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Sea Cliff Resident Phil Catapano Receives Philanthropy Award from Association of Fundraising Professionals – Long Island

February 16, 2023 / Independent Youth News

Sea Cliff resident Phil Catapano, a longtime supporter of SCO Family of Services, received The Horace Hagedorn Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Long Island (AFPLI).

The award was presented to Catapano at the AFPLI Annual Meeting on January 30th at The Heritage Club in Bethpage. Catapano was one of three honorees recognized at the event for their dedication to community and making the world a better place.

Catapano, along with friends and family, has been packing duffel bags full of gifts and everyday necessities each holiday season for teens and young adults in SCO Family of Services’ Independence Inn transitional living programs for over 30 years.

Each year, Catapano’s house is turned into a warehouse and assembly line as guests pack over 100 bags to benefit young people who are homeless or have run away, including mothers with young children. Each gift bag includes such items as warm weather essentials, a blanket, toiletries, a backpack, school supplies, and more.

Catapano’s late wife, Kathy, first started this tradition along with some of her friends back when there was only one Independence Inn – there are now six. Catapano and dozens of friends continue this tradition each year to honor her memory.

SCO’s Independence Inn program provides shelter and support for homeless and runaway youth to help them become self-sufficient. The Inns are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving youth 16-20 years old. Several of the Independence Inns serve young woman and their children. The program helps residents acquire life skills needed for independent living; career skills that will sustain independent and productive lives; and education that will support career goals. The program helps young people successfully transition to adulthood.

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