Bay Ridge luncheon raises funds for student scholarships

Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, Kassenbrock Fund Administrator Mary Ann Walsh, Ralph Succar, president of Empire State Development LLC, and Kassenbrock Fund committee member Arlene Keating look forward to a great luncheon.

Lucky winners take home dozens of raffle prizes

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The guests eagerly placed their bids on prizes that ranged from a 19-inch flat screen television to a Coach make-up case to a brownie maker. More than 50 prizes were there for the taking, if you had the right raffle ticket.

The trustees of the Kassenbrock Brothers Memorial Scholarship Fund held their annual luncheon on March 9 at the Bay Ridge Manor to raise money for scholarships the group awards to college-bound students each spring.

The organization raises funds through the luncheon ticket sales, as well as from raffle tickets.

Guests purchase raffle tickets upon entering the luncheon and then place half of their raffle tickets into plastic cups in front of the prizes they would like to win. They hold onto the other half of the raffle ticket in case their number is called, of course.

The prizes included a Keurig coffee maker, a 2.5-pound box of Whitman Sampler chocolates, a tablecloth and serving dish, a three-tier cake dish, a $25 gift card to Dunkin Donuts, a set of Olive branch china, service for 12 and a London Fog pocketbook.

“Because of your generosity, we are able to award many, many scholarships,” Mary Ann Walsh, the fund’s administrator, told the guests at the luncheon.

The scholarship fund, named in memory of Vincent and Walter Kassenbrock, the founders of the Bay Ridge Community Council, was established nearly 40 years ago to students for their community service projects.

To be eligible, a student must maintain good grades and be able to document the results of a completed community service project. Students have been awarded Kassenbrock money for cleaning up local parks, volunteering at nursing homes, tutoring, organizing blood drives and conducting graffiti removal projects.

“Every year when we are looking at the applications, I’ve astounded by the amount of service these kids do,” Walsh told the Brooklyn Eagle in a recent interview.

The scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $4,000, aren’t enough to pay a student’s college tuition but can provide a boost to a cash-strapped student looking to buy college textbooks.

The Kassenbrock brothers started the community council in 1951 to bring together the dozens of civic, business and religious groups that were all working toward the same goal – to improve the quality of life for residents of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton – and have them work together.

While the fund was set up to memorialize the community council’s founders, it is technically not part of the council. The fund operates independent of the community council.

The fund, which is operated by a board of trustees, hands out approximately a dozen scholarships a year. The awards are announced in the spring.

In addition to the numerous prizes that were being raffled off, a special raffle was held in memory of the late Frank Conti, a Bay Ridge resident. His family donated more than $1,000 toward the raffle, the proceeds of which were donated to the scholarship fund.



March 11, 2014 - 11:00am



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