Bethpage Federal gives three $10K grants to LI organizations


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Bethpage Federal Credit Union is providing three $10,000 grants to Long Island organizations, under the 2023 Small Business Recovery Grant (SBRG) program.

Bethpage has delivered the grants to Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society and Ladles of Hope.

The credit union is a member of Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY), which created the SBRG program to assist the nonprofits that its members work with. The grants are designed to support the financial security and health of organizations that have faced economic challenges due to the rate environment, inflation, supply-chain constraints or rising energy costs, or any combination of those factors.

Bethpage selected the not-for-profit organizations and applied for the grant on their behalf.

“Pal-O-Mine, the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, and Ladles of Hope are all shining stars within Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s existing nonprofit partner network, and all worthy of being recognized as organizations whose great work has an enormous impact on the communities we serve,” Brian Bugge, senior vice president of accounting and finance at the credit union, said in a written statement.

“When this program was presented to us, we jumped at the opportunity to offer additional support to these organizations, and we will continue to partner with them through volunteerism and board stewardship throughout the year,” he added.

“The FHLBNY is honored to work with members to help the communities we all serve. We are appreciative of our members for their continued use of these programs, which enhance our ability to help make a positive impact,” Adam Goldstein, chief business officer of FHLBNY, said in a written statement.

“Small businesses and non-profits are the cornerstones of communities across our region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support the vital work they continue to do every day,” he added. “Recognizing this vital role local organizations play in the community is the first step to supporting continued opportunities and economic growth within our district.”

The three organizations said they were grateful to receive the grants.

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian began in 1995 as a therapeutic horseback riding program for individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable populations, using horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing. The Islandia-based not-for-profit supports children and adults with disabilities, those who have been abused or neglected, those who serve in the military and the impoverished. Pal-O-Mine Equestrian plans to its grant to increase and support staff hiring and retention.

“Operating a 13-acre, 20-stall horse farm is no easy task,” Lisa Gatti, founder and CEO of Pal-O-Mine, said in a written statement.

“Beyond the staff needed to maintain the facility and the health and safety of our animals, we also have teams of mental health professionals, riding instructors, teachers, vocational job coaches, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and nurses to help support the people we serve,” she added.

Since its inception in 1982, the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society has aimed to preserve, through education and capital improvements, the nautical heritage of Fire Island and Long Island and to ensure that the Fire Island Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters and visitor center remain an integral part of Long Island maritime history. The SBRG grant will be used to create as well as support community programs such as educational programs, workshops and tours related to the historical nature of the Fire Island Lighthouse.

Tony Femminella, executive director of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, said the organization’s mission is to “increase visitor services and programs for schools and other interested groups. Today, thousands of guests visit throughout the year to experience the 182-step tour to our gorgeous panoramic view and learn more about the life of a lighthouse keeper and the rigorous demands of preserving the lighthouse.”

Seaford-based Ladles of Hope is a Seaford-based operates soup kitchens and pantries offering to-go lunches and clothing for those in need in Nassau County. The organization is 100% volunteer-based and plans to use the grant to start offering a much-needed food pantry in Freeport and Roosevelt to provide clothing, toiletries and meals to those in need.

“We are so thankful and proud of the work our volunteers do every week to prepare the to-go meals and groceries for our soup kitchens. It means a lot to us to be a fully volunteer based organization, including our board of directors, with many working with us for more than 20 years,” Fran Hanly, secretary of Ladles of Hope, said in a written statement. “This grant will allow us to open two new food pantries to help feed our neighbors in need and provide supplies to help them get back on their feet.”

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