Honoring Laura Gay & Jean Simensky
Pat Brown Scholarship to be awarded to Lataysha Moore
May 7, 2014
6 pm Cocktails
7 pm Dinner & Fashions under the tent
Nassau Country Club
The Fashion Show will be held at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, Long Island on May 7. Funds raised at the benefit help SCO Family of Services provide life-changing results for more than 60,000 people each year at over 110 locations throughout New York City and Long Island. Ninety-three cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to help people in need.
For more information, please call Sioban Rack 516.671.1253 x139
About Event Honorees Laura Gay and Jean Simensky
Longtime volunteers Laura Gay and Jean Simensky of Locust Valley will be honored at SCO Family of Services’ annual Fashion Show at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove on May 7.
Ms. Gay is a real estate agent with Daniel Gale in East Norwich and lives in Locust Valley with her husband, Jim. They have two grown children. Ms. Gay has been a member of the SCO Fashion Show Committee for 17 years and has volunteered at other SCO events. She also bakes cupcakes at Halloween and apple pies at Thanksgiving for the holiday dinners served to children with developmental disabilities at SCO’s Robert J. McMahon Children’s Center in Sea Cliff. “The staff at SCO are the ones that should be honored,” she says. “They’re so dedicated it makes you want to make sure they have what they need to make their programs work.” Ms. Gay has also served on the dance committee for the Grenville Bakers Boys & Girls Club in Locust Valley and the Parent’s Councils in the Locust Valley school system.
Ms. Simensky is also a resident of Locust Valley, where she lives with her husband Scott. They have six grown children and one grandchild with a second on the way. She has supported SCO’s work for 14 years and has served on the Fashion Show committee for the past 10, when co-honoree Laura Gay encouraged her to become more involved with the agency. Ms. Simensky said: “SCO is an amazing organization that helps so many people with so many different needs. It just makes you feel good all over that you can be a part of the success of other human beings.” Ms. Simensky also runs a food pantry at St. Gertrude’s in Bayville where she’s been volunteering for more than 15 years.
About Pat Brown Scholarship Recipient Lataysha Moore
In her last year of high school, Bushwick senior Lataysha Moore had to cope with a lot more than the usual hurdles involved in graduating and getting into college. In July, 2013, Lataysha and her mother, brother (11) and sister (6) found themselves homeless after her mother lost her job as a home health aide. The family moved from Albany to New York City and moved into the SCO Family of Services-run Flushing Family Residence last August.
Despite the difficulties of changing high schools, moving and living surrounded by strangers in a shelter, Lataysha excelled as a student at Brownsville Academy High School and participated in an after-school club called “Best Buddy,” where she mentored Joseph, a boy her age with a developmental disability. She graduated early from Brownsville Academy in March and is studying for her SATs in June. With the help of the staff at Flushing, she’s applying to colleges and for scholarships and financial aid. Lataysha hopes to attend Howard University in the fall and would like to become an anesthesiologist. “I want to help people,” she said, “I want to help them forget about their pain.”
In recognition of her achievements, Lataysha will be awarded the Pat Brown Scholarship at SCO’s Fashion Show benefit on May 7th. The annual scholarship is given to a young person in an SCO program who has overcome obstacles to achieve academic success.
Her drive to succeed comes from watching her mother struggle, Lataysha said. “I really want to be successful and make sure my family is well cared for. You go through so much. You don’t want to see your siblings go through it.”
In addition to helping Lataysha through the college application process, Flushing Family Residence provides an after-school program that her younger siblings attend. SCO staff are also helping her mother seek employment and search for permanent housing.