Mercy Center Fall 2016
ear Friends of Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center:
As we turn the calendar to the cooler months, I’d like to take some time to go over some of the major happenings that have happened since the summer. As some may know I was appointed Program Director in June and I am so excited for all the things the center has accomplished and will accomplish. This past summer we ran the Rita Shelley Summer Camp in which we were able to provide a summer enrichment program for 25 total youth that had them partaking in a literacy campaign sponsored by the New York Public Library, as well as learning about aquatic life by visiting the NY Aquarium, and ﬁnally being able to take in a Puppet showing of The Wizard of Oz by Brooklyn’s own Puppet Works. We had a full allotment of enrollees who spent 20 hours a week with our dedicated summer staﬀ headed by new Afterschool Coordinator Marino Frias. In August we were able to make an outdoor play area for the children that enable them to play various sports adjacent to the center. The children have enjoyed playing Basketball, Dodgeball, and whiﬄe ball and I can imagine once snow falls on the ground the children will inevitably enjoy snow based activities. This was accomplished thanks to funding from the Pinkerton Foundation. In September we began our afterschool program again this year with a change in curriculum that revolves around monthly themes that borrows a lot of what was done over the summer in that the children are enriched on things other than just homework help and play time. Most if not all of our decorations for our festivities has come from the hard work of the children and after school Staﬀ. In October I was pleased to be a part of our Annual Fundraising Beneﬁt that took place on Friday October 14th at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Thanks to our new Board Chair Pat Morgan as well as the tireless eﬀorts from all those involved on both the Board of Director and on Staﬀ we were able to successfully raise funds that go directly into running our many programs. The Yacht Club was the recipient of our Mercy Spirit Award for being our host of the Beneﬁt for an astounding 10 years. All in all it’s been an astounding few months and I am beyond grateful to be a part of this wonderful place that has positively touched so many lives in our community, and hope to form new partnerships and brainstorm ways to grow our center so that it can be of help to all of the New York City area and not just Brooklyn. It goes without saying that we are the epitome of “The Little Center with a Big Heart” Best Wishes, Damian Gracia Program Director
Summer Camp The Rita Shelley Summer Camp We thank the Shelley Family for funding this year’s summer camp at the Center in honor of Rita Shelley.
Garden Carnival Families of the Center enjoyed an afternoon of food, fun, and games at our Annual Garden Carnival.
lias Graham, a 6th grader in our After School Program was the recipient of the Sr. Camille D’Arienzo Literacy Award for school year 20152016. We congratulate him and all his hard work as he has become one of the centers brightest and mature participants who we hope will continue his growth and strives for continued success!
BMC Staﬀ put together a surprise Halloween party for the children of the Center. The fun included a photo booth, face painting, dancing, and games. We thank the parents committee for donating candy, juice, fruit, and their time!!
ime to carve pumpkins!! Families decorated and carved jack-o-lanterns for Family Night. One participant asked if she could please take it home with her. She was so glad when we said yes!!
Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center
Our New Board Chairperson
at Morgan was recently nominated and appointed as our Board Chairperson. He’s a long time member of the board and chairperson of the Fundraising Committee for 10 years now. Patrick has been involved with various AT&T volunteer organizations, such as the Pioneers and Community Network.
After School Coordinator
arino Frias began working in the Center roughly 4 years ago as a Counselor then became the Assistant after School Coordinator. He came to us with 10+ years’ experience working with children and youth at the YMCA. He was recently promoted to After School Coordinator this August 2016. He’s excited about his new position and looks forward to a fun and enriched school year.
DBMC 10 th Annual Benefit
he Belle Harbor Yacht Club was honored at this year’s 10th Annual Beneﬁt. Members of their board, friends, Sisters, DBMC Staﬀ and Board Members all came out to support the Center and congratulate the BHYC for all their work in the community.
Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center
Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center 273 Willoughby Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205
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A Note of Gratitude . . . To the following foundations, agencies, and persons who have generously provided financial support this past year: Apple Bank for Savings
Gil Hodges Organization for Children & Families
E-Group Tech Services Inc.
The Hyde & Watson Foundation
Kiwanis Club Parkway East
The Joseph and Laura Wortman Foundation
Mercy Home for Children
Julia Palmer Award for Library Development
Ridgewood Savings Bank Sacred Heart Parish of Bayside, Queens
The Pinkerton Foundation The RTS Family Foundation
The Tablet Bright Christmas Appeal
Sisters of Mercy Advisory Board
Honey and Michael Theogene
Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community The neighborhood businesses who contributed to our Garden Carnival. Also, a special word of thanks to the students of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Berkeley College, St. Joseph College, NYC Tech and other volunteers for their dedicated service to the children in the After School Program.
Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center