New Ground’s 23rd Annual Groundbreakers Gala A Success!


New Ground Inc. hosted its premier fundraising event, the 23rd Annual Groundbreakers Gala, on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at the extravagant Garden City Hotel in Garden City, NY. This highly anticipated event celebrated the accomplishments of New Ground’s Veterans and families while raising vital funds needed to continue innovative programming and services to “Break the Cycle of Homelessness” on Long Island. The gala featured an evening of elegance, entertainment, and inspiration, all in support of New Ground’s mission to provide safe and stable housing, as well as comprehensive support services, to those in need.

New Ground recognized esteemed individuals and organizations at this year’s event for their outstanding contributions to the community and their unwavering support in helping Veterans and families caught in the vicious cycle of homelessness on Long Island.

We were proud to recognize this year’s honorees:

Gala 2

Gerri Domenikos, CEO, and Gabriel Domenikos, COO, AirLogix HVAC received the Groundbreakers Award. Gerri as CEO and Gabe as COO assumed leadership of their family business, AirLogix, from their father and have continued its commitment to employing local talent and helping our neighbors in need. Operating for over 30 years, AirLogix has a strong reputation in the community, serving local businesses and facilities, and supporting growth in the region while protecting the environment with energy efficient solutions for every project. AirLogix has developed systems from large commercial projects to affordable housing developments and smaller entities. Gerri and Gabe are dedicated to giving back professionally and personally and improving our community, thus embodying the spirit of New Ground.


AvalonBay Communities received the Máiréad M. Barrett Founder’s Award in recognition of their ongoing support of New Ground, specifically its Veterans Program and Huntington Veterans Home. AvalonBay is committed to building stronger communities through their philanthropic focus areas of affordable housing and underserved neighbors in need. New Ground is grateful to be one of over 60 nonprofits across the country to receive their support through volunteerism, advocacy, and financial contributions. The strength of New Ground’s friendship with AvalonBay and their belief in the organization’s mission is inspiring. Their dedication exemplifies New Ground’s Founder’s vision to challenge homelessness on Long Island and be part of the long-term solution.

Gala 4

Melissa D. Mohan, Esq., Melmo Realty LLC received the Thomas Whalen Memorial Award for Board Excellence. Melissa’s remarkable journey as an attorney, real estate broker, entrepreneur, and dedicated community leader demonstrates an unwavering commitment to excellence in every facet of her life. Melissa’s journey with New Ground began in 2018 when she attended the Groundbreakers Gala. Immediately drawn to New Ground’s mission, she became an ardent advocate for the cause, and joined New Ground’s Board of Directors in 2019. In addition to her role as a board member, Melissa has served as the Young Professionals Board Chair since 2019. Under her leadership, the YPB has flourished, consistently engaging and mobilizing young professionals to support the organization’s mission. Her passion and commitment to ending homelessness and empowering families in need have been a driving force behind New Ground’s success. Additionally, Melissa’s recent appointment as President of the Deer Park Chamber is a testament to her leadership skills and community engagement. Her vision for the Deer Park Chamber aligns seamlessly with her commitment to making a positive impact on her community.

The 23rd Annual Groundbreakers Gala was an unforgettable evening, filled with inspiring stories, incredible honorees, and opportunities to support a worthy cause. Funds raised during this event directly benefit Veterans and families experiencing homelessness on Long Island.

Attendees engaged with New Ground’s mission, networked with like-minded individuals, and made a significant impact on their community. The gala featured a silent auction, live entertainment, and heartfelt testimonials from those whose lives have been transformed by New Ground’s services. 

For more information about New Ground’s missions, please visit newground.org or contact us at [email protected].

About New Ground:

New Ground Inc. is a 501c3 organization working with homeless Long Island Veterans and families to successfully break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Great emphasis is placed on Veterans and parents returning to school to obtain a higher degree or certification, locating better paying employment and careers that can sustain the family, learning how to best manage their income and expenses and pay down debts to improve their credit score, and working with all children in the household to become academically successful and on track to graduate to higher education programs so they too can have a brighter future. For more information, please visit www.newground.org.

Gala 2

Gala 5