Rising Stars Youth Foundation heralds the holiday season with its annual Hearts & Hoops drive Wednesday, December 14th at The Holy Child Academy in Old Westbury, NY.
The annual event was a resounding success, and Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis had special praise for the 48 Rising Stars student athletes that worked throughout the evening to make over 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the needy.
Said Paul Savramis, "Rising Stars is focused on positively impacting family and community through their foundation and this was totally a Rising Stars family affair! The Rising Stars athletes and many of their parents worked well together to get the sandwiches made, packaged, and delivered to three destinations.” Paul Savramis added, "This event was meaningful for us in many ways, and one of them was seeing our new director of education and community outreach jumping right in and hitting this event right out of the park!”
Savramis was referring to Rising Stars’ newest director Mikaela Kelly, a psychology and counseling major that replaced Emily Ades after seven years.
“It was wonderful to see the families all chipping in to help feed the needy” said Mikaela Kelly.
"I heard how Emily (now the director of the Kin Foundation) was so incredible in putting these events together and I just hoped to do my best in continuing that tradition of community spirit and fellowship."
"That she did and more,” praised Paul Savramis. “We were all very anxious when Emily moved on to direct the Kin Foundation, as she was the heart of our outreach programs. But we were beyond blessed to find Mikaela.”
|Mikaela Kelly (second from left) with her father, sister, and brother-in-law|
Mikaela was not alone in her first time at bat as she made the event a family effort.
Malachy "Mac" Kelly, her younger brother, is a Rising Stars scholar and is currently a standout player at The Hun School in Princeton, NJ.
Mikaela’s father, sister, and brother-in-law were also at the event to help accomplish the mission. Mikaela and her dad delivered the 1,500 sandwiches to three grateful “soup kitchens.” These were The Long Beach Soup Kitchen, The Terena Williams House in Hempstead NY, and The South Baptist Hempstead Church, also in Hempstead, NY.
It was a great evening for all and the perfect way to begin where Emily left off, said Paul Savramis.
Rising Stars will host many more community events for charity under Mikaela as part of the holistic process to improve the arc of their student athletes’ lives.