Nearly 1,000 supporters attended the Eighth Annual Contractors For Kids Dinner Dance Reception, the main annual fundraiser for the largest regional charity supported by the construction, design and real estate industries.
This year’s “Country Cares – Howdy Partners” reception was cowboy and Wild West themed in recognition of the traditional western work ethics, personal responsibility, and community values represented by the Greater New York’s AEC (architecture/engineering/construction) and real estate professionals.
CFK Co-founder and President Kevin G. Harney of Stalco Construction said, “I would like to thank all attendees for their generosity. The building industry yet again showed its dedication to the community by raising nearly $300,000 for families in financial crisis due to an illness of a child. The contributions will help CFK assist families of children in need of surgeries, long-term medical care, therapy, and every-day necessities.”
The reception took place at the Atlantis Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead, N.Y. The event featured Wild West reenactments and bar fights by Las Vegas-based Wild West Performers lead by Cirque du Soleil’s Will Roberts, line dancing to live country music by Southbound, and lasso tricks by professional Western ropers. The industry pros gambled the night away at poker tables with proceeds benefitting CFK. Many braved a mechanical bull and tried their hand at lassoing a runaway calf to the amusement of their colleagues.
During the reception, the organization recognized its long-time supporter Karl “BigDaddy” Reamer as the CFK Man of the Decade. Big Daddy is a prominent local blues and rock singer, songwriter, acoustic 12-string guitarist, and leader of the BigDaddy & The Bulldogs band. He has supported CFK since its founding by performing with his band at numerous events, assisting in organizing fundraisers, and enlisting support for the organization from many local musicians.
Stalco Construction, Suffolk County National Bank, Sigma Aerospace Metals, DeMartino Construction, Superior Site Work, Watral Brothers, Northern Bay, and Win Win Solutions sponsored the event. CFK member The Eventide Group organized the fundraiser.
Founded in 2005, CFK has attracted enthusiastic support from over 300 local builders, architects, engineers, real estate firms, and other businesses. To date, CFK has raised over $3 million from its supporters and assisted nearly 400 families. The non-profit serves as a financial lifeline after families have exhausted all other resources.
According to Harney, the organization offers help extending beyond payment of medical bills. “We have reimbursed travel costs related to cutting-edge treatments unavailable locally and provided aid to families unable to submit mortgage payments due to healthcare-related expenses. We also assist parents faced with the heartbreaking task of making funeral arrangements for their children,” he said.
CFK recently aided a family of a 13-year-old boy suffering from multiple medical conditions, including a seizure disorder, mitochondrial disease, and a tumor behind an eye. After the boy’s mother quit her job to care for him, the father’s income became insufficient to cover all of the on-going living expenses. CFK helped the family avert bankruptcy and loss of their home by paying a mortgage installment as well as utility bills.
In another recent case, the organization helped a family of a ten-year-old boy suffering from neuroblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. Local hospitals were unable to help the little patient, however, a clinic in Texas offered to perform an experimental treatment. CFK provided funds that helped the family travel to Texas and pay for the cost of medical procedures. The treatment reduced the size of the boy’s tumor.
CFK also assisted a single mother of a five-year old boy awaiting a heart transplant. The mother and her child, who had already undergone three open-heart surgeries, spent many hours on a public bus commuting more than 30 miles twice a week to the Stony Brook University Medical Center for medical procedures. CFK purchased a car for the young mother. The following year, after the property in which the family rented an apartment had been foreclosed, CFK associates raised monies sufficient for two years of rent in a new apartment.
To support CFK and learn about the organization’s activities and upcoming events, please visit www.contractorsforkids.org or call 1-888-208-KIDS.