Cocktails, crafts and charity for Girls Club


By Bob Krasner

The Lower Eastside Girls Club has a lot going for it. Formed in 1996 to address the lack of social services for girls and young women on the Lower East Side, the group continues to make a difference. In addition to their dedicated staff members, they are blessed with “The Angel Alliance,” a volunteer group created to support the mission of the Girls Club with fundraising and mentoring. 

Co-chaired by Paulie Dibner and Lisa Laukitis, the Alliance held its first major fundraiser at The Astor Center. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, paying guests had the opportunity to eat, drink, listen to live music and create their own souvenir of the event.

The embroidery table was full of women carefully stitching their initials, and glue guns at the “make a flower” table never had a chance to cool.  

If the gourmet treats donated by The Cleaver Company were not what one was in the mood for, hot dogs and popcorn were waiting. Choice of spirits included cocktails courtesy of Dushan Zaric of Employees Only, beer provided by Whole Foods or wine, a gift of David Bowler Wine. Kimberly Koharki of Astor Center also conducted a wine tasting.

After three hours of feasting and imbibing, Mary Cleaver took a moment to note that “it was a good crowd — I had a fine time.” She has been a supporter for a number of years because “it’s a terrific organization.”

The crowd of 250 or so not only had a great time but raised a great deal of money as well. Kate Sease of the LEGC reported a total of $13,000, well over the proposed goal.  “It was definitely a success,” she said. “We were really impressed by the turnout.”

“It came together really well,” added Dibner. “We would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Serving the public interest, from left to right, Valerie Galindo, Sierra Williams and Milady Ramirez.