North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center hosted Sept. 19 a fundraiser for its Children’s Center at Nassau County Family Court. The event at Tesoro’s Ristorante Cucini Italiana at 967 Old Country Road in Westbury featured entertainment by musician and soul crooner Paul Loren, along with cocktails and a delicious buffet.
The event raised over $12,000 for operating the Children’s Center, which provides care and early learning to almost 2,000 children annually, ages 6 weeks to 12 years, while their parents or guardians are conducting court business.
“The Children Center is not a babysitting service,” Dr. Nellie Taylor-Walthrust, Director of The Leeds Place, explained. “It is an early learning center. Often this is a child’s first exposure to an early learning environment. Every aspect of the Center promotes learning by which the children can explore new things in a safe, structured and professionally supervised setting.”
Dr. Taylor-Walthrust also thanked all of the Children’s Center volunteers. “We have only two full-time staff members, and we are required to have two adults present at the Center for it to be open. We could never provide the level of service that we do without these dedicated volunteers.” She also acknowledged Laurie Joseph-Yehuda and Rene Joseph, the daughter and widow of the late Honorable Burton S. Joseph, founder of the Children’s Center, who were also in attendance. Laurie is a new member of the Children’s Center Advisory Council and Rene painted a beautiful mural on the wall of the Children’s Center many years ago.
Andrew Malekoff, executive director of the Guidance Center, thanked event co-chairs Bob Mangi, Esq. and John Zenir as well as Allison Cacace, a volunteer for the Children’s Center who was instrumental in coordinating the event for the second year in a row.
“This fundraiser is critical for the Children’s Center, as funds for it have been drastically cut over the years, though we have been able to keep it open full time,” Malekoff said.
The fundraiser was sponsored by an array of local law firms and other businesses, including Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP, DiMascio & Associates, LLP, Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C., Mangi & Graham, LLP, the Pessala Family, and In Memory of Hon. Burton S. Joseph.