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United Way of Long Island Honors Local Advocates, Raises $764,000 at Annual LIVE UNITED Celebration Luncheon, Sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Honorees include Maria A. Grasso, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, Flushing Bank; Bethpage Federal Credit Union; and Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc.

May 15, 2018 (Deer Park, NY) -- United Way of Long Island honored organizations, individuals, and labor leaders at its annual LIVE UNITED Celebration Luncheon on Wednesday, May 9 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.  The fundraising event is supported by longtime Title Sponsor, Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Raising $764,000 for United Way and it’s community impact partners, this luncheon is one of the largest yearly philanthropic events on Long Island. Hosted by Linda Armyn, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Paul Fleishman, Vice President of Public Affairs at Newsday, more than 800 guests gathered to celebrate those who share United Way’s vision of neighbors helping neighbors, creating a better Long Island for us all.

The event celebrated leaders who have shown the dedication, ongoing generosity and commitment to help United Way of Long Island expand their mission of advancing the common good through education, health and financial independence.  Honorees include Maria A. Grasso, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, Flushing Bank receiving The Anthony J. Stupore Memorial LIVE UNITED Volunteer Champion Award; Bethpage Federal Credit Union receiving the LIVE UNITED Corporate Champion Award; and Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc. receiving the LIVE UNITED Labor Champion Award.

Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island, reflected upon the impact that the 2018 Honorees have made. “By living united as one community, we can build a strong and resilient Long Island. There are nearly 300,000 families that struggle to make ends meet every single day, and this year’s honorees do all that they can to help us bring that staggering number down. It is because of them that we can proudly say there is no place like home.”

The LIVE UNITED Celebration Luncheon is made possible through the support of the following lead sponsors that each contributed more than $10,000:

Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Flushing Bank, MSC Industrial Supply Co., National Grid, PSEG Long Island, Suffolk Transportation Service, Inc., Garfunkel Wild, P.C., USI Insurance Services, LLC., Citi Ventures, GEICO, Long Island Contractors' Association, Inc., Bank of America, Island Outreach Foundation, MagnaCare, Nawrocki Smith LLP, Newsday, Petro Home Services, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., The Nature's Bounty Co., Hofstra University, Santander Bank, GID Construction Inc., and Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology.

To learn more about the United Way of Long Island’s LIVE UNITED Celebration Luncheon visit http://www.unitedwayli.org/2018luncheon. (photo caption below)

THE 2018 LIVE UNITED AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE:

The Anthony J. Stupore LIVE UNITED Volunteer Champion Award:

Maria A. Grasso, Senior Executive Vice President & COO, Flushing Bank

The Anthony J. Stupore Memorial LIVE UNITED Volunteer Champion Award was named in memory of an extraordinary individual who demonstrated a distinguished history of volunteer service, and a profound commitment to fulfilling the United Way of Long Island's mission of advancing the common good. The recipient of this award personifies the selfless, generous and altruistic qualities demonstrated by Anthony J. Stupore.

Maria A. Grasso is Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Flushing Bank and has served on United Way of Long Island’s Board of Directors for nearly 20 years. Her appointment as Chair of the Board in 2016 was historic – becoming the first woman Chair in 32 years, after serving on the Executive Committee since 2011. During her tenure as Chair, Maria established the Sal LaFonte Memorial Fund in honor of her father who was a proud U.S. Navy veteran. This fund provides financial assistance to veterans who wish to participate in a vocational training program.

Maria’s commitment to her community extends beyond her dedication to United Way. She is currently a member of the National Board of the American Kidney Fund, President of the Hofstra University Zarb Business School Alumni Association, and a former chairperson of the Retail Banking Division Committee for the New York Bankers Association. A strong advocate of volunteerism, Maria has taken a leadership role supporting local organizations including the March of Dimes, Long Island Cares, Bias Help of Long Island, Women’s Fund of Long Island, the American Cancer Society, Long Island Association for AIDS Care and Long Island Network of Community Services.  In 2016, Maria received the Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award at the Monsignor Hartmann Humanitarian Luncheon sponsored by Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology (ACIT).

LIVE UNITED Corporate Champion Award:

Bethpage Federal Credit Union

The LIVE UNITED Corporate Champion Award recognizes an outstanding company and its employees and their ability to mobilize and enhance the community. They embody the action of give, advocate, and volunteer.

For over 75 years, Bethpage Federal Credit Union has been committed to enriching the lives of their members, employees and the communities they serve. Bethpage Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the Northeast and 16th largest in the US. In 2017, Bethpage was named the best place to bank in NY by Money Magazine and 3rd best place to work in NY by SHIRM.

Since 2002, Bethpage has been making a difference in our communities through their community engagement program known as Bethpage Cares. They invest in the community through large Island-wide and local neighborhood sponsored events, volunteerism, and charitable grants totaling over $2 million dollars annually. Their employees volunteered more than 4,000 hours in 2017. Bethpage supports numerous programs, which include the Bethpage Air Show, Annual Turkey Drive with Island Harvest, the YMCA’s Healthy Kids day, Family Service League Back Pack Program, and runs Long Island’s largest VITA program that processes over $2 million in tax returns for low income families at no cost.  

For more than ten years, Bethpage has partnered with United Way of Long Island to support programs such as YouthBuild, VetsBuild, 2-1-1 Long Island, the Sandy unmet needs fund and several youth education programs.  Bethpage is very proud to participate in the Mission United T-Shirt Campaign at the Air Show in May and through their offices and branches in November raising money for veterans and their families living on Long Island.

The LIVE UNITED Labor Champion Award:

Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc.


The LIVE UNITED Labor Champion Award recognizes the dedicated efforts of an association whose members employ and promote union labor, thereby supporting the local economy, creating workforce opportunities and guiding the efforts of many, to help individuals live healthy and vibrant lives.

The Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) was originally formed in the 1920’s and today represents over 170 of Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. LICA is a strong supporter of local labor including Teamsters Local 282, IUOE Local 138, Laborers Local 1298, LI Federation of Labor, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, Metallic Lathers Local 46, Building Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties (AFL-CIO), and the Long Island Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) among others. By advocating on behalf of members, LICA helps hardworking local families maintain consistent employment so they can afford to live on Long Island while helping their neighbors in need.

United Way of Long Island’s annual Mission United t-shirt campaign was supported by a $25,000 contribution raised by LICA’s  Annual Golf Outing, positioning them as the lead sponsor for the fundraising effort that provides critical assistance to Long Island veterans and their families. LICA and its members are proud to support many Long Island charitable causes including Erase Racism, Outreach LI, and the Celebration of Suburban Diversity (at the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University) as well as the Alzheimer’s Association and Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. 

About United Way of Long Island

United Way of Long Island advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, financial stability and health.  We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change.  United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about United Way of Long Island, please visit www.UnitedWayLI.orgFacebook or Twitter.   

Photo caption: United Way of Long Island held their annual LIVE UNITED Celebration Luncheon, honoring Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the Long Island Contractors’ Association Inc., and Maria A. Grasso. Pictured left to right: John R. Durso, Chair of United Way of Long Island’s Board of Directors, Lynda Nicolino, United Way of Long Island Board Member and General Counsel at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Maria A. Grasso, Senior Executive Vice President and COO at Flushing Bank, Linda Armyn, Senior  Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Marc Herbst, United Way of Long Island Board Member and Executive Director at the Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc. and Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island.

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