“We Serve.” That is the motto of Lions Club International, and that was exactly what our Greenpoint Lions Club did Saturday night when they hosted their eighth annual Toys for Tots party and fundraiser at the Warsaw Club on Driggs Avenue.
More than 200 people turned out to suck down homemade Jell-O shots and to support the Lions’ efforts to help Greenpoint’s needy. For a mere $20, the partygoers were treated to a smorgasbord of epic proportions, all donated by local restaurants including The Garden, Peter Pan Donut Shop, Polonaise Terrace, Jackson Ave. Steakhouse, Waterfront Crab House, Park Deli, Russ Pizza, Lite Bites, George’s Homestyle Catering, Winski Meat Market, Junior Restaurant, The Manhattan Three Decker Restaurant, Chinese Musician Restaurant, Busy Bee Food Exchange, Socrates Restaurant, L&A Convenience Store, Pit Stop Bar, And Val Diano Restaurant.
The evening featured four musical acts: Spare Parts, Pretty Ugly, Fat Cat Voodoo and Lord Urias, who volunteered their services and kept the crowd in the main room entertained while Parties on Point DJ Rick Atson donated his services, spinning records in the backroom for the entire evening.
While the primary purpose of the party was to collect toys to be given to needy children for Christmas, the proceeds from the event are used throughout the year to support Greenpointers in need. In addition to their partnership with Toys for Tots, the Greenpoint Lions participate in many other philanthropic efforts in the neighborhood, including a winter coat distribution program through which the Lions purchase and deliver jackets to children in need.
Of course, community support is necessary to make an event like this successful. To raise money, the Lions sold T-Shirts sponsored by local businesses, including Rama And Manjula Mukhopadhyay, Evergreen Funeral Parlor, Park Promotions, Bill Kirrane Real Estate, R¬bar, North Brooklyn Development, Greenpoint Gazette, Met Food Market, Apple Bank, Manhattan Three Decker, Ernest G. Thifault, Attorney At Law, Stobierski-Lucas Funeral Home, Peter Pan Donut Shop, Jackson Ave Steakhouse, Bosco, Bisignano & Mascolo Esqs., LLP, Greenpoint Florist, Major Sewer Water Contractors, Polish National Alliance, Mark’s Automotive, Metro Fuel Oil Corp, Dime Savings Bank, Edward A. Kurmel Brokerage, Ltd. Natural Cleaners, Billy’s Locksmith, Keith W. Balis, Atty At Law, Dolores Buonocore Real Estate, Cato Merch Mart Inc, Wagging Tails and Allstate Insurance Co.’s Jane Chrostowski, a member of the Greenpoint Lions who also facilitated a $1000 donation from Allstate to The Greenpoint Lions “Toys For Tots” Fund.
Finally, raffle tickets were sold throughout the evening, giving Greenpointers a chance to win a variety of prizes including a Christmas wreath donated by evergreen funeral home and W & W Wines and Liquor Store, a “basket of cheer” donated by Lion Nick Sellitri and a fully-decorated Christmas tree from Greenpoint trees, located at Calyer and Manhattan Avenue.
“It was a great event, a fun and successful event. It happens because the people of Greenpoint have a small-town attitude and they want to help others and each other,” said Lion Bud Madden. “It was a real community effort. The Lions helped coordinate it and put it together, but we couldn’t have done it without the help of the community.”