Long Island Council

Celebrating 40 Years


Photo of Long Island Council's members.

For more information about the Long Island Council contact:
Mary Leffel
Officer, Individual Philanthropy Group
Save the Children
[email protected]

Our Mission

Save the Children Long Island Council is a volunteer group committed to supporting the work of the national organization, whose mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. The Council promotes the work of Save the Children through fund-raising, education, experience-based advocacy and the development of public awareness.

Our History

In 1984, ML Galston and Susan (Sooky) Lassen had a concerned conversation about the famine in Ethiopia. They believed that by working together to raise awareness, the Long Island community would want to help children and families less fortunate.

ML and Sooky planned a chicken salad luncheon for which they charged a small donation to be given toward the crisis. They raised $50. Sooky was associated with Save the Children in the UK, so affiliating with Save the Children U.S. was a natural. Thus began Save the Children Long Island Council.

Subsequently, the L.I. Council’s inspirational founders gathered their friends to plan other events.  As we approach 2024 our 40th Anniversary, The Long Island Council continues to raise awareness and fund for Save the Children. Our revenues have grown from the first $50 to more than $7 million over the past 35 years. 

Long Island Leadership Council Members

Working Board 2023-2024

Kevin J Wohlers, President
Maud Robertson, Vice President
Phyllis Woods, Treasurer
Mary Jo Balkind, Secretary


Chris Buonocore
Trudy Calabrese
Susie Futter
Connie Goldman
Chris Homer
Lori Homer
Linda Kennedy
Arlene Vermylen
Judy Woods

Honorary Board

Erica & Henry Babcock
Peter Blohm
Sabine Blohm
Pien & Hans Bosch
Lynn and Frank Gundersen
Margy Hargraves
Cynthia Jay
William S. Robertson
Dave & Elizabeth V. S. Townsend
Grace & Bruce Stillman
Judy & Pat Woods

Student Ambassador Program

Save the Children Student Ambassador Program was established in 2011.  Since that time, junior/senior high school students from the North Shore area of Long Island have been involved in a variety of activities to raise awareness and support for children around the world. The students learn about Save the Children global programs, host fundraising and informational events, volunteer at local partner organizations and hold food and clothing collection drives for local children in need.

Get Involved

4-year-olds Julisa, left, and Valentina, center, embrace Save the Children staff member Victoria Zeger during a reading club for kindergarden students in the Sonsonate region of El Salvador. Photo credit: Save the Children, July 2018

For further information about the Long Island Council contact:
Mary Leffel
Officer, Individual Philanthropy Group
Save the Children
[email protected]





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