BEST CHARITY
John Theissen Children’s Foundation
Since 1992, the John Theissen Children’s Foundation (JTCF) has collected and distributed more than 920,000 new toys to sick and underprivileged children in hospitals and child-care facilities. First inspired by a sick 7-year-old girl when John was 17, his mission is to spread cheer to all children. Celebrating 26 years since his first holiday toy drive, when he successfully collected more than 800 to distribute, JTCF has since grown into a year-round organization, also donating therapeutic and recreational equipment, electronics, arts and crafts, televisions, video games, and more, to children and facilities in need! 1881 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, 516-679-5098, jtcf.org

BEST NOT-FOR-PROFIT
The St. Jude Mission Center
A beacon of hope for the community with the goal of spreading Christ’s love, The St. Jude Mission Center is the outreach arm of the Church of St. Jude (Episcopal) in Wantagh. Welcoming all of God’s children, The St. Jude Mission Center is devoted to spreading Christ’s teachings through compassionate worship. Programs include The Mother and Child Ministry, which provides essentials to parents in need; the PB&J Brigade, where teens and adults make sandwiches for women’s shelters and Ministry guests; The Heaven’s Harvest Food Pantry, which provides food and toiletries; and St. Michael’s Meal, a family-style Wednesday-night dinner open to everyone in the community. 516-900-1919, stjudemissioncenter.org/the-church-of-st-jude

BEST PHILANTHROPIST
The Michael Magro Foundation
Paul and Terrie Magro started the Michael Magro Foundation in 2005 to honor the life of their son, Michael, who died at the age of 13 following a battle with leukemia. Since then, the foundation has worked to assist pediatric cancer patients at NYU Winthrop-University Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids. The foundation also has a scholarship fund and awards two scholarships every year for students graduating from Hicksville High School, including one for a student entering a culinary school. The foundation’s efforts keep alive the memory of a bright young man beloved by his family and friends, while also helping Long Island families and young cancer patients fight the illness. 12 Julian St., Hicksville, 516-935-4510, michaelmagrofoundation.com

BEST THEATRE ARTS CENTER
Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts

Fun for the whole family, Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts is Suffolk County’s largest theatre, boasting nearly 1,200 seats in a beautiful setting with amazing sound. The theatre offers a variety of events including live musicals, rock concerts, comedy shows, and much more. Its mission is to serve Long Island as a cultural hub, highlighting wonderful talent and performing arts for a wide-ranging audience at budget-conscious prices. Originally opened in 1923, this gem of a theatre is part of Long Island’s history. Although it has gone through a series of renovations since its purchase in 1998, a lot of its original decor has been preserved. 71 East Main St., Patchogue, 631-207-1313, patchoguetheatre.org.

BEST ANIMAL RESCUE
Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center
Once again, Little Shelter has won top honors as The Best Animal Rescue and Animal Shelter on Long Island. Since 1927, this nonprofit, no-kill shelter has been dedicated to saving the lives of countless animals, providing them with premier medical care and finding them forever homes. With a thorough interview process in place for potential adopters, Little Shelter goes out of its way to ensure that every rescue’s new family with provide him or her with important essentials, including love, proving that the shelter’s staff and volunteers truly are the best! 33 Warner Rd., Huntington, 631-368-8770, littleshelter.com.

READY, SET, VOTE!

Vote for your favorite businesses, people, charities, and entities in the 2019 Bethpage Best of Long Island program through December 15.

Step 1: Visit bestoflongisland.com

Step 2: Click “Vote Now”

Step 3: Fill out form

Step 4: Select a category and click “Vote”

Step 5: Repeat for all your favorite people and businesses

To find other 2018 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Nominations for the 2020 contest open January 1.

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