Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance holds 2nd annual fundraiser

The Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance is asking the community to give back, as it holds it’s second annual fundraiser this month.

The June 27 fundraiser at Maestro’s is not only important to raise money, but also to honor those who have helped their community, especially after a fire that devastated several local families, said VMMA vice president Bernadette Ferrara.

“We want to honor people who feel as strongly about the community as we do,” she said. “Recognition of those people is so important to us.”

The honorees this year will include 49th Precinct Community Council president Joe Thompson, Cross County Savings Bank, Van Nest True-Value Hardware and Conti’s Pastry Shop.

“Joe is not from Van Nest, but he really has been our go-to person with the fire and everything surrounding that,” Ferrara said. “He’s always the first one to offer to go wherever we need him to. He has been so physically present and supportive with things we needed quick answers to.”

Ferrara said the alliance will be honoring the others for their constant donations and involvement in the community.

“Cross County Savings Bank jumped right in and donated $1,000 to the Van Nest relief fund, which was a major contribution, and the other two businesses have been in the community for a very long time. They know how important community is and are always quick to jump in and help out.”

The alliance raised about $3,000 at last year’s fundraiser, and hopes to raise $5,000 this year.

“We have a lot of goals, now we just need money in the pot,” she said.

Some of the goals include adding more community events, initiating some sort of community scholarship and working on raising the quality of life for residents.

Besides the fire relief fund, she said the alliance also worked to organize protests against the local street gang which has recently become a problem.

“We need to raise the bar and everyone has to do their part,” Ferrara said. “When we have events everyone has to get involved.”

Tickets are $65 and will include a cocktail reception, four course sit-down dinner, open bar and valet parking for the event, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Maestro’s on Bronxdale Avenue.

For further information, call (646) 305-4913 or (917) 498-5786.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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