Brooklyn, NY, June 17, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) milestone 150th Anniversary Kick-Off Gala, held June 6 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, has raised over $1.1 million, a new record for BCS. The emcee for the gala was Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” and the owner of Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen Restaurant in Brooklyn.
“Our BCS 150th Anniversary Kick-Off Gala not only recognized the historic impact of our organization on Brooklynites, it was also a record-breaking financial success. The $1.1 million dollars raised will go directly into the BCS programs,” said Marla Simpson, Executive Director, BCS. “I want to extend a special thank you to Charles Hamm, a longtime BCS supporter and former BCS Chairman of the Board, for a major $500,000 donation. It will make an instrumental impact on BCS clients.”
The elegant 150th Anniversary Kick-Off Gala honored Brooklyn’s visionary trailblazers:
BCS Philanthropic Leadership Award: Charles J. and Irene Hamm. Charles J. Hamm started his illustrious career in advertising and marketing, becoming Executive Vice President at McCann Erickson. After 24 years in advertising, he became President and CEO of Independence Savings Bank. From its Brooklyn headquarters, he grew the community-based bank from eight branches to 150. In 1998, he founded Independence Community Foundation, now known as the Brooklyn Community Foundation. In addition to his long service on the BCS Board of Directors, including as Chairman. His impact has been felt throughout Brooklyn, through his work with institutions as Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Pratt Institute. Former Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, presented their award.
BCS Corporate Leadership Award: Forest City Ratner Companies has built with a deep seated belief in Brooklyn and its people--from the MetroTech Center to Atlantic Center to Barclays Center. Accepting the award were Bruce C. Ratner, Executive Chairman and former BCS Board member and MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO. “Forest City Ratner is not only committed to the borough of Brooklyn to insure that we have solid buildings, but we have solid families. Some of the people who will live in this new housing believe that they were not deserving of having a quality life,” said presenter Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President.
BCS Civic Leadership Award: Chirlane McCray, First Lady of NYC, is a longtime Brooklyn resident and community advocate. Her impact includes: NYC Pre-K program, Chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and with Mayor Bill de Blasio released ThriveNYC, a groundbreaking study on mental illness in NYC. Ms. McCray spearheads ThriveNYC. BCS and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration are partners in ThriveNYC’s Connections to Care. “It’s a signature initiative of Thrive NYC that is bringing mental health resources into the 15 organizations that already provide to the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said McCray. The presenter was Michael Berry, a mental health advocate and former BCS client.
BCS Program Award: Lanetta Darlington attended the BCS Gary Klinsky Children's Centers (GKCC) after-school program as a child. Now a senior financial analyst at New York Presbyterian, she volunteers with GKCC and is active in her East New York neighborhood. “Without a doubt, GKCC has had a great impact in my life,” said Darlington. “I learned the importance of creativity and knowing that it’s ok to think differently.” Steven Klinsky, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of New Mountain Capital, a former BCS Board member and long-time benefactor of the GKCC program, presented the award.
BCS Service Award: Ellen Fine Levine – BCS ONE Brooklyn Community Outstanding Service Award. Ms. Levine is Vice-Chair and Treasurer of the BCS Board of Directors. Through her exemplary service on the BCS Board since 2007. Until her retirement in 2015, Ms. Fine Levine was Managing Director and Executive Client Officer of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), and previously, the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Edward Gentner, Esq., Senior Counsel at Cullen and Dykman LLP and Vice-Chair of the BCS Board of Directors, presented the award.
The evening included a musical performance from the sixth and seventh grade students from the BCS East New York Family Academy /Youth Stand Academy After-School program. Special guests at the gala included: former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, Chef Roblé Ali (Bravo’s Chef Roblé and Co), Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black) and and model Fatima Siad, model (America’s Next Top Model).
In addition to signature event support from honorees Charles and Irene Hamm and Forest City Ratner Companies, BCS’s major gala sponsors and donors include: Bala Consulting Engineers, Robert Catell, CBRE, Citi, Louis Colombo, Con Edison, Corcoran, Cullen & Dykman, Cydean Group, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, Lorraine DiPaolo, Alan Fishman, Gartner, Edward Gentner, Goldman Sachs, Greenberg Traurig, Investors Bank, Steven Klinsky, Charlie Lewis, M.C. O’Brien, Gerry McGinley, Robert Morgano, The New York Jets Foundation, The New York Mets, Optimum, Park Strategies, Pinnacle City Living, PVH, Susan Rifkin, Signature Construction, Susan Skerritt, Uber, Jonathan Weld and The Wright Group.
About Brooklyn Community Services
BCS celebrates the strength of the human spirit, and in 2016, we celebrate our 150th Anniversary. Our mission is to empower at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities to overcome the obstacles they face, as we strive to ensure opportunity for all to learn, grow and contribute to ONE Brooklyn Community. To achieve this mission, we offer comprehensive and holistic services: early childhood education; youth development services and educationally rich after-school programs; counseling for at-risk families; treatment, recovery and job training to support the life goals of adults living with mental illness; person-centered rehabilitation and community living support for adults with developmental disabilities and disaster recovery case management and relief services. BCS also seeks to increase public awareness of the impacts of poverty on individuals and the community at-large. With a staff of over 400 and 25 program sites around the borough, BCS serves 12,000 people every year. Today, BCS is one of the oldest not-for-profit, non-sectarian social service providers in New York City. For more information, join BCS on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and www.wearebcs.org.