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SHAREing and CAREing celebrates 29 years of service at annual gala in Howard Beach

Oct. 23, 2023 By Anthony Medina

The SHAREing and CAREing nonprofit organization aimed at providing cancer support and education held its annual benefit and silent auction gala with hundreds of attendees at the Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Staff and volunteers at SHAREing and CAREing celebrated 29 years of service in Queens with a gala to remember alongside supporters, donors and a list of honorees, who were awarded for their immense efforts and contributions to the organization.

“Everything and every dollar you give to this organization goes to directly help people who truly are struggling, both financially and emotionally,” said SHAREing and CAREing Founder Anna Kril. “… It is an amazing thing to be able to help someone directly.”

SHAREing and CAREing celebrated their 29th anniversary with a memorable gala in Queens, joined by donors, supporters and honorees recognized for their contributions.Photo by Anthony Medina

SHAREing and CAREing was founded by four breast cancer survivors, dating back to 1994. At the gala, one of the original founders, Mary Demakos, thanked attendees and Anna Kril for their diligent support over the years. Laura Jean Hawkins, the chair of the SHAREing and CAREing board of directors, also shared acknowledgment to those donors and breast cancer survivors in attendance.

“We are here doing what we do for all the survivors. I know we have a number of survivors in the room tonight and I want you to know, we do what we do because of you,” Hawkins said. “We look at you and we see your strength and the strength of your family as you go through the most horrible time in your lives and it is our privilege to provide you with all the services that we can to help your journey to help be a successful one.”

SHAREing and CAREing Founder Anna Kril thanks attendees at the 2023 Annual Benefit and Silent Auction event.Photo by Anthony Medina

For this year’s gala, the organization hosted five distinct honorees who’s contributions have impacted the organization and people around the world.

Ed Randall, founder & chief advocacy officer of Fans For The Cure and WFAN/SiriusXM Radio Host, was one of the honorees for the night. Randall is a prostate cancer survivor who founded his own prostate cancer awareness organization.

Cav. Joseph V. Scelsa, Ed.D, the founder and president of the Italian American Museum, was honored at the event and thanked the breast cancer support and education group.Photo by Anthony Medina

Cav. Joseph V. Scelsa, Ed.D, founder and president of the Italian American Museum, another honoree of the night, was recognized for having shown support of the cancer group and commitment to education over the years. A professor at the City University of New York, and president of the Italian-American Museum, Scelsa serves as a prominent Italian-American rights activist.

Michael Serao, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of First Central Savings Bank, was honored for his contributions and professional services to the cancer support organization over the years.Photo by Anthony Medina

Michael Serao, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the First Central Savings Bank, was one of the five honorees and received high marks for his contributions and professional services over the cancer organization’s years. Serao remains an influential LGBTQ+ activist who advocates for underrepresented communities and inclusive banking services.

Rev. Monsignor David Cassato, the NYPD Chaplain, who also serves as Vicar of Catholic Schools in the Brooklyn and Queens Diocese, shares his blessings and receives recognition as one of the five honorees.Photo by Anthony Medina

Rev. Monsignor David Cassato, the NYPD chaplin who serves as vicar of Catholic Schools in the Brooklyn and Queens Diocese, was listed as another honoree of the night, along with Reverend Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both shared their blessings with the crowd at the beginning of the event.

Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, blessed those in the event and stands alongside Anna Kril, her grandchildren, Jospeh Pistilli and Laura Jean Hawkins.Photo by Anthony Medina

Throughout the night, attendees at the annual gala enjoyed food, drinks, music and some dancing, and had the chance to participate in a 50/50 raffle. Jospeh Pistilli led the silent auction and orchestrated the honorees’ ceremony.

Attendees participate in the silent auction and raffle, hoping for a chance to win big prizes.Photo by Anthony Medina

The ambiance for the night of celebration is encapsulated in a pink hue, in honor of breast cancer awareness month and the work done by SHAREing and CAREing.Photo by Anthony Medina

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