Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester Hosts 21st Annual Humanitarian Award Dinner

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Gala honors longtime executive director as “Humanitarian of the Year”

Photo/Lynda Shenkman: Curtis Brian Skanes, the 2015 Humanitarian of the Year; Nethmi DeSilva, 2015 Youth of the Year; R. Todd Rockefeller, BGCNW president; and Alyzza Ozer, BGCNW CEO

More than 400 members of the community, staff, and board members of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester (BGCNW) celebrated 76 years of giving youth great futures at the Club’s 21st annual Humanitarian Award Dinner on Saturday, June 6. The festive gala, which was held at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook, honored former longtime BGCNW executive director Brian Skanes as Humanitarian of the Year, and recognized TD Bank as the John Beach Award recipient for its longstanding commitment to community service.

“After attending a Boys & Girls Club conference 21 years ago, where I learned what a significant impact the organization was having on the lives of kids on a national level, I recruited Brian to share my vision of creating a local club to serve kids in the community,” said BGCNW board member Bonnie Trotta, who presented Skanes with his award.

Skanes, who served as the Club’s leader for 21 years, left the organization this spring to continue his good work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America as Director of Major Metro Services. Under Skanes’ direction, the BGCNW was established as one of the most respected youth service organizations in Westchester County, enriching thousands of children’s lives over the course of his two-decade long tenure.

The theme of Club’s signature fundraising event this year was “It’s all about the kids!” Nearly 30 Club members attended the event and danced alongside guests to the Jay Price band, giving gala goers the opportunity to witness first-hand how the Club changes lives. In a lighthearted twist, Club members introduced each presenter, including BGCNW Board President R. Todd Rockefeller, CEO Alyzza Ozer, and President Emeritus Bonnie Trotta. Nethmi DeSilva, the Fox Lane High School sophomore who received BGCNW’s 2015 Youth of the Year award, was also given special recognition at the annual gala, which benefits the Club’s scholarship initiative, educational programs, and helps provide funding for services to more than 1,700 youth members.

“Nethmi DeSilva personifies the love, education, and leadership that are provided at the Club,” Ozer said. “For all of you who are here tonight, who have helped us make the lives of our kids better – today, and for generations to come – thank you. And for all of our new friends here tonight, we welcome you to get involved with a very important mission because it is – all about the kids.”

This year’s Humanitarian Dinner co-chairs were BGCNW board members Linda Mahon, of Bedford Corners, Lee Manning-Vogelstein, of Pound Ridge, and Lisa Shrewsberry, of Bedford Corners.

“This year’s Humanitarian Award Dinner was a beautiful ceremony that honored our dedicated leadership and truly captured the essence of our mission to serve today’s youth, There’s nothing more special than to see these children and teens shine with the help of the Club and our continued support,” BGCNW board member Ashley Diamond said.

To watch the “It’s all about the kids” video, click here:

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester is located at 351 Main Street, Mt. Kisco, NY and can be reached at 914-666-8069 or by visiting For the latest news, photos and updates, please "like" the Club on

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Lyndsay Bouchal
Co-Communications, Inc.
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