Mitch Kraeling and friends at the Kids Need More Mitch Kraeling Memorial Gala. (Photo by Ed Shin)

Kids Need More, Long Island’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children, families, and young adults coping with cancer and life threatening illnesses, hosted the 4th Annual Mitchell Kraeling Memorial Gala on Jan. 31 at The Coral House in Baldwin. 

This year’s gala raised $75, 000 and honored Joseph Hoehn of Farmingdale, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 12 after a battle with congenital heart disease. New York State Assemblywoman Judy Boyd Griffith joined as a featured guest speaker.

“This Gala is always such a magical night filled with love, support, and most importantly, fun,” said Kids Need More President Melissa Firmes.  “At Kids Need More we believe that children diagnosed with serious illness need more than to survive, they deserve to thrive. We are committed to providing them opportunities with their families to enjoy life, to have fun and create happy memories.”

This year’s gala featured dinner, dancing, raffles and prizes, as well as the exceptional children and teen Gala Ambassadors. This year’s Ambassadors include children coping with serious illness and trauma, whether they have lost a family member or endured it themselves. These special individuals represent hope for the kids and families coping with life’s biggest obstacles.  Each Ambassador has taken on the task of personally fundraising for the event.

All proceeds from the gala will support the Kids Need More mission to enhance the lives of children, families and young adults coping with cancer and life-threatening illness. 

Mitch Kraeling’s bus won the trophy for the Holiday Cheer Bus. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Gala Ambassador Ashley Lyons, Lisa Lyons, Johnny Ray from Kids Need More, Gala Ambassador Arianna Sangirardi, and Rese Sangirardi. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Melissa Firmes-Ray Executive Director of Kids Need More, Kathleen, and Jim Birch. (Photo by Ed Shin)
2020 Mitch Kraeling Memorial Gala Ambassadors. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Gala Honoree Sharima Williams. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Jim Birch, Gio Giovani, and Eddie Orihuela. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Nini Rosenberg and Mitch Kraeling. (Photo by Ed Shin)
NY State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Johnny Ray, Melissa Firmes-Ray, Cooking With Stars Paula. and Michael Herman. (Photo by Ed Shin)
MaryAnn and Dr. Joseph Mills. (Photo by Ed Shin)
(Photo by Ed Shin)
(Photo by Ed Shin)
(Photo by Ed Shin)
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