Highlighting the enCourage Kids Friends Committee
“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.”
– Sonia Johnson
The sounds of 150 young professionals mixing and mingling echoed across 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar as the enCourage Kids Foundation Friends Committee hosted their annual Starry Night fundraising event in May of 2015.
Also known as our young professionals board, our Friends Committee includes young, dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping us achieve our mission of changing lives one smile at a time by hosting two happy hour events each year – Starry Night in the spring and a holiday-themed one in winter. Last year’s events raised $28,000 for programs like our Spring Festival for families.
“I think it’s important to give back in order to keep yourself grounded and to provide perspective on real-life issues impacting people in our communities,” shares John Anastasio, who was inspired to join the committee by a colleague who serves on our Board of Directors.
The committee is an integral part of the foundation and gives young professionals an opportunity to be actively involved in the community. Each committee member is responsible for promoting our fundraising efforts and for introducing other young professionals in the NYC-area to our organization.
Linda Shapiro became a member after attending an event that a friend invited her to. She identified with our mission so much that she wanted to get involved herself. Linda tells us, “I love the feeling of giving back and knowing that what I am doing is making a difference for children in need and their families. Paying it forward is very rewarding.”
Even one of our former staff members, Jill Radwin, serves on the committee. “I am so thrilled that I can continue to stay involved this way. Having served on the staff, I have been able to see first-hand how impactful the organization’s programs are for children and families. Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than being able to support such a genuine cause.”
Members of the committee range from recent college graduates to established young professionals in their mid-40’s and come from various companies and work backgrounds. In addition to giving back, serving on the committee allows members to hone skills, build resumes, and network with other young professionals and the experienced leaders on our Board.
Giselle Dean Miller, our Vice President of Special Events, states that our Friends Committee acts as our junior board with the hope that they will become our future leaders. “We want them to be engaged, not only in the two events they host, but to get more deeply involved so that they can introduce us to new people and donors. As they grow in their professional lives and become more successful, we hope that one day they move up to become members of our Board of Directors.”
This year’s Starry Night event will take place on Tuesday, May 10th at 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar. The night will be full of delicious hors d’oeuvres, a three-hour premium open bar, astrology readings, caricature portraits, and magic tricks – all while capturing the fun in our enCourage Kids photo booth! As John says, “Attendees (to our events) can expect a great opportunity to network, catch up with friends and peers, and most importantly, raise money and awareness about the Foundation’s programs.”