GOTO New York kicked off 2011 with our Semi-Annual Summit, which brought together a wide gamut of the GOTO family. Founders, current committee chairs, seasoned and new volunteers, a GOTO alum and a couple current campers and parents joined us in discussing recent successes and our goals for the future.

We learned about how Gigi Koch and CK Khandekar, our two new Events Chairs, and the Events team put together a great sold out Halloween event and kept it $5K under budget, allowing even more proceeds to be allocated to scholarships. Evan Raggi and Heather Calvano, two other first year Chairs, informed us that over $35K was earned during the 2010 Annual Appeal. A great job by these Committees, as well as James and Catherine Holahan and the Marketing Committee, to help us raise scholarship funds!

Michelle Hunter showed us that our current campers had a great time this past summer, and many volunteers got to see the fun in action during a visit to Appel Farms. We also found out that over the past year the Scholarship committee was able to improve the application process by creating online forms for teachers and parents, as well as create introduction letters in Spanish and Chinese so all parents are able to learn and understand our mission. Kevin Costello recapped a fun DJ Scratch Academy Mentoring event where we had private DJ lessons for GOTO mentees and mentors. We look forward to gaining a new class of campers in 2011 and keeping our alumni involved in the GOTO family.

The day undoubtedly reached its high point when the Mother of Kayla, one of our current campers, stood up and gave us her very heartfelt gratitude for giving Kayla the chance to attend camp and be part of the GOTO family. She told us about how the experience has allowed Kayla to gain confidence in herself and greatly improve her grades. Both our current campers in attendance, Kayla and Crystal, and Alanna, our alum in attendance, then also shared how GOTO has been so special to them. Seeing and hearing that all of our work has touched the lives of these kids and their families surely let everybody in the room know that all we’ve done has had great results, and energized us for a great 2011.

New in 2011 we can look forward to more volunteer interaction with regular GOTOgethers, a new Google workspace for volunteers to help them stay informed, and of course many great Events! We are looking forward to everybody to being involved.

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