By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
HeartShare Human Services of New York celebrated its 25th Annual Spring Gala and Auction by honoring five members of the community and raising more than $950,000, according to organizers. The honorees were: Mary Ellen Perrette and Michael Perrette, of Prudential; Thomas Kies, President, LINK Shareholder Services, LLC; Bruce Weksler, President, Bruce Supply Corporation; and Mike Woods, Fox 5’s Good Day New York.
One of the speakers at the event, James David, an adult with developmental disabilities, moved many of the guests with his sincerity, organizers said. David, who works at a law firm in Manhattan, lives in one of
HeartShare’s sponsored apartments. “Thanks to such a warm, friendly organization like HeartShare, I got my own private apartment in Glen Oaks. I am now a tenant!” David, who is writing a book about his life said. He said that it was not always easy for him growing up with a developmental disability and that people made fun of him. “But I forgive and forget and move onward and upwards,” he said.
“I want to express my sincerest appreciation to everyone who supported our gala in any way, be they guests or through sponsorships, tickets, journal ads, or the silent auction,” HeartShare President Bill Guarinello said. “We had more than 1,100 people in attendance something we haven’t seen in several years,” he said.
Through the silent auction, guests were bidding on items such as a Led Zeppelin autographed record, VIP tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, an autographed 2011 New York Giants team helmet, a three-night stay in Napa Valley, and more.
The live auction of a Celebrity Dinner, hosted by HeartShare Board Member Linda Dano and Nino Russo of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, raised $30,000 for HeartShare’s programs.
Celebrating its 99th year of existence, HeartShare, located in downtown Brooklyn, is a nonprofit organization that assists tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Its wide array of services assist individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities through numerous programs including education services, adult day programs, residential services, case management, recreation programs, family support services, and health services. It also provides counseling, after-school programs and foster care and adoption services to children and families, supports people affected by HIV/AIDS, and administers low-income energy assistance programs.
For more information, visit www.heartshare.org.