Levittown, NY – New Ground Inc. presents the organization’s 19th Annual Groundbreakers Celebration Gala to be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the luxurious Garden City Hotel in Garden City, NY. The event celebrates the accomplishments of New Ground’s Veterans and families while raising much needed funds to continue quality programs and services to “Break the Cycle of Homelessness” for so many here on Long Island. The evening kicks off at 6:30pm with a cocktail reception, followed by an exquisite dinner and awards presentation to the honorees. Highlights include a special presentation by the Marine Corp. Color Guard and an inspiring performance by the 2018 National Champions and multi-award winning Uniondale High School Show Choir “Rhythm of the Knight.”
New Ground is recognizing an outstanding group of honorees at this year’s event, all of whom have demonstrated great dedication to New Ground’s mission, assisting with organizational growth, which allows the agency to serve an even greater number of Veterans and family households.
Wells Fargo & Company and Ed Thomas will receive the Groundbreakers Award for their overall philanthropic and community work in support of New Ground’s mission. As a New Ground Board Member and longtime volunteer, Mr. Thomas has fostered a very special partnership between the two organizations allowing for incredible impact to the Veterans and families that New Ground serves. Wells Fargo is a diversified, community-based financial services company, founded in 1852 and provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance. With approximately 262,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three U.S. households. The Wells Fargo Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S. and is committed to making a positive impact by helping people and communities succeed financially and creating solutions for a stronger, more sustainable future. In 2018, the foundation donated $444 million to 11,000 nonprofits, including New Ground Inc. As the Mortgage Retail Market Manager and VP at Wells Fargo, Mr. Thomas leads the retail mortgage operations for the company’s New York metro area, which includes 110 employees in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. With over 30 years in the industry, he has extensive retail mortgage experience and market insight leading him to successfully cultivate top-performing sales and service teams. He resides in Garden City with his wife Mary and their three children: Rob, Ryan and Lauren.
Sheila McDougal and Jenny Tzakas-Polizotto will receive the Máiréad M. Barrett Founder’s Award in recognition of their ongoing volunteer efforts as Co-Chairs of New Ground’s Annual Designer Handbag Bingo event. Their vision and creation of this fundraising event began over 6 years ago and since its inception, they have raised over $100,000 in support of New Ground’s mission. Ms. McDougal resides in Rockville Centre, with her husband, Ed and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. She is a graduate of St. John’s University and has an extensive background in banking but now owns her own company, Interior Redesign of Long Island. Ms. Tzakas-Polizotto is a graduate of Hofstra University and lives in Garden City with her husband, Jeff and 3 children: Nicholas, Dean and Michael. Along with her extensive volunteer work in the community, she is also the owner of Jenny Tzakas Interiors.
James A. Cowan will receive the Thomas Whalen Memorial Award. As a Veteran himself, New Ground Board member since 2015 and dedicated volunteer for over two decades, Mr. Cowan exudes the kindest spirit and incredible passion in support of New Ground’s program participants. After owning his own Real Estate Appraisal business since 1985, four years ago Mr. Cowan joined New York Community Bank as an Assistant Vice President. He lives in and has many ties to the Rockville Centre Community along with his wife of 53 years, Mary Jo. Together, they have 6 children and 15 grandchildren as well as a 2nd home in Southold where they enjoy spending quality time with their big family.
Co-Chairs of the Gala are Matt & Marguerita DeLuca, New Ground Advisory Board Members and residents of Lloyd Neck. Joseph Burns, VP at Valley Bank and New Ground Board Member as well as Deborah Farrell, New Ground Board Member and Garden City resident are the Honorary Chairs for this year’s event.
“Our Veterans and families are truly blessed to have such a supportive community helping them achieve their goals and secure a brighter future,” said Shannon Boyle, Executive Director. “We are thrilled to celebrate their tremendous efforts and long-term commitment to help those most in need at our Groundbreakers Gala on November 14th and hope you will consider joining us in recognizing so many special people.”
Many thanks to this year’s tops sponsors: Wells Fargo & Company, Matt & Marguerita DeLuca, Ed & Sheila McDougal and Thomas & Eileen Lamberti.
For information about event tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Diane Serenita, Director of Development & Events at (516) 564-4764 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit: www.newground.org/events/gala-2019