FCA hosts annual Fall Harvest celebration

The Island Now
(L to R): Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, FCA President & CEO, Senator Anna Kaplan, Michael Dowling, Northwell Health CEO, Michael Lessing, Lessing’s Hospitality President & COO, & Drew Crowley, FCA Board of Trustees Chair.

FCA, a Garden City-based nonprofit, hosted its 2021 Fall Harvest Celebration at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Local political leaders, fellow organizations, businesses, donors, and supporters of all kinds came together for FCA’s annual event to help raise vital funds, allowing FCA to continue to provide lifesaving supports and services to over 30,000 Long Islanders a year.

FCA honored Michael Dowling, Northwell Health CEO, for his philanthropy and championing spirit for helping individuals across Long Island, and advocacy as an inspiring healthcare leader during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FCA also recognized his work in the fight against gun violence, his many professional achievements, charitable initiatives, and his extensive work across Long Island creating healthier communities for all.

FCA also recognized Michael Lessing and state Sen. Anna Kaplan with Humanitarian Awards. Michael Lessing, Lessing’s Hospitality president & COO, received the Jim Harnett Humanitarian Award for his leadership and commitment to his fellow Long Islanders.

This award honors the work of former FCA CEO James J. Harnett, who passed away in 2010. Jim was an outstanding visionary and leader who lived a life in service to others. This award honors Jim’s memory and the outstanding humanitarian efforts of its recipients.

Kaplan received the Carol Wessel Humanitarian Award for her dedication to those in need and her endless efforts to create change for minority and underrepresented communities. This award honors the work of former FCA Trustee Carol Wessel, who passed away in 2014. It pays tribute both to Carol’s memory and to the exceptional charitable efforts and generosity of its recipients.

The event included a moving address by FCA Walkabout for Young Men & Women resident, Bejewel, an FCA client who shared her inspiring story of rising above her challenging past to a bright and promising future, along with her experiences with FCA as a program participant.

She told the audience of her struggles as a young girl and how FCA guided her to independent living and the pursuit of a degree in education. 

“Gratitude has always been a central theme for FCA’s Fall Harvest Celebration, and we were thrilled last night to thank dedicated community leaders like Michael Dowling, Anna Kaplan and Michael Lessing,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, FCA president and CEO.The community once again rallied around FCA’s mission. As the needs in our community continue to increase, these funds will help us sustain programs that enhance the lives of children, young adults, seniors and families.”

All proceeds from the Fall Harvest Celebration will help to enhance FCA’s programs and services for Long Island’s most vulnerable children, families, seniors and communities.

To learn more about upcoming FCA events, contact Special Events Manager, Nicole Flannery, at (516)746-0350 or NFlannery@FCALI.org. Additional information is also available at FCALI.org.


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