Tag Archives: fundraising

Queens West Kiwanis clubs donate to Project Eliminate

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy JP DiTroia

The 17 clubs of the Kiwanis Queens West Division have helped raise $47,000 for the Kiwanis International’s Project Eliminate, which fights to end maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) around the world.

Currently, Kiwanis International has raised $100 million over the last four years for Project Eliminate, saving 50 million babies and mothers from this painful disease. The goal is to reach $110 million by the end of the year, saving an additional 5 million mothers and their children.

MNT causes newborn babies to suffer from repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. It also can have negative effects on mothers, causing them to die too.

“In our clubs we raised $47,000 from the 17 Queens West divisions,” said J.P. DiTroia, lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Queens West. “Middle Village raised over $9,000. I’m very proud of our division. This is the power of Kiwanis.”

DiTroia said the clubs were able to raise the money through fundraising events, walks, individual donations and matching grants.

“We are very happy. Hopefully we can get more donations,” DiTroia said. “It has been a long rollercoaster ride. I am confident that they will reach the goal.”

The Kiwanis clubs of New York State have raised over 1 million dollars toward Project Eliminate.

“This disease is hard on the babies and hard on the mothers. Both can die from tetanus,” DiTroia said. “I am grateful that we made the donations that we did. I am confident that Kiwanis will get it done. We have great energy. Our members are great.”

In addition to their work with Project Eliminate, the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West help fight pediatric Lyme disease.

During the Kiwanis district convention in Albany, DiTroia chaired a Pie in the Face Kiwanis Pediatric Lyme Fundraiser event where the highest bidder won the right to throw a pie in the face of the newly elected New York State Governor-elect 2016-2017, Stephen Sirgiovanni.

In total, the event raised $1,000 for pediatric Lyme disease.


Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation kicks off summer fundraising campaign

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation

The Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation (GRRC) has begun its semi-annual fundraising campaign, asking members of the Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village communities to make donations to help fund programs that have made an important contribution to the areas’ quality of life.

The GRRC has been instrumental in stabilizing and upgrading the neighborhoods that make up Community Board 5 for the last 40 years, offering free programs such as landlord/tenant counseling, helping homeowners apply for low-interest home improvement loans, lobbying for street tree plantings, removing graffiti and more.

The donations will go towards the purchase of a lift for the hot pressure washer used in graffiti removal.

“The pressure washer is extremely heavy and getting it off and on the van is very difficult,” said Angela Mirabile, executive director of GRRC. “Our fundraising goal this year is $10,000 in private donations. This will cover the cost of the lift and replacement of worn equipment and supplies.”

The anti-graffiti program is one of the most used programs offered by GRRC. Last year, GRRC removed graffiti at 125 locations, and this year has cleaned over 110 sites. The organization anticipates cleaning 50 more sites by the end of November.

“It is evident that graffiti vandalism is once again on the rise, and we are doing our best to stay on top of it,” said Christa Walls, community liaison specialist for GRRC.

Mirabile added that funds will also go to cover general administration expenses as well as updating GRRC’s computer systems and software.

“In the past we have received donations ranging from $10 to $2,500. The people of our community support our effort and we are very thankful,” Mirabile said. “The public in this community has been very responsive to our campaign efforts. They are very active and we appreciate that.”

Donations can be made through the GRRC website, through PayPal or by mail to 68-56 Forest Ave., Ridgewood, NY 11385.


Ridgewood students raise money for wounded veterans

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy I.S. 93

Students from I.S. 93 in Ridgewood raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project through the Penny Harvest Program.

A group of seventh- and eighth-graders from the middle school held weekly meetings focused on finding a charity to support. After much research, they decided to donate $500 to the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of the military.

In addition, the kids signed up to become student ambassadors for the Wounded Warrior Project. They decided they wanted to help even more by raising additional money. They fundraised by selling Wounded Warrior Project bracelets and pins, informing the I.S. 93 community about the special ways in which this program helps wounded soldiers.

They were able to raise an additional $200, totaling a $700 donation to the organization.

As a special surprise, the group of students were able to meet a true wounded warrior: Sgt. Juan Arrendondo, one of the first soldiers to receive help from the Wounded Warrior Project when it began over 10 years ago.

Arrendondo spoke to the students about his injuries, losing an arm and part of his leg, and gave an inspirational speech on how he considers himself lucky to be alive.

“When you told your story about how you got hurt I wanted to cry,” said Weronika Pawlowska, a student at I.S. 93, in a thank-you letter to Sgt. Arrendondo. “It made me sad at how this happened to you and many other people. I love how you have confidence in telling us about your injuries and how you opened out to people. I learned no matter what happens, life can be amazing and full of surprises.”

I.S. student Anthony Paredes wrote, “Dear Juan, it was indeed a pleasure of meeting you. When I met you I knew that you were a person of endurance and that nothing could stop you. When you told us your story, you couldn’t prove me more correct of how you were a symbol of courage. I hope to be like you one day.”


LIC’s Secret Theatre turns to fundraising campaign to survive

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

One Long Island City theatre is looking to raise enough money to help keep its doors open.

Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., has started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign after having to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012.

The difficulties came after the Department of Buildings found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date, which meant that Mazda had to pay DOB fines, hire architects to get correct permits in place and also move the site’s Little Theatre to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building.

“We were under the threat of closing one space and just having the big theatre, or closing both spaces and literally calling it a day,” Mazda said. “No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t dig our way out just from our normal thin profit margin.”

Mazda continued to explain that the Secret Theatre breaks even with the money coming in from ticket sales, but to pay for the “unexpected costs” they now had to turn to the community to help cover some debts and also continue offering programs to the community.

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, and produced in-house and co-produced productions.

“I am comfortable that we will raise a good amount of money,” Mazda said. “I am very moved by the support we are receiving so far and I look forward to being able to thank more people.”

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said he hopes to bring change to the Secret Theatre and turn it into a nonprofit organization.

The Indiegogo campaign has a goal of $10,000 and will run until Sept. 4.

“At this point in time I don’t think we will close. We are still in trouble, but the reaction from people has been incredible,” Mazda said.

For more information visit secrettheatre.com. To donate to the Secret Theatre’s fundraising campaign, click here.


Astoria fundraiser to help woman get life-saving treatment

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Maria Messados

You can help Fallon Mirsky fight for her life.

Mirsky, a life-long Long Island resident, suffers from a rare and life-threatening combination of autonomic dysfunction, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, gastroparesis and a brain tumor which has left her weighing about 60 pounds at 32 years old.

“I don’t sleep at all, I’m in constant pain” she said. “I just want to get better.”

With her medical treatments taking a financial toll on her family, leaving them with only enough to pay for a mortgage and food, a fundraising event will be held in Astoria to help raise the funds needed to continue treatments and pay for medications.

On Feb. 27, the Melrose Ballroom, located at 36-08 33rd St., will hold the Fight For Fallon event at 7 p.m. to raise money to help Mirsky pay for a Ketamine coma treatment and multivisceral organ transplant in May in Mexico.

The treatment, which costs at least $10,000, would be a medically induced coma in hopes of restarting her central nervous system and replacing her entire digestive system.

“This is no way to live,” she said. “My life depends on it and I just want to get better.”

Mirksy used to be a competitive figure skater but would fall and break her bones and turn blue. Then in high school she would pass out and have stomach pains but no one knew what was wrong. After various surgeries she was diagnosed with the life-threatening combination of disorders.

Once or twice a week, Mirsky shares her battles and special moments with her pets and loved ones through an online blog.

If you have any questions regarding the fundraising event, which will include an auction and raffle prizes, contact mmessados@qmbrokerage.com. Donations can also be made here.

Youth or adult bracelets, in pink or blue, are also being sold to raise money for Mirsky. To purchase one, email Femirsky@gmail.com.



Politics Aside: Is it time for Liu to step down?

| RHornak@queenscourier.com

As more information continues to spill out about the scandal surrounding John Liu’s fundraising practices, both in his 2009 campaign for comptroller and his current effort to run for mayor, it is becoming clear that his ability to effectively do his job is in serious jeopardy.  That would be the case for anyone in this circumstance, but for Liu, who has never taken his job as defender of the public purse seriously, and instead has only been an advocate for the interests of Big Labor, it is time to resign.

It started last month with a New York Times investigation into some of Liu’s donors, many of whom turned out to either not exist or claim to have never contributed to him. Liu has also neglected to report bundlers – supporters who collect donations on behalf of the campaign from their friends and associates – as is required by law.

These would be serious allegations against any candidate. However, with New York City’s extremely generous program of matching funds, with six dollars of taxpayer money given to candidates for every dollar they raise (the match caps at the first $175 from each donor), this is a much bigger problem, with the implication that Liu’s campaign conspired to commit fraud in order to steal from the taxpayers.

Worse still, many of the irregularities the Times exposed are with Chinese companies from Queens, some who are city contractors where the comptroller has oversight on their agreements. In fact, many of the details surrounding these donations appear shady, from business addresses that don’t exist to contributors who admit their boss made the contributions on their behalf at a company fundraising event for Liu. In most cases, the amounts given were $800 per person.

There appear to be too many cases where the fact patterns are the same for this to be a coincidence or for it all to be the doings of these individual business owners. Short of someone discovering a “how-to” manual for campaign finance evasion, it seems clear that the campaign was complicit in these activities. At the very least, major alarm bells should have gone off with campaign fundraisers (were they truly unaware) that something irregular was going on and an internal investigation should be held before accepting these bogus contributions.

Now one bundler has been arrested, another is being closely scrutinized, and ties to already jailed finance cheat Norman Hsu have been uncovered. But not only is Liu not showing any shame, he claims to be still running for mayor, in spite of these transgressions. He clearly thinks his close relationship with Big Labor bosses, who pumped over $180,000 into his 2009 campaign, will bail him out. If the current investigation into Liu doesn’t sink his mayoral ambitions, let’s hope the people of the city of New York will.

Robert Hornak is a Queens-based political consultant, blogger, and an active member of the Queens Republican Party.