Monday, April 22, 2024

Paul Savramis | Rising Stars Works With Dementia Centers

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars and its founder, Paul Savramis, proudly continue to support the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia center. Rising Stars has been a proud sponsor of the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia center for the past decade. This cause is dear to the heart of founder Paul Savramis, and he wants more people to get behind it. 
 
"Alzheimer's and dementia should be something we are all very much concerned with," begins Paul Savramis. "I personally have gotten more involved as a result of a direct connection with Gordon Thomas," continued Savramis. 
 
Savramis explained that his connection began when Gordon introduced him to the Bayshore YMCA and other community programs that helped to build Rising Stars' outreach and grassroots presence in the Great South Bay areas of Long Island. It was then that Paul Savramis learned about Gordon's passion for creating awareness for Alzheimer's and that he and Thomas shared a common vehicle that could help with that awareness. 
 
That vehicle for Thomas was the Alzheimer's All-Star Classic and the annual Slam Dunk and 3-point contest. The second event is coming this May, and Savramis was first in line to offer his and Rising Stars' continued support. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Jovia Bank Deposits Financial Literacy for Rising Stars Student-Athletes

Paul Savramis

Recent articles and news clips have applauded the direction Rising Stars Youth Foundation has taken with its sponsor partners in March. We asked Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis to explain the whys and hows of it all. 
 
Q: News 12 and Pix 11 showed the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex this past March. A segment of the ceremony involved Jovia Bank introducing its financial literacy program and describing its hopes for impact. What can you add to that? 
 
Paul Savramis: The ceremony was incredible for all of us at Rising Stars. It recognized that we built this complex to offer more than just a basketball program. The Jovia Bank literacy program is one of those offerings. 
 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Rising Stars: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Paul Savramis
Rising Stars and the YMCA
                 
Rising Stars embodies the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Founder Paul Savramis has always believed in the power of community support for a child's success. For the past 27 years, he has focused on building partnerships that make Rising Stars' mission realistic and sustainable. This vision has resulted in collaborations with over 35 partner organizations. 
  
Q: You've been quoted as saying "It takes a Village to Raise a Child." How does that relate to Rising Stars and its work? 
  
Paul Savramis: Rising Stars' mission is simple: to promote education. However, the programs that fulfill this mission have become anything but simple. They have benefited greatly from partnering with community organizations that share the common goal of making a positive difference in children's lives. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Rising Stars Sixth Grade Elite Continues To Amaze In January As The Rising Stars Athletic Complex Opens For Business

Paul Savramis
January 2024 saw great excitement and events that added meaning to the term "New" in the New Year. Topping that list was the grand opening of the new Rising Stars Athletic Complex. 
 
Talking to Rising Stars founder Paul Savramis, we asked what specific changes were created for Rising Stars in January and what remained the same after 27 years. 
 
Q: January 2024 saw the opening of your new and long-awaited Rising Stars Athletic Complex. What were some changes and events that the New Year rang in? 
 
Paul Savramis: The Complex already hosted its first Holiday Camp event in January and began a new training program every Saturday run by Executive Director Dan Gimpel. The Complex is now the new home for Rising Stars "Little Stars" and was the site for the Rising Stars team tryouts for the Spring season. The Athletic Complex runs 24/7 and is a hub for many other area programs. 
 
Q: Was that the original plan for the Athletic Complex? 
 
Paul Savramis: It was not, but the new plan we now have begun to develop that way organically. It was like inviting neighbors over to see your new house. It's really been a great way for Rising Stars to get more in tune with the community, make new friends, and bring in new areas where we had never been before. 
 
Q: With all the buzz about the Complex, you keep talking about the Rising Stars 6th grade Elite Team. What singles them out with everything else happening this January? 
 
Paul Savramis: It is rare that you will hear me or any other coach from Rising Stars single out any group, as every group is special for us. But this team is beyond unique. First, it has been together since the second grade, which is very unusual for the level of basketball this group maintains. The team also has competed in and won championships in just about every major event in the tri-state area. 
 
Q: What was the most recent event that everyone is excited about this January? 
 
Paul Savramis: On January 30th, 2024, the team got to play at the halftime of the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. This was all possible by an earlier championship they won in the prestigious City Is Mine tournament. 
 
A special shout out to these boys, and an equal one to coach Sidney Barrington, the Rising Stars Grassroots director, for keeping the faith and this team together.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

December 10th 2023 Kicks Off Rising Stars Youth Foundation’s First Community Service Event At The New Rising Stars Athletic Facility In Freeport

Paul Savramis

Kudos to Rising Stars educational and community events director Mikaela Kelly in putting together another great event to help families in need. 
 
Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis had nothing but praise for Mikaela and held her accomplishments in high esteem. According to Paul Savramis, "Mikaela stepped into some very big shoes to fill when Emily Ades left as our community programs director to head the new Kinnect Foundation.” Paul Savramis went on to note, "Emily created a footprint for us to follow. She was amazing in how she was able to engage family, academic needs, and a commitment to community. Rising Stars was Emily's signature program and although the new position she left for was an amazing opportunity, it was a huge loss for us. Luckily, Mikaela Kelly came in and lightning struck twice." 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Rising Stars Athletic Complex Scheduled to Open November 2023

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder and President Paul Savramis proudly announced the grand opening of the Rising Stars Athletic Complex, the new home of the Rising Stars Youth Foundation. 
 
The recently completed Rising Stars Athletic Complex had a soft opening for a small group of directors, coaches, and guests on November 30. The complex, located at 63 Babylon Turnpike in Freeport, Long Island, is a complete renovation of the historical Freeport Armory. 
 
We asked Paul Savramis how he felt about seeing a dream come true. 
 
"This certainly has been a long time coming," said Paul Savramis. "We have had many opportunities to develop properties in the past, but this was something that we couldn't pass up." Paul Savramis continued, "Freeport provides us with a centrally located address right off the highway that all of our families have easy access to. The title ‘Athletic Complex’ is misleading as this is far from just a gymnasium. In addition to housing two state-of-the-art basketball courts, the 16,000-sq-foot renovation includes an academic center, community rooms, administrative offices, a training room, and a fitness center.” 
 
Paul Savramis

Paul Savramis

Over the past 27 years, the Rising Stars Foundation has developed and maintained partnerships with more than 35 high schools and other youth groups to offer tutoring and other academic and community support in addition to training for their boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. The Rising Stars Athletic Complex will now be able to provide all of those activities under one roof. 
 
"We are beyond excited," was how Executive Director Dan Gimpel put it. "This has been a dream of mine ever since I started coaching and training with Rising Stars. When Paul Savramis asked me to take over as Executive Director, he told me this would happen one day, and now that day has come!" Paul Savramis echoed Gimpel's sentiments and added, "Danny has put in an enormous amount of time and effort in seeing this project through. It would never have happened without him. The future of Rising Stars is in great hands.” 
 
Said Paul Savramis, "there were so many dreamers in Rising Stars history that imagined this home happening one day, which makes this day all the more special.” Savramis gave special credit to Rising Stars ambassador Jay Williams and his mother, the late Althea Williams, who both had shared the dream: “Althea Williams was the spirit of our academic enrichment programs, and Jay Williams was our voice and biggest supporter over the years.” Savramis also gave credit and homage to the late Tyrone Green, who began the first Rising Stars outreach program in Long Island City, Queens, at the Long Island City YMCA. 
 
Gimpel, Williams, and other Rising Stars alums always shared the dream of having a bridge where communities offered a union of academic and sports programs that brought families together with the common goal of helping themselves and others. 
 
For them, it was a way of giving back what programs like this gave them. The walls of the facility will show photos that echo past Rising Stars players' achievements, which is something that Gimpel has made a focal point of Rising Stars' future. "Bringing back our past is the key to our future," emphasized Gimpel. 

Paul Savramis

“Dan is not just our Executive Director; he is Rising Stars' success story,” said Savramis. He added, "every year there are new stories like his that come back to join Rising Stars, and every year they come back with families that will add stories of their own." 
 
Gimpel explained that those stories have appealed to community partners like Orlin & Cohen, Jovia Bank, Wilson Sports, and others who want to be a part of the Rising Stars family. Jovia Bank saw Rising Stars as a family-centered organization that could offer community programs, especially a financial literacy initiative. Orlin & Cohen offered Rising Stars families free injury recovery and other medical services. Both organizations hope to see Rising Stars families and friends become a permanent part of their families. 
 
The Rising Stars Athletic Complex offers a new journey for Rising Stars that will see a new direction. But, like anything new, that direction will work best going forward by looking back at the lessons of what's worked in the past.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

CJ Williams: A Rising Stars Success Story That Checks Off All Of The Boxes

Paul Savramis

Rising Stars Founder Paul Savramis has always told us that when you look back on a 27-year history that spans thousands of stories, the most successful are the ones that stand out. 
 
When one of those stories defines how Paul Savramis measures the success of the Rising Stars programs, he can't wait to share it. This month's story is one Savramis tells with a great deal of pride as it does just that. That story Savramis shares is the CJ Williams story. 
 
CJ Williams came to Rising Stars as one of the bigger boys in his grade. Pretty quickly, he began to stand out on the basketball court. But, Savramis would go on to explain, it was what CJ’s parents would share about CJ above and beyond basketball that caught his attention and made him believe this was going to be someone very special.