SANDS POINT. - “It couldn’t have been a more perfect day – the jovial mood, the sunny skies, the funds raised for Smile Train,” said Eva Hatzaki, Skyline Restoration’s marketing director and the chair of the Fifth Annual Smile Train Golf Classic held on July 8th at the Village Club of Sands Point.
“Knowing that we’re helping young children get cured from a debilitating but easily corrected birth defect so they can live normal lives – surely that is enough to put radiant smiles on all of our faces,” she said. A highlight of the day was a visit by NY Islanders' head Coach Jack Capuano and General Manager Garth Snow.
Skyline raised a record-breaking $72,000 at the event, bringing the total to almost $300,000 netted since 2008 for Smile Train, an international charity that provides free cleft surgery to children from developing countries who could not otherwise afford the process.
John Kalafatis, the president and CEO of Skyline Restoration, said, “We’re so glad to be here to help kids have a better chance.”
He notes too that he’s always felt that the event is very much in keeping with the Skyline philosophy. “We’re a service-oriented company by definition. We serve our clients with integrity, honesty, and professionalism while also extending a helping hand to the community. We are proud of our involvement and more than happy to support the cause.”
The record turnouts achieve several aims. The diversity of attendees, as Kalafatis points out– “architects, engineers, building owners and managers, manufacturer representatives, and other professional consultants” – and the rising number of guests point to a higher tally for Smile Train and more networking opportunities. “We enjoy the success of the event, assisting the cause, while our guests have a great time,” he said.
Bob Toth, the Coo of Smile Train was similarly enthusiastic. “Our hats are off to Skyline, their employees, and many of their vendors who are avid supporters. This is one of the ways Skyline gives back to the community. It’s terrific.” Noting that Smile Train managed to survive the economic crisis of recent years, he continued, “Every year the amount of surgeries goes up. People are glad to support a good cause – it’s a perfect storm.” Toth later reported that this year marked Smile Train’s 900,000th surgery and that the million mark should be attained in 2014.
Bill Horan, VP Development with Smile Train, mentioned another benefit of the event: “We don’t always get to thank people in person – here we are able to do so.”
For many players this was a repeat appearance and one they plan to return to.
Craig Hackett, senior project manager, with SL Green, said, “I’ve been here every year since it began. It’s good to meet others in the industry and Smile Train is a great cause. We’re happy to participate.”
Will Laffey, executive vice president, Spring Scaffolding, applauded the venue: “It’s a great opportunity to bring clients to a high end event, a great golf course, with excellent food, and a great atmosphere. We work closely with Skyline and their leadership and are happy to support the cause.”
Dennis Mele, RA, principal of Midtown Preservation, was “impressed with the honor guard at the start.” he was “very pleasantly surprised” and “glad that Skyline supports veterans.”
For Adam Zerka, property manager, Century Management, this was his second time at the event. “It’s a worthy cause and a great networking event – a chance to see friends and business associates.”
June Fenniman, wife of Thomas A. Fenniman, architect, said, “I golfed better than last year. I’m glad to support this cause – and it couldn’t be a more gorgeous course.”
It was also the second time around for Jessica Sepulveda, office manager, AE design Solution, Inc., who said, “Vendors from different sectors in the industry – expediters, general contractors, all come together to help a great cause in a relaxed setting.” Paul Bailey, an engineer with AE, agreed. “The atmosphere is friendly, relaxed. I’m glad to support the cause and Skyline,” he said. Olga Porto, guest of Daniel Callahan, project manager, Skyline, said, “The event is amazing. Skyline could choose anything to donate to and they choose a cause that helps children. Such a compassionate choice!” She gave credit to Kalafatis for his support: “When caring comes from the top of the company it trickles down… and it makes the company more accessible to its employees.” Callahan recalled that “In the beginning, Skyline hosted a luncheon for Smile Train – now each year we raise more with each outing.” Clearly stats to inspire the Skyline team for the years to come.