30 Jan Ofer Eitan Reports: Family Game Show night benefits charities | Herald
Three local nonprofits are teaming up to support an organization that has helped each one of them in the past. On Friday, Jan. 31, the community can participate in a Game Show at the John A. Anderson Recreation to benefit the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Ellen White, founder of the inclusive, arts-based community program BackYard Players & Friends, said she reached out to representatives of Camp ANCHOR and the Tommy Brull Foundation – two other local organizations that help people with special needs – asking them to join in to present the family game show night.
“We thought it would be a good way for us to join forces and give back to the parade,” said White, who is this year’s grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 21.
All three organizations have benefitted from the parade’s donations in the past. Over the course of 23 years, the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Day Parade has raised more than $1.32 million for 70 different charities locally, across the nation, and in Ireland. According to the parade committee’s president, Dennis Houdek, 100 percent of the parade’s net proceeds are donated to charity, and each charity is vetted by the board of directors prior to being chosen as a recipient.
“Our intent is to make a difference for each charity,” Houdek said, “and to help them get to the next level.”
For example, he said, the BackYard Players & Friends were able to build an inclusive playground with the funds they received in 2017. Mary’s Playground opened behind St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in October 2017.
The Tommy Brull Foundation, created in 2008, received $25,000 from the parade’s proceeds in 2016, which has helped it continue its mission of helping people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities in the community.
The Anchor Program Fund is the charitable organization created to support the Town of Hempstead’s Camp ANCHOR program (Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreation). The year-round program is dedicated to adults and children with special needs and runs programs after school and on Saturdays in various locations throughout the town.
Patty Daly, a member of the Anchor Program Fund, said the money received has gone towards enhancing the Camp ANCHOR programs. She said the Game Show night should be a nice way for families to connect while also giving back.
“We’ll play games like Family Feud or Jeopardy,” Daly said, “and it should be a fun family night.”
All proceeds from the Game Show event will support the charities chosen by the parade committee for 2020. This year’s recipients are the RVC Breast Cancer Coalition at the local level; the national nonprofit Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, Inc.; and the Holy Family School for the Deaf in Ireland.
The festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with raffles and refreshments. The Game Show starts at 7 p.m., with a suggested $5 donation per person.