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Nearly 400 guests attended the HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services (HSVS) Annual Dinner on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Brooklyn Marriott, which raised funds for HSVS programs, including the American Dream Program (ADP).
The newly revamped American Dream Program, first established in 1997, provides the necessary educational, career guidance and personal supports to young men and women currently in foster care or recently aged out. “Only 2.5 percent of the 11 percent of foster children who attend college will actually graduate. I will be among that 2.5 percent, as failure is not an option. The Monsignor Robert M. Harris Youth of the Year Award and American Dream Scholarship will provide me with immediate financial assistance toward my education and I appreciate it tremendously,” said Dareth Ogle, a freshman student at SUNY Sullivan County Community College. Dareth has been in HeartShare St. Vincent’s care since age 3, but through her tenacity and a nurturing support system, including her current foster parents, friends, fellow ADP recipients and HSVS staff, she’s on her way to pursuing a joint BA/MBA.
Tishman Construction President & CEO Jay Badame and HeartShare Chairman of the Board & ASTOne Executive Vice President Paul Torre were honored for their service and commitment to HeartShare. Also recognized were Dan and Fran Maniscalco of The Heartfelt Foundation, who have been generous supporters of HeartShare’s Toy and Gift Drive since 1984 and The Office of Mission at St. John’s University, connecting St. John’s students for service learning and volunteerism to HeartShare’s First Step Preschool Program.
Notable guests included Fox 5 NY’s Mike Woods and Ines Rosales, PIX 11’s Nicole Johnson, soap opera actor Sean Ringgold, as well as public service leaders Fort Hamilton Garrison Commander Colonel Joseph D. Davidson and NYPD Inspector John Sprague. HeartShare Board Member and Q104.3 Rock & Roll Morning Show Host Jim Kerr served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Dinner guests enjoyed a wine tasting and “cork pull” raffle, a silent auction featuring sports and movie memorabilia and designer teddy bears from Narciso Rodriguez, Eileen Fischer and Kleinfeld Bridal suitable for holiday gifting and a lively jazz performance by the all-female Kit McClure Band. Following its historic affiliation in March 2014, this dinner brings together HeartShare and St. Vincent’s Services’ fundraising event traditions.