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MATCH SPOTLIGHT: Meet Little Natasha & Big Dina When asked how she would describe her relationship with Natasha, Dina said, “It’s a very unique and close relationship unlike any other I’ve had in my life. The closeness between a Big and Little is a mix between a family member and best friend. The bond is one that builds over time by spending consistent time together”.

Big Sister Dina and Little Sister Natasha at BBBSLI ‘s Summer Picnic in 2013(left) and 2015 (right)

As Natasha gets older, Dina has been instrumental in empowering her and instilling the importance of not losing sight of her big picture goals, like getting into college.

The scrapbook Natasha and Dina started when they were matched in 2012 is now filled with fun and special memories the two have shared over the last four years.

Natasha shared some of the life lessons Dina has instilled in her. “Dina taught me not to be so focused on what other people think and now I look at things differently. She also taught me to say “no” which has helped me deal with certain peer pressures.”

Having Dina as her Big Sister has helped Natasha become more confident and open. “As she becomes a teenager, I’m always impressed with how poised and self-assured she has become,” said Dina.

“No matter what is going on in my life or how stressed out I feel, when I’m spending time with Dina I feel so happy and calm,” expressed Natasha.

Natasha shared, “When I first met Dina, I had just moved and started at a brand new school. I was so shy and she got me to open up. That helped me so much with being able to make new friends. Now my confidence is so much better. Without Dina I would still be that shy girl.”

“I 100% want to be a Big Sister one day, so I can build that same special connection with a girl like Dina and I share. As a Big Sister, I will be present and committed to my Little. I will be the person in her life she can always count on, just like Dina is for me."

Although the two spend time doing lots of fun activities, they both agree their favorite thing to do is talk for hours in the car. They even started a tradition they call “car picnics” where they pack food to eat during their long conversations. “I loved how easy it was to open up to Dina right from the start of our relationship as Big and Little. By always sharing things with me about her life and experiences, Dina makes me feel so comfortable. I love that I can talk to her about absolutely anything,” said Natasha.

Big Sister Dina and Little Sister Natasha at BBBSLI ‘s 2016 Winter Blast (left) and during a recent outing (right)

Spring 2016

Southold is Tops for Clothing Donations Town donated 75 tons of clothing to BBBSLI in 2015 In 2015, the town of Southold collected 75 tons of clothing to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) — the most out of any municipality on Long Island. Southold’s Recycle Center has had BBBSLI clothing drop boxes on their property for more than a decade. “Southold is proud of its relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and how it has contributed to the reuse and recycling of thousands of tons of textiles collected at the Cutchogue transfer station since the late 1990’s,” said James Bunchuck, Solid Waste Coordinator for the Town of Southold. “Not only has this program been a success in terms of reducing waste disposal, it’s enabled Southold to partner with an organization dedicated to actually improving the lives of people in our own backyard.” By donating to BBBSLI you are not only helping to alleviate environmental stress, you are positively impacting the future of children facing adversity right here on Long Island.

By the Numbers

500,000,000 Pounds of clothing thrown away per year on L.I.

10 % Percentage of clothing that gets recycled, with the rest going to landfills

255,000 Pounds of clothes BBBSLI eliminates from local landfills every week

100% James Bunchuck, Solid Waste Coordinator for the Town of Southold, showing some of BBBSLI’s donation bins located at the Southold Recycle Center

Looking to Donate? Visit: to schedule a pick up or locate a near by bin

Net proceeds from clothing donations that directly support the BBBSLI mentoring programs

Spring 2016


On February 26th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island (BBBSLI) hosted its annual Winter Blast match event presented by Target at Dave & Busters in Islandia. This year’s event was the most attended, with over 200 Bigs and Littles, who all enjoyed a fun filled day of games, food and amazing raffles. The event featured unlimited game play, a Chinese auction raffle and a book fair, which allowed for every Little to leave with brand new books. Separate from the raffle prizes, a variety of giveaways were distributed including, sports equipment donated by Sports 4 Change, handmade hats & scarves donated by Care to Knit and beautiful bags donated by Steve Madden. “The Winter Blast is one of the best events of the year. It is an incredible opportunity to be able to bring together all of our matches with our program team, board members and BBBSLI employees to just have fun!” said Nancy Travers, Director of Services for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. Providing group activities where our matches can come together, socialize with each other and interact with the BBBSLI staff reinforces a sense of comradery and belonging as part of the BBBSLI family. Feeling the excitement in the room and seeing the enjoyment on the faces of our matches truly made this event a “blast” for everyone in

Spring 2016


Second Annual “LOL for Mentoring” Comedy Night On Wednesday, February 24th, nearly 200 people packed Governor’s Comedy Club of Levittown to attend BBBSLI’s second annual Comedy Night, presented by Network Long Island (NLI). The show included performances by five talented comedians who had guests laughing the entire night! Before they took the stage, BBBSLI’s CEO, Mark Cox, spoke about the agency’s need for male volunteers to serve as Big Brothers for more than 180 boys on our waiting to be matched list. He encouraged everyone to spread the word to men they know personally and professionally who might make a great mentor. Mr. Cox further explained how funds raised through Comedy Night will help the agency recruit male volunteers throughout the 40 Long Island towns where boys are waiting for Big Brothers to call their own.

“Poker Night” 2016 On Tuesday, March 8th, 100 players kicked off BBBSLI’s 2016 Poker & Networking Series at “Poker Night”. The event, sponsored by Mineola Lions Club, was held at The Main Event in Farmingdale and raised more than $23,000. Proceeds from “Poker Night” directly support BBBSLI’s mentoring program and will assist the agency in its efforts to recruit more male volunteers for the 180 boys currently waiting for Big Brothers. Chris Kane revealed the championship hand at the coveted final table. David Tan and Mateo Vila finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. The top prize was a $2,500 Traveler’s Choice Voucher. Second prize was NY Knicks game tickets and the third place winner received a Wine & Spirits getaway for two at Hotel Indigo. Our next 2016 Poker & Networking Series event – “Summer Sizzle” Poker, will take place on July 19th. Spring 2016


BIG Night Out On January 28th, BBBSLI’s President’s Council hosted “Big Night Out” presented by Vicom. Members of our President’s Council, Board of Directors, and supporters gathered at Parlay Gastropub in Rockville Centre to honor more than 30 Bigs in recognition of National Mentoring Month. “Thanks goes out to our President’s Council for hatching the idea to host an event that would gather themselves, our Bigs, agency staff, sponsors, and our Board of Directors “, said Jamison Skala, Director of Development for BBBSLI. “Guests thanked each other for their volunteerism, leadership and financial support – the energy in the room was incredible.”

New Board Member Praveen Anumolu BBBSLI is proud to announce the recent appointment of Praveen Anumolu to our Board of Directors. Mr. Anumolu is currently the Director of Engineering Services for ASR International Corporation, a worldwide management and technical support services company. He first became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island as a volunteer mentor. From 2004 through 2016, he served as a Big Brother in the organization, experiencing firsthand the positive impact mentorship can have in a young person’s life. Praveen and his Little Brother Asante, were matched for nine years. Asante is now in his freshman year of college and the two maintain a close relationship. BBBSLI is honored to welcome Praveen Anumolu to our Board of Directors. We believe his experience as a former Big Brother combined with his passion for our mission, make him an invaluable addition to our Board, especially as we expand our services across Long Island.

Spring 2016



For Registration & Event Details Visit:

Mark Cox

Director of Finance Helen Liriano

Director of Development Jamison Skala

Director of Services Nancy Travers

Director of Human Resources Carmelina Vassallo

Senior Manager of Marketing & PR Amy Sledz-Sarin

Presented by Geico May 14th at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, NY

Presented by Steve Madden May 18th at NYIT de Seversky Mansion in Glen Head, NY

Manager of Site Based Programs Rachelle Ayala

Quality Assurance Manager Josephine Todisco

Special Events Manager Deanna Tropeano

Case Managers Alana Famiglietti Ashley Hinds Nuria Martinez Christina Perfetti

Enrollment Specialist Kelly McGowan

Intake Specialist Jacqueline Volpicella

Presented by

Broadridge Financial Solutions June 6th at The Muttontown Club in East Norwich, NY

Presented by

ZBF Geothermal, LLC July 19th at The Main Event in Farmingdale, NY

Newsletter Editor Amy Sledz-Sarin

Contact Us: Nassau 516.731.7880

Suffolk 631.273.1469

Donation Center 631.234.0000


August 12th thru 21st in Hampton Bays, NY

September 17th

For Sponsorship Opportunities or Questions Contact Deanna Tropeano at: or 516-731-7880 X214

, NY

BBBSLI Big News Spring 2016 Newsletter  
BBBSLI Big News Spring 2016 Newsletter