Seamen’s Society’s Annual Event raises funds to strengthen families

Thursday, November 7, 2019, Seamen’s Society for Children and Families held its annual gala and casino night at The Vanderbilt at South Beach. More than 200 people for the Western-themed event, celebrating the organization’s mission of strengthening families and changing lives. During the evening, Seamen’s Society President and CEO David W. Gaskin recognized the evening’s award recipients: Foster and adoptive parents Nicole Fioretto and Marlo Dotti, long-time volunteer and former Board member Esther Hannan, and corporate supporter Primark US.

Fioretto and Dotti, who are full-time court officers, received the Roots and Wings Appreciation Award, which is given to foster parents who are role models and have gone above and beyond in supporting the organization’s children.

“They have fostered not one, not two, not three, but four children… all under the age of two,” Gaskin said. “Three of the children are siblings. They just adopted one of the children and the others are in the process of being adopted.”

The organization’s Safe Harbor Award is presented to individuals and/or organizations who significantly assist Seamen’s Society in accomplishing its mission. The first honoree was Primark.  Gaskin said that when Primark opened in Staten Island two years ago, the company was very generous and provided Seamen’s Society with a donation and gift cards. Those gift cards have helped many children and families, most recently when one of our Prevention Services families lost everything in a house fire, and needed to buy new clothing.

The second Safe Harbor Awardee was a past board member and long-time volunteer Esther Hannan. Hannan was first introduced to Seamen’s Society as a child and was a resident of the now-closed Marshall Cottage. Her father was serving in the Merchant Marines and her mother, and eventually, her grandfather were unable to care for her. She lived in several foster homes, ultimately residing with Dorothy and Karl Koenig until she graduated high school. Hannan served for many years as a member of our Board of Trustees and co-chaired or has been involved with the organization’s galas since the early-2000s.

Gaskin congratulated the three honorees as well as thanked the evening’s sponsors: Gateway Arms Realty Corp., USI, The Angiuli Group, Atlantic Salt, Bank United, BDO USA, LLP, and Community Care RX.

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