Two Howard Beach-based organizations have answered the call for action to help improve the lives of developmentally disabled adults.
The Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach and New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) announced this week the formation of the Aktion Club of Howard Beach, an affiliate designed to “provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills and to serve their communities,” as noted in the club’s mission statement.
Much like the Forest Park Aktion Club — which the Kiwanis Club of Glendale co-sponsors — the Howard Beach Aktion Club is sponsored by the Howard Beach Kiwanis, a chapter of the international fraternal organization of businesspeople and community-minded individuals dedicated to charitable public service.
Tonia Cimino of NYFAC explained that the Kiwanis Club nominates and elects developmentally disabled adults to serve with the Aktion Club. The club members then meet together twice a month at NYFAC’s Howard Beach office to discuss club activities and select ways to help the community, such as making senior center visits or organizing food drives.
Forming the Howard Beach Aktion Club was the brainchild of two local Kiwanians — Stephen Sirgiovanni, currently the New York Kiwanis governor-elect, and John Spagnuolo, immediate past president of the Howard Beach Kiwanis. They, in turn, reached out to NYFAC, which agreed to host Aktion Club activities.
“NYFAC is an organization that affords us the opportunity to establish the Aktion Club because of who it serves,” Sirgiovanni said. “Since both organizations are from the Howard Beach community, it’s a perfect fit.”
“This is a perfect opportunity to teach our individuals the value of giving back,” added NYFAC President and CEO Andrew Baumann. “There’s nothing more important than giving of yourself.”
The Howard Beach Aktion Club’s 10 charter members were formally installed by retired New York State Supreme Court Justice and Howard Beach Kiwanian Augustus C. Agate at a Nov. 25 ceremony.