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Guild for Exceptional Children hosts ninth annual golf outing

Bay Ridge’s Guild for Exceptional Children hosted its ninth annual golf outing on Friday, June 7, holding a fun-filled event in support of the nonprofit organization’s mission.

Over 100 golfers attended the outing, which took place at Marine Park Golf Course, 2880 Flatbush Avenue. Major sponsors included John Abi-Habib and MSI Net Inc., the Campagna Family, Brian Chin and Northfield Bank, the Rotary Club of Verrazano and the Salaam Club of New York.

“For over 60 years we’ve been supporting, helping, loving and nurturing people with developmental disabilities. We’ve helped them to live in homes and work in places and we’ve educated them in schools where their needs are met and they’re kept safe, healthy and happy,” said Guild CEO and Executive Director Joe Riley.

The GEC was founded in 1958 by parents, like those of former GEC President Paul Cassone, who wanted to provide better lives for their children with special needs. Thanks to the help of then-State Sen. William Conklin and founding parents Pauline Argo and Olga DeFelippo, the Guild became a nurturing environment for people with developmental disabilities.

Marine Park Golf Course Co-Directors Mike Giordano and Stephen Fabrizio were happy to welcome the GEC. “We look forward to continuing to do this and it’s truly a team effort,” said Giordano. “We feel very lucky that the GEC chose us to host this event and hopefully we can continue that relationship going forward.”

Riley explained the need for such fundraisers. “We are government funded largely and we get our funding from Medicaid, but for the last nine years while other government-funded entities have received a cost of living allowance, nonprofits like the Guild have been cut out of that allowance,” said Riley.

“Over the last nine years the cost of everything has gone up, but our rate has not gone up, so we depend on events like this and the kindness and generosity of people like you to support the work that we’re doing,” he added.

The Guild currently has 17 group homes and offers quality residential services to the 123 adults living in them. A new initiative for the Guild is marketing products made by members of the Guild, including various ceramic pieces.

“The GEC is sincerely grateful to Marine Park Golf Course for their continued support in helping to make the outing a great experience for all our attendees,” Riley told this paper.

“We greatly thank the members of the Golf Committee and our volunteers for their hard work and dedication to help improve the quality of life for children and adults living with developmental disabilities,” he went on. “The heart-warming support that was given at the golf outing is greatly appreciated by everyone in the GEC community.”

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