he Greenpoint Loft, surrounded by a view of the skylines of Manhattan and developing Greenpoint, set the stage for St. Nicks Alliance’s 41st anniversary: a celebration of community in action.
St. Nicks Alliance board member, Lydia Morris, has the role each year to thank everyone for being there. She also broke the news that this year’s event broke a record. This year’s benefit raised $257,000, which surpassed the fundraising goal by $57K. Morris explained the money raised from the night’s event goes to “fill in the gaps to fund our activities that aren’t covered by government contract and foundation dollars. It’s incredibly meaningful to St. Nicks Alliance and we are deeply appreciative for your support.”
St. Nicks Alliance has had a great year: in May the 4th annual DIME M5K raised $55K for summer camps, in October the 4th annual Touch-a-Truck which raised $29K for the BK Story Voyager, and thus far sales for the community cookbook have raised $7K toward the construction of the new community center at School Settlement Association. The cookbook is still available for purchase and those donating $200 or more toward the effort will be offered a seat at a special dinner event early next year.
St. Nicks Alliance Executive Director, Michael Rochford took to the podium and cited the organization’s successes in community preservation, assisted living, affordable and senior housing, child care, and youth and education. He called particular attention to Workforce Development’s recent success in placing thirteen people in construction jobs at the Domino development site within the past month. He also acknowledged the invaluable work that comes from valued partnerships with School Settlement Association and Conselyea Block Street Association.
Then came the time to shine the spotlight on 2016’s honorees: LISC NYC, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, and Huairou Commission!
Frank Lang, St. Nicks Alliance Director of Housing, presented the award that honored Local Initiatives Support Corporation NYC’s work in financing hundreds of affordable housing units, which helped to arrest housing decline in North Brooklyn during 1975–1995. LISC NYC also worked with St. Nicks Alliance to launch its Youth and Education, healthcare for the elderly, and Workforce Development strategies. Sam Marks, LISC NYC’s Executive Director accepted the award.
Assemblyman Joe Lentol presented the next award to the Huairou Commission: Women, Homes, and Community. Jan Peterson, Board Chair and Founder of the Huairou Commission and Maureen Friar, the new Executive Director of Huairou Commission shared the stage to accept the honor. True to form, Ms. Peterson’s words inspired cheers and hoots from the crowd.
The third award went to Nydia Velázquez, however her duties as congresswoman caused her to be absent. Therefore Council Member Antonio Reynoso presented the award to Evelyn Cruz, the congresswoman’s congressional liaison/community coordinator, who accepted it on behalf of Ms. Velázquez.
It’s been a happy old year for St. Nicks Alliance. Here’s to looking forward to an even happier 42nd year in 2017!