July 23, 2015 By Michael Florio
The LIC YMCA is hosting a block party fundraiser so it can offer discounted memberships to residents who struggle to afford it.
The party takes place on Saturday, July 25, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., near the corner of Vernon Boulevard and 45th Avenue (10-01 45th Avenue). The event is free and will include entertainment such as break dancing, karaoke, a car show, 5 Pointz artists, karate demonstrations as well as singers.
The YMCA aims to raise as much as $25,000 on the day, with the help of local businesses, artists and attendees.
Businesses such as Douglas Elliman, Alma Bank, Bigcity graph-x, Manducatis Rustica, SHI, Metropolis International and Ekstein Development Group are sponsoring the event.
Furthermore, Jet Blue is auctioning off two tickets that can be used to fly anywhere in the nation, said Ebony Conely-Young, the Executive Director of the LIC YMCA.
A big attraction Saturday will be the arrival of the 5 Pointz artists, who are coming back to Long Island City after their unfortunate departure from the neighborhood.
“They are motived by their passion for helping young people,” said Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, who is an organizer of the event.
“Meres One and Marie [Cecile Flaegul] have a love for teenagers,” Cerbone-Teoli said. “I made one phone call and they said they would come and take care of everything.”
“They pulled together a group of artists, and are providing the music and are making a major donation in terms of time, effort and supplies,” Cerbone-Teoli said.
Some of the artwork will be created during the block party as part of an “art battle.” Two artists – provided by 5 Pointz – will be given a theme as well as art supplies and battle it out one-on-one.
The artwork deemed best will be determined via audience participation.
“The artists will paint and auction their work off later in the day,” Conely-Young said.
Conely-Young said she expects about 1,000 people to attend throughout the day.
“We encourage people to come out,” she said. “They can have fun and help give to a good cause.”
Conely-Young said this is the first block party the LIC YMCA has had for some time. In the past, she said, the organization held fundraisers that were sit-down dinners.
“I wanted to change things up a bit and keep it fresh,” she said. “It makes the event more fun.”
There will be food trucks on site so participants will able to eat while the activities take place.
The funds raised will become part of a scholarship fund, which will be used to subsidize memberships for residents who cannot afford it.
There will also be three artists–Danny Simmons, Marley Marl and Lady Pink–who will be receiving the Frank Tempone Award on Saturday.
The award recognizes those who give back to the community either through youth development or healthy living.
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