Photo Courtesy of NYFAC
LtR: Fellow Kiwanians Justice Augustus Agate and Stephen Sirgiovanni present NYFAC founder Andrew Baumann with check
Nearly 300 friends and supporters turned out on Thursday, March 2nd at Russo’s on the Bay to help the NYFAC Foundation in its mission of “Bettering the lives of those with autism.”
The Foundation’s 19th Annual Dinner Dance in Loving Memory of Ruth Cirello, recognized the contributions of this year’s distinguished honoree’s. Howard Beach resident and retired Supreme Court Justice Augustus Agate was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his extraordinary involvement with NYFAC and other organizations in and around South Queens. “The Generations Award” was presented to the Ruggiere Family, who established and still operate the oldest Insurance Business in Woodhaven Queens, Ohlert- Ruggiere Inc.. The Ruggiere’s continuously demonstrated their commitment to NYFAC and many other charities and local organizations in the South Queens Community. Brian O’Connell, Principal of Scholar’s Academy in Rockaway Park, was named “Educator of the Year.” A “Community Service Award” was given to another Howard Beach resident, NYPD Counter-Terrorism Officer John Anthony Passarella. John donates his time and resources as a DJ at NYFAC fundraising events. Brooklyn organization, My Time, Inc. and founders Lucina and Wayne Clarke were named “Autism Organization of the Year.” “Humanitarian of the Year” was presented Frank Scafo. Prior to receiving his award, a ceremony was held where former Foundation Chair Michael “Mike” Brothers passed the gavel to Frank Scafo as the newly elected chair to the NYFAC Foundation. At that time, Mike received a plaque for his dedication, support and leadership as the first Chairman of the Foundation.
Distinguished guests, Senator Joseph Addaboo, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer-Amato, Supreme Court Commissioner of Jurors, Audrey Pheffer and Assemblyman David Weprin were on hand to congratulate each of the honorees.NYFAC President and CEO Andrew Baumann, expressed his gratitude to the honorees and all of the guests in attendance. “Everyone in this room is an integral part of the NYFAC Family. And thanks in part to all of you, the money we raise tonight, will help toward our plans to expand our facilities by the addition of NYFAC’s new Center for Physical Achievement.”