Manhattan, NY - February 23rd, 2016 - The Suffolk County volunteer committee attended The Fresh Air Fund’s annual Friendly Towns Leadership Conference from Friday, February 5th through Sunday, February 7th at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Over the course of three days, volunteers participated in interactive workshops with The Fresh Air Fund’s full-time staff and community agency partners.
The volunteers learned to how support their Friendly Towns communities, received data management training, communicated with New York City agency partners that register the program’s children, and attended various training sessions such as public relations and social media.
Former Fresh Air child Darryl Rattray, the Associate Commissioner for Community Centers and Strategic Partnerships at the Department of Youth and Community Development in New York City, gave the keynote speech. Darryl shared with the 250 volunteers in attendance how The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns Program greatly impacted his life.
The closing ceremony included a celebration of long-time volunteer leader and host parent Patty LeRoy for her 50 years of dedicated volunteerism to The Fresh Air Fund. Patty was reunited with her former Fresh Air child Donnalese as well as her current Fresh Air child Krystie.
“What an inspirational weekend at The Fresh Air Fund’s annual Friendly Towns Leadership Conference! Meeting the Fresh Air staff, hearing many amazing stories from former and current participants, learning how to grow the program and re-energizing us to kick off the new season! Only five months till the first buses arrive!” said Eva Lennon, a volunteer from Harleysville, PA.
About The Fresh Air Fund
The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are seven to 12 years old and stay for one or two weeks. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips.
Join the Suffolk County Volunteer Committee this summer as a volunteer host family and help unlock the limitless potential of New York City children. Please contact Jacqueline Shapiro at 516-702-1203 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org to sign up.