Board Newsletter
Summer 2019

Letter from the CEO

Spring is here and we have begun our final school year program cycle while also looking forward to an exciting summer in the clubhouses and at our sleep-away camp in Harriman State Park. As we move toward the sale of our Harriman Clubhouse on 10th Street and Avenue A, we remain committed to our Harriman members and to the Lower East Side, where BCNY was founded. We are seeking to right-size our space in the neighborhood and will continue to offer the youth development programs that have had such an impact on so many boys and young men over the years. In the meantime, we have an agreement with the Harriman buyer that will allow us to continue to provide a wide range of services at the clubhouse over the summer and possibly during the upcoming school year. We pledged that we would continue to serve our Harriman members when the sale was announced and we will have a robust and dynamic set of programs for these important members of the BCNY community. 

We are excited about the future at BCNY. We have a strong and dedicated Board of Trustees, an engaged and effective Women’s Board, and talented and effective staff. We also are privileged to have generous supporters who expect the best from BCNY, as they understand our members deserve nothing else. We thank you for your support and affirmation of our efforts. I hope you enjoy this newsletter that offers some programming highlights and information on upcoming special events. 

With gratitude, 

Stephen Tosh

Board Updates


The Board of Trustees welcomes Barclay G. Jones III to the board, effective January 30th. We look forward to working with him for the betterment of the Boys’ Club.

Andrew R. Mann has resigned from the Board. We are grateful for his leadership in 15 years on the board, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of honorary trustee Allan A. Ryan III. Allan joined the Board of Trustees in 1960 and served as an honorary trustee for many years after his retirement. He was a volunteer leader at the Jefferson Park (now Gerry) Clubhouse from 1955 to 1966, and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, he was involved in the planning of the Abbe Clubhouse. Allan had an impressive career at Smith Barney until his retirement in 1987.and He spent many years pursuing his passion as a wildlife painter (donating several paintings as raffle prizes for BCNY events). We will be forever grateful for Allan’s friendship and devotion to the Boys’ Club mission.


The Women’s Board is delighted to welcome Tracey Huff as its newest member, effective February 1st. A longtime supporter of BCNY, she was a member of the Host Committee for the 2019 Annual Luncheon and attended her first Women’s Board meeting in April. 

We are also pleased to announce that Carolina de Neufville and Alexandra Mondre will join the Women’s Board, effective September 1, 2019. Carolina served as a Vice Chair of the 2017 Fall Dance and Alexandra Mondre was a member of the 2019 Annual Luncheon Host Committee. 

We are delighted to welcome Muffy Miller to the Honorary Women’s Board, as she is now a resident of Palm Beach. We are grateful for her unique contributions in her 21 years on the board, including co-chairing many events and helping to spearhead the Palm Beach Fashion Show which raised over $1.5 million since 2004. 

Women’s Board member Ritchey Howe was featured in the April issue of Quest Magazine where she talks about the great work she’s done for the Boys’ Club of New York, including the Cooking Competitions and SUITED UP events. Congratulations Ritchey! The Boys’ Club thanks you for your ongoing support!

You can see the profile on Ritchey here.

Program Spotlight: Culinary Competitions at BCNY


As part of BCNY’s wellness programming, our members learn about basic cooking techniques, food safety, nutrition, and healthy meal planning–skills they take with them into adulthood. And they hone those skills with cooking scrimmages culminating in a lively tri-clubhouse battle chef cooking competition!

Our Junior members, ages 10-12, competed for the title of Culinary Kings on March 23rd.  Gerry Clubhouse won top prize, earning the coveted trophy for their Quesadilla Supreme meal. Other dishes included Abbe Clubhouse’s Pineapple Fried Rice with Sautéed Chicken and Shrimp Skewers and the Harriman team’s Infused Quinoa with Chicken. The panel of celebrity chefs included Melba Wilson (Melba’s Restaurant & Melba’s Catering); Harold Villarosa (The Insurgo Project); Ariel Palitz (Senior Executive Director of the Office Of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment); Wilhemenia Ramos (Chef de cuisine, Dig Inn); and Darius Peacock (Winner on the first season of Chopped). The judges all agreed that the boys who participated were winners, even prompting Ms. Wilson to generously donate gift certificates to her famed restaurant for each competitor.

Click here for more photos.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

71st Annual Fall Dance

The 2019 Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs invite you to join us for the Boys’ Club of New York’s 71st Annual Fall Dance.

Thursday, October 17, 2019
7:00pm – 8:00pm Cocktails
8:00pm – 12:00pm Dinner and Program, Followed by Dancing

The Pierre
2 East 61st Street, at 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Gabrielle Bacon, Stephanie Kearney, Ros L’Esperance, Anjali Melwani, Gigi Mortimer

Attire is Black-Tie


Staff Updates

Carlos Velazquez, Chief Program Officer
We are pleased to announce that Carlos Velazquez will assume the position of Chief Program Officer at BCNY effective immediately. In this role he will continue to supervise Harriman and Gerry, the Beacon, and our camp. He will also lead our efforts to secure new program space on the Lower East Side and eventually open new clubhouses in Brooklyn and the Bronx. This is an important inflection point in BCNY’s history and we are excited to have Carlos playing this key role as we move forward.

Jessica Michel, Operations Associate
Jessica Michel joined us in January as an Operations Associate. Previously, Jessica was an Associate Teacher at Success Academies. Jessica graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Gender Studies. We are excited to welcome Jessica to the BCNY team!

Shonda Smith, Director of Communications
Shonda Smith joined BCNY in February as its new Director of Communications. Most recently, she managed communications, engagement, and special projects for the Innocence Project. A native New Yorker, Shonda’s childhood was marked by fierce SCRABBLE® competitions and animated family discussions about world issues—customs she’s now passed on to her own family. Shonda earned her B.A. in Journalism from S.U.N.Y. College at New Paltz and M.S. in Publishing from New York University. We look forward to working with Shonda!

Past Newsletters

  • December 2018 Board Newsletter

    Letter from the CEO

    Dear Friends,

    As we close out 2018, we celebrate our first full year of High School Access and our first summer at our Harriman State Park sleepaway camp. We also celebrate our Winter Luncheon with Thomas Friedman as our keynote speaker, our Golf Outing, and our 70th Annual Fall Dance. We had touching holiday celebrations in the clubhouses, a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner at the Central Park Boathouse, and moving graduations and awards ceremonies. The one constant in all of these is your strong and selfless support. Your encouragement and generosity provide the foundation that helps make these program initiatives and special events so successful.

    As we address existing challenges and explore new opportunities, it gives me and our staff, and our members and their families, confidence knowing we have dedicated board leadership with a deep commitment to our mission. While we lost a Boys’ Club giant recently with the passing of Stretch Gardiner, we have an amazing group of talented board members who will drive us forward as we create a path to a better future for our members. Thank you and please enjoy this latest edition of our board newsletter.

    With appreciation,
    Stephen Tosh

    Honor BCNY staff members who go above and beyond

    As a Boys’ Club Board member, you know the impact staff have on members and the continuing success of the organization. Frontline, Administrative, and full-time staff serve as ambassadors for the organization, mentors, and positive role models on the basketball court, in the education department, during music lessons, and in the game rooms. BCNY parents rely on staff, too, for academic support and guidance on what is best for their son.

    This Holiday season, we invite you to honor staff members who have gone above and beyond for the boys and young men we serve. Make a contribution in honor of your favorite staff member by visiting this link. Your gift will inspire our staff to keep up the good work, and will let them know that you appreciate all that they do for the Boys’ Club.

    Please help us show our talented and dedicated staff the appreciation they deserve.

    Remembering Robert M. “Stretch” Gardiner

    The Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) mourns the passing of our beloved friend and longtime Trustee, Robert “Stretch” Gardiner. Stretch was a unique and extraordinary individual and an inspirational leader. Among his many significant contributions to BCNY was the vision he brought for advancing educational opportunities for countless BCNY boys. He founded The Robert M. Gardiner School at our summer camp and was a tireless and generous champion of our Independent School Placement (ISP) program. He loved to hear stories of all our boys as they prepared to depart for school but he especially delighted when one packed his bags for his alma mater, the Trinity Pawling School.

    Stretch joined the Board of Trustees in 1976 and served as an Honorary Trustee since 2006. During his 42 years on the board, he led or served on numerous committees. As co-chair with Ebby Gerry, Stretch led our Committee on Trustees and was responsible for encouraging many of his friends and colleagues to join our board, and they remain an integral part of BCNY’s leadership to this day. Stretch led our successful 2003 capital campaign and received the Northrop Award for spirit at our 2011 Awards Dinner.  Stretch and Liz were fixtures at our special events, often serving on organizing committees or as event co-chairs. And finally, one of the two principal trophies which we award each year at our golf outing is the Stretch Gardiner Cup, named to honor his years of hard work, enthusiasm, and good humor.

    In his professional life, Stretch retired as a Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley. Previously he was Chairman and CEO of Dean Witter Financial Services Group after working his way up to Managing Partner of Reynolds Securities Inc. (which merged with Dean Witter in 1978). Stretch was one of the authors of the investment handbook for individual investors called “The Morgan Stanley Guide to Personal Investing” (1987), which became the guidebook for successful RIAs.  Before he began his business career, Stretch served his country with distinction in the Army during WWII and received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Belgian Croix de Guerre.‎

    The depth of Stretch’s commitment to his community and especially to the lives of young people is an inspiration for us all and will never be forgotten. The boards, staff, alumni, and especially the boys we serve have been forever enriched by Stretch’s leadership. In our memory, his legacy will live on for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Liz and all of Stretch’s family.

    70th Annual Fall Dance

    The 70th Annual Fall Dance, which took place on Tuesday, October 23rd, raised nearly $1.3 million for the Boys’ Club and exceeded our fundraising goal. The event was presented in partnership with Dolce&Gabbana and featured stunning décor from Raul Àvila Inc. Many thanks to our co-chairs Coco Brandolini, Kathryn Miller, Tabitha Mortimer, Mary Kathryn Navab, Tatiana Perkin, Betsy Pitts, and Lauren Santo Domingo for their leadership and fundraising success.

    The highlight of the Fall Dance was having BCNY mom Saccora share her story and talk about her son, Elijah, who is now attending Brooklyn Tech. She got a standing ovation! It was truly heartwarming.

    We received great press, including, Town & Country, New York Magazine’s The Cut,, Guest of a Guest, The Daily, Avenue Magazine, New York Social Diary, and more.

    This year featured the first annual Junior Party, which sold out at 250 young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Junior Party guests met for cocktails, light bites, and activities at 8:30pm and then joined Fall Dance guests and danced the night away to tunes by DJ Sam French. We are grateful to our Junior Co-Chairs Colin Heffron Jr., Zoe Banks L’Esperance, Lily Merrill, Max Mortimer, Harling Ross, and Kelly Van Ingen, for their help in gathering their friends and making the Fall Dance Junior Party the place to be. Special thanks to Ritchey Howe and Betsy Pitts for providing encouragement and guidance.

    For more photos, click here.

    The Spirit of BCNY Thanksgiving

    BCNY’s Clubhouse Thanksgiving Dinners took place at Harriman on the 15th, Abbe on the 19th, and Gerry on the 20th. Members of the Women’s Board and BCNY staff volunteered by serving Thanksgiving dinners and sitting with the boys during the meals. A huge thanks to Linda Hickox, who generously underwrote the dinners.

    The November 19th Central Park Boathouse Thanksgiving Dinner, generously hosted every year by Trustee Dean Poll, was a truly special evening attended by select BCNY boys. Women’s Board members attended and hosted tables with boys and their families. This was a fun and heartwarming evening that included a game of Thanksgiving Family Feud, readings by essay contest winners from all three Clubhouses, and a performance of “Take Initiative” by the stars of the video. Thank you to Dean Poll for generously hosting once again!

    On November 18th, with the help of generous donations, BCNY staff and members of the Young Advocates Circle provided over 600 families (surpassing our goal of 400!) with a turkey and a grocery bag filled with stuffing, yams, vegetables, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and more at the Third Annual Gerry Clubhouse Thanksgiving Drive. Thank you for helping families celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, and teaching the boys and young men we serve about the spirit of Thanksgiving.

    A huge thanks to everybody who generously donated their time and money to make Thanksgiving extra special for our boys!

    Board Updates

    Struan Coleman, Ray Kelly, and Doug Teresko have resigned from the Board. We are grateful for their leadership and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

    It is with sadness that we announce the passing of our trustee and friend, Jerry Shields, on October 10.  Jerry was elected to the board in 1993, and served as a member of the Investment and Finance committees. We will be forever grateful for Jerry’s friendship and devotion to the Boys’ Club mission.

    The Women’s Board welcomes newest member Sara Zilkha to her first meeting in January. A longtime BCNY supporter, Sara served as a Vice Chair for the 2017 Fall Dance. We are delighted to have her in the BCNY family!

    Staff Updates

    We are delighted to welcome Manager of Special Events Nicole Fox to BCNY’s Development Department. Nicole will be the point person for our Golf Tournament and Fall Dance Junior Party, and will work closely on all special event logistics and volunteer opportunities. Most recently Nicole was the Development Associate for The Sato Project, and previously she served as the Artistic Assistant for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and as the Membership Manager at The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. Nicole graduated summa cum laude from SUNY College at Oneonta with a BA in Music Industry and later received her MPA in Nonprofit Administration from Baruch College. We all look forward to getting to know Nicole and to working with her for years to come.

    Support BCNY by shopping at Amazon

    We would like to make you aware of an easy way to contribute to the Boys’ Club without spending any additional money. By shopping on Amazon and selecting Boys’ Club of New York as your Amazon smile charity, Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to BCNY. Please follow these easy steps below:

    • Select your Amazon smile charity as Boys Club of New York Inc.
    • You can set your account by clicking here: smile charity.
    • Type the following as your smile charity: Boys Club of New York Inc.
    • .5% of all your Amazon purchases come back to BCNY!
    • To continually support BCNY when you make any purchases from Amazon, always shop at
    • Don’t forget to add the smile before Amazon each time you make a purchase!

    Please forward this information to family and friends so they can support BCNY through their regular Amazon purchases.

    Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019
    Featuring Howard Schultz
    11:30am Reception
    12:15pm Lunch and Program
    583 Park Avenue

    May 20, 2019

    Monday, June 17, 2019
    The Creek
    1 Horse Hollow Road
    Locust Valley, New York 11560
    More Details to Follow

    Tuesday, January 29, 2019
    Gerry Clubhouse, 321 East 111th Street

    Wednesday, January 30, 2019
    Harriman Clubhouse, 287 East 10th Street

    Thursday, February 7, 2019
    Gerry Clubhouse, 321 East 111th Street

    To RSVP for any event  or volunteer opportunity, please contact
    Susan Bender, Special Events Associate, at