Boys & Girls Club to celebrate 50 years of service

Annual Legacy Event will recognize five honorees who made a difference


The fourth annual Legacy Event to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Bellport, will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023. While this is April Fool’s Day, all the dedication and hard work that the organization puts into the community is no laughing matter. The event will include cocktails and light fare and will be dedicated to recognizing five honorees. 

“The goal of the legacy dinner is to honor the people who are grounded in the basis of our club from years ago, before there was even a Boys & Girls Club. Then there are the current people who ensure that we keep going. It’s kind of a fun, nostalgic thing to do,” Maryann McInerney, co-chair of the event, said.

The event always includes biographies and photos of the year’s esteemed honorees. 

“We’re honoring the lady from years ago who helped mobilize the community, Mary Gambles. She is known as someone involved in the beginning of the Becker/Gambles Music Fund. She was really a community advocate for people in need and a community worker for the Economic Opportunity Center. She lobbied for daycare centers and raised money for Bellport Daycare,” McInerney said.

The event is so special to the Boys & Girls Club because it’s an evening dedicated to recognizing those who embody the spirit of community outreach and giving back—which exemplifies the organization—while encouraging others to contribute in their own way by looking back at those philanthropic pioneers who paved the way forward. 

“These early people were magnanimous people who saw a road between their life’s work and helping people,” McInerney said.

Other 2023 Legacy Event honorees include Eileen Green, owner of Eileen Green Realty. She has served on the Boys & Girls Club Board and is described as “constantly and continually supportive,” according to McInerney. Another community member being honored that evening is Maureen Deitch. She grew up in Bellport and hosted her first Beachball Party more than 20 years ago, a major fundraiser for the club. 

Ridgewood Savings Bank will also be recognized as a major financial supporter for every event the Boys & Girls Club has by matching funds or offering financial assistance. The Police Athletic League (PAL) will also be honored for all their help hosting and assisting with events for the club. 

“PAL and the police department in general, including the COPE Program, have been a wonderful liaison with the club to get the kids to know them under those positive circumstances and have the police get to know them,” McInerney explained. 

Tickets to the Legacy Event will be available on the Boys & Girls Club of Bellport website, and they can also be purchased at the following Bellport locations: Pamela Lerner Antiques, Bellport Arts & Framing, and TOLA. Tickets are $150 each. This year, similar to last year’s event, will be a cocktail party instead of a formal sit-down dinner. This format is one that guests seemed to appreciate. The gala will include catering by Chara’s Kitchen & Catering in Bellport. They were a big hit during last year’s enjoyable event.

“You are not sitting at a table with 10 or eight people. It’s more comfortable. There are fewer speeches. We do awards, and we have a wonderful grant to teach kids ballet, and they’re going to do a small piece from their performance of ‘Swan Lake.’ We have a wonderful stage, a huge community center, music, an art room, gym, and art class,” said McInerney. The budding artists at the club design their own picture and have it framed for the honorees. “With a little bit of work, it comes out fantastic. They just need encouragement,” she said.

A big shout-out goes to all the volunteers who set up—and take down—the event. “The community is great. If you’re specific and say we need this or that, they’re right there,” McInerney said, expressing her gratitude.

It is the priority of the Boys & Girls Club to make sure that children in the community and surrounding area are not left behind, and are given every opportunity possible to hope, dream, and to achieve their goals. The sobering statistic stated on their website informs that, on average, 1 out of every 4 children leave school each day with no place to go. This is why they are committed to providing a secure, welcoming, educational, and encouraging space to go to after school. It is a place where there are positive role models, mentors, and healthy behaviors and attitudes modeled to the children who need it most. College prep and job readiness programs are also available.

To purchase tickets, donate, or inquire about volunteer opportunities go to


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