Sunset Park

Sunset Park couple looking to donate funds to youth programs

Giordanos asking groups to apply for $100 grants

October 7, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tony and Renee Giordano — seated, center, during a family outing — have started a new grant program in which they will donate funds to Sunset Park programs that service young people.
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A husband and wife team of Sunset Park civic activists has announced a unique new grant program for local youths that they are funding themselves. Renee and Tony Giordano said they are looking for youth-base programs in the community to receive $100 grants.

Groups are being asked to apply for the funding. The Giordanos said they are personally providing $100 a month for a year to fund 12 activities. The grants will only be awarded to organizations in Sunset Park; a section of Brooklyn located between 17th Street and 65th Street, from the waterfront and Eighth Avenue.

Tony Giordano said he and his wife will give special consideration to those groups that might need only the $100 to start a program that will be self-sustaining from this point on. “We prefer something that is not yet happening, and hopefully these few dollars will be the motivation you need,” he said.

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The Giordanos will not require a full accounting of the grant money, but the couple has expressed a desire to hear from the groups about how the funds are being spent. The organizations will be invited to post pictures on a Facebook page Tony Giordano supervises called “Sunset Parker.”

“Sometimes folks just need a little push to get started. We’re hoping that this small amount of money will be the push to buy some coloring supplies, books, sport equipment, or art supplies to get started,” Tony Giordano said.

“Any time you walk out of your house you will see little kids hoping for adult involvement. It is a kind of validating process for them, having an adult listen to their stories or care enough to tell them stories,” Renee Giordano said.

The Giordanos have a great deal of experience working with grant money. They are members of Sunset Park Restoration, an organization that supervised the spending of a $125,000 New York State Senate grant to come up with a plan for a waterfront park.

Renee Giordano is also the executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID), a public-private partnership of property owners and merchants that spends $300,000 annually to clean Fifth Avenue, host a popular street festival, promote businesses, and host the holiday tree lighting ceremony in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. The BID, which covers Fifth Avenue between 38th and 64th streets, also pays for holiday lights on the avenue.

All requests for funding from the Giordanos should be emailed to: [email protected] 

 


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