GEC Holds Community Appreciation Luncheon

GEC Holds Community Appreciation Luncheon

On June 20, GEC hosted a Community Appreciation Luncheon to celebrate honorees who have been strong supporters of GEC. This event provides an opportunity for GEC to recognize the important contributions of these community members and let them know how much we value them. The luncheon was held at the Knights of Columbus in Dyker Heights, where the honorees were acknowledged for their individual contributions to GEC and were treated to a brief concert by some members of the Without Walls day hab program. In addition, they also were presented with commemorative framed artwork created by Jillian Lamboy, a participant in our Without Walls program.

This year’s honorees:

Maggie Gu & Ying H. Chen have been generous supporters and friends to the GEC for many years. They are the owners of Park Asia Restaurant and have thoughtfully and consistently included GEC in their philanthropic giving as well as providing food for our Beer Tasting fundraiser held in May and our Preschool cultural day. They have taken time to learn about our programs and have become good friends of the agency.

Dominick Pinello is the House Chairman for the Knights of Columbus, John Hughes Council. Dominick is also the former owner of La Cucina Gourmet Caterers. He supported GEC during COVID, providing meals to people living and working in the residential program and continues to support GEC now, by providing the space at the Knights of Columbus for our Without Walls program to meet each day.

The Russo Family, owners of Gargiulo’s Restaurant, have been friends to GEC for quite some time. GEC has held their annual gala there for years, as well as their Night with the Stars in June. They also provided food for the beer tasting in May. GEC is honored to be among the many non-profits they support.

The Santo Family, who run the Christian J. Santo Legacy Foundation, which has sponsored a GEC float in the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last two years. This float enables GEC parade enthusiasts, many of whom have ambulation difficulties and/or are aging and would otherwise not be able to participate in this iconic community event, the chance to do so with great delight.

Karen Tadross, is the President and Founding Director of Bay Ridge Cares. GEC received a micro grant that provides supplies and materials for GEC’s Greenhouse/Arts Program to be used for a special endeavor: to facilitate interactions between individuals with disabilities and school children, providing valuable exposure to diversity from an early age. GEC is so pleased to be a part of this effort to develop inclusivity in the community.

GEC offers sincere thanks to this year’s special honorees for helping to strengthen their mission "to help children and adults with intellectual/disabilities lead dignified and satisfying lives, reaching their fullest potential and assisting families in every step of the journey”.