Long Island Council
For more information about the Long Island Council contact:
Director, Communications and Outreach
Save the Children
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.
Thirty-five years ago, 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 to raise awareness and funds. Holiday parties were held at the Storrs’s home with sales of goods made in the countries where Save the Children worked. There was a rowing regatta and a party on a tall ship with Sigourney Weaver!
Nineteen eighty-nine marked the beginning of the polo events orchestrated by Jane Greenleaf. In their heyday, the polo matches between the LaBranche & Co. and Land Rover teams attracted 800 attendees. Features of the event were a children’s tent and a fancy hat contest.
In 2007, the L.I. Council honored Jane Greenleaf with a double benefit: the last polo match and a dinner dance at The Meadow Brook Club. Every spring since then, except for two years at The Paramount in Huntington, we have continued to celebrate at The Meadow Brook Club and raise support for Save the Children. Our revenues have grown from the first $50 to more than $7 million over the past 35 years.
It is amazing what our two foresighted and energetic founders created and spawned! As we celebrate the L.I. Council’s 35th Anniversary, we look forward to pursuing innovative ways to fulfill our mission. A large part of the funds we raise are allocated to programs that provide the opportunity for preschool and elementary children to learn.
Working Board 2019-2020
Lori Homer, President
Connie Goldman, Vice President
Frances Conte, Treasurer
Phyliss Woods, Treasurer
Mary Jo Balkind, Secretary
Sumati Vij Dhablania
Elizabeth V. S. Townsend
Kevin J. Wohlers
Eric & Henry Babcock
Pien & Hans Bosch
Margaret Hamilton Howe
William S. Robertson
Grace & Bruce Stillman
Judy & Pat Woods
Save the Children Junior Council was established in 2011 in the Cold Spring Harbor School District. Since that time, junior/senior high school students have been involved in a variety of activities to raise awareness and support for children around the world. In 2015, the program expanded with outreach to local public, middle and high schools. Currently, Student Ambassadors come from 12 public, private and parochial schools in Suffolk and Nassau counties. Some of their many projects include: volunteering at a local preschool; holding fund-raisers for hurricane relief and refugees; and advocating for Early Childhood Education and Head Start programs.
Advocacy Summit 2019
Each Spring, Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) hosts a three-day Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. The summit is an opportunity for student ambassadors to receive training from leading experts to ensure that matters critical to children’s lives are prioritized by our congressmen and senators. This year, two students from Cold Spring Harbor High School, Aiden and Harry, joined students from all over the U.S. to meet with lawmakers and speak on behalf of children to implement change.
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