Those who attended the Angel Awards on September 27 know firsthand the incredible impact that even one person’s selfless efforts can make in the lives of the less fortunate on Long Island.
Rhonda Klch, Executive Director of the Equity First Foundation, said each of the incredible 20 women honored at the luncheon do inspirational work on behalf of their communities every day.
“These women, all amazing in their own right, all a reflection of the strong, positive, powerful images that we see when we think of the word empowerment,” she said.
The Angel Awards honor the memory of the life of Rhonda’s mother, who was also a philanthropist. Klch’s nonprofit provides a variety of assistance to those in need.
Angel Award honorees included Tracey Lutz of CHI; Allyson Scerri, who founded New Beginnings, a traumatic brain injury treatment facility in Medford; Gina Centauro, who cofounded Rescuing Families to help families make required renovations to homes; Lisa Albinowski, a Senior Care specialist with Coldwell Banker; Megan Smith, who works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Michael Magro Foundation, & Stupid Cancer; Anne Line of the Carol Baldwin Research Fund; Christina Lentini of State Farm; Patricia Peterson of Angels of Long Island; Therese Mora of Investors Bank; Nicole Contrera, a ZUMBA fundraiser organizer; Donna Lillie, who supports the Boy Scouts; Debbie Stone of Pop Earth and Teri Mangione, both with boys who were diagnosed on the spectrum; Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz, a teacher from Bridgehampton who won the 2016 New York Agriculture Teacher of the Year Award; Renee Flagler from Girls Inc., which empowers young women on Long Island; Carla Hamilton, director of the Hofstra University MBA Co-op program; Patricia Balestras from Bucket List Tour; Connie Henriquez and Chrissy Bogue from their TV show Date Night, and Heidi Felix, a community leader.
Klch alone has given countless workshops, seminars and training to people who are incarcerated, homeless, receiving social services, veterans, and others who would not normally have access to this important information and services. Her organization itself provides low- to no-cost services to individuals and groups in areas including understanding money, financial management, special needs, estate planning, and many issues relating to financial education.
She issued a call to action to remind the public that everyone has the ability to make a difference by following the example of those honored at the Angel Awards luncheon.
Upcoming events her foundation is hosting include the annual event to Celebrate Veterans Day on November 10 for veterans and their families, and Holiday Dream, an event that provides hope for at least 500 needy families during the holidays.