Coney Islanders raise funds for Alliance at annual gala

Gala goers: Erin Sarnes, Mike Kass, Rob Maffettine, and Donald Colli of Manhattan Beer Distributers enjoyed the sixth annual Gala for the Alliance for Coney Island.
Brooklyn Daily
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Call it a fun-raiser!

More than 300 supporters of the Alliance for Coney Island raised more than $90,000 at the organization’s sixth-annual gala at Gargiulo’s on April 18 to raise funds for the services, programs, and free events the Alliance sponsors throughout the year. The executive director of the Alliance said she was glad to see so many supporters turn out for the event.

“We are honored to have so many supporters join us every year as we honor the past and look to build a unified Coney Island for the future,” said Alexandra Silversmith.

A deejay spun tunes at the event, and attendees bid in a silent auction for a chance at a behind-the-scenes tour of the New York Aquarium’s upcoming “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit set to open on June 30 — plus a private shark-feeding experience.

The funds raised will support the Alliance’s job recruitment events and workforce development initiatives throughout the year, Silversmith said, along with its free programming, including the Friday Night Fireworks series and the Annual Children’s Halloween Parade.

A rep from a beer distributor attended the event with colleagues, where they sipped on pints of the Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner the company supplied for the event. She said the company was happy to support keeping the fun going in Coney Island.

“They’re trying to keep Coney Island alive, and we’re happy to be a part of it,” said Eric Sarnes of Manhattan Beer Distributors.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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