Helping the kids and the community.
The Ben-Bay Kiwanis Club held its 16th Annual Victor V. Allegretti Dinner Dance to honor individuals and continue to give back to the community, especially organizations that help children.
The event was held at El Caribe Country Club, 5945 Strickland Avenue, on Thursday, October 12 and was a great success according to Ben-Bay Kiwanis President Joseph Mure.
“I thought it was a great dinner dance,” he said. “Ben-Bay Kiwanis did what they’ve been doing for the past 50 years, which is giving out money to some great causes that need help. Our mission is to help children that really need it. Each year, we raise money by hosting different fundraisers and charities. We sell raffles. We give away great prizes.”
Mure mentioned two kids that Kiwanis especially wanted to help. “We had two kids that were at the dance. One of them is a child who is in a wheelchair-type bed,” he said. “He’s got a feeding tube and oxygen tank, and his parents are two brave individuals that are doing everything they can to keep him alive, and to try to give him the best quality of life they can give. The other is a girl who started to have seizures at two years old, and stopped walking and talking. These are kids that need our help and we’re going to do everything we can to give it.”
During the dinner dance, money was also distributed to several charities. “We gave out almost $80,000 to organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, local churches, the Boy Scouts and sports leagues in addition to the two kids I mentioned,” said Mure. “Everything that has something to do with children, we help.”
The night’s special awardee was U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro, who was injured in Afghanistan in 2005 when his Humvee rolled over a bomb.
“We’re very proud to have an honoree such as Del Toro. He is a brave soldier and without people like him, we wouldn’t be living in the greatest country in the world,” Mure said.
According to Mure, about 80 percent of Del Toro’s body was burned.
“Not only did he survive it, but he went back in the military to help other people who got injured to make sure they can survive the injuries and have the best care available to them, so he’s an amazing individual,” said Mure.
Other individuals recognized included outgoing president Joseph D’Arrigo, Manni Scarso and Biagio Madaio.
The Ben-Bay Kiwanis president also looked ahead. “We helped so many different organizations out at the dinner dance,” he said. “We keep it kind of quiet. Now, we want people in Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge to know what we are doing.”