The holiday season kicked off with a bang as 200 supporters of the agency gathered for a dinner at the New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge with the theme “Celebration of Hope, Thanks and Giving.” The dinner, which took place on Nov. 29, raised $73,000 for HeartShare and included the presentation of three awards, a silent auction, wine tasting with a free raffle, and musical entertainment.
Guests bid on sports memorabilia autographed by Joe Namath, Eli Manning, David Wright, Mariano Rivera, and Mark Messier to name a few, ornaments autographed by Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Shania Twain, and more, and teddy bears dressed by top designers in the fashion field. There was also a “cork grab” in which guests purchased a numbered cork and won the bottle of wine with the matching number.
During the event, Robert Charles Golden, first vice chairman of HeartShare’s board of directors, was honored with the Ralph A. Subbiondo Excellence in Volunteerism Award for his 27 years of dedication and commitment to the agency. The award is named for the late Ralph Subbiondo who chaired the HeartShare board for nine years. He died in 2011.
Barbara Nowak-Cuthel was presented with the Excellence in Programmatic Volunteerism Award for her role in creating ArtShare for HeartShare, an art program for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This program helps individuals develop their artistic abilities and express themselves through painting, drawing, photography, and jewelry making.
The James J. Buckley Excellence in Event Volunteerism Award was presented to the 31 members of the Buckley-Kennedy’s Run and Jim Buckley Memorial Golf Outing Committees for their hard work organizing those events over the past 20 years. Jim Buckley was a dedicated member of HeartShare’s Board and champion of the agency for nearly 30 years before passing away in 2010.
“There were many people in attendance who are still dealing with the effects of Sandy, yet they showed up to be part of this special night honoring our terrific volunteers,” said Bill Guarinello, HeartShare’s president and CEO. “HeartShare is truly blessed to have such devoted friends, and I deeply appreciate their continued support of our programs and services to children, adults and families throughout Brooklyn, Queens
and Staten Island,” he said.
Celebrating its 98th year, HeartShare is a nonprofit organization that assists 20,000 New Yorkers. Its 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 assistance with foster care and adoption to children and families, supports people affected by HIV/AIDS, and administers low-income energy assistance programs.