNY-TV correspondent Donna Hanover.
Other guests included actresses Amy Carlson and Abigail Hawk from CBS police drama “Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos” actor Dan Grimaldi, MLB Network Host Sam Ryan, as well as long-time HeartShare Board Member and Q104.3 radio show host Jim Kerr, who served as master of ceremonies, and his Q104.3 co-host Shelli Sonstein.
Kerr also served as an auctioneer at the auction.
The celebratory evening concluded with a balloon drop.
The Spring Gala and Auction benefits HeartShare’s programs that serve almost 29,000 New Yorkers in need, according to HeartShare officials.