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EAC Network Hosted Holiday Shopping Spree for Children in Need

Andrea Ramos-Topper, Division Director of Children & Youth Services, Thomas Gubitosi, Christine Oliveri, and Demishia Owens, Program Director for Chance to Advance and Alternatives for Youth

Hempstead, NY, December 14, 2018 – Thanks to generous support from Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the Marie & Michael Gubitosi Foundation, and the Target Foundation, 165 children in need enjoyed spending $100 each at EAC Network’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Target in Farmingdale where Santa was in attendance to meet the children.

The Holiday Shopping Spree welcomed youth participating in EAC Network’s Chance to Advance foster care advocacy program, as well as additional youth in need on Long Island amongst EAC Network’s Children & Youth Services. The average age of children participating in the event was 9 to 15.

Chance to Advance provides enrichment programs that further develop the educational, artistic, athletic, and cultural talents of children in foster care ages 8 to 21. The program’s goal is to reduce risk factors for youth through one-on-one mentoring and group activities.

“The Holiday Shopping Spree is a wonderful, magical experience for young people and provides an opportunity to focus special attention on foster youth and underprivileged children on Long Island,” said Lance W. Elder, President & CEO of EAC Network. “We are very grateful to our sponsors for making this event possible and for lending their generous support to children in need.”

“Bethpage is thrilled to support this most important holiday initiative for the children,” said Linda Armyn, Senior Vice President, Bethpage Federal Credit Union. “Every child should have the opportunity to enjoy the holidays and what could be better than this Holiday Shopping Spree! Bethpage is honored to partner with EAC Network and Target. EAC Network’s Chance to Advance is an invaluable program, benefitting so many deserving children.”

Tom Gubitosi, founder of the Marie & Michael Gubitosi Foundation and former EAC Network Board member, is a loyal sponsor of the event since its inception. “I am thrilled to be partnering with Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Target in presenting EAC Network’s Holiday Shopping Spree,” said Tom Gubitosi of the Marie Gubitosi Foundation. “It was born 18 years ago when I lost my mother near the holidays. I called Lance Elder at EAC Network and asked if he had some children I could take for a one-time holiday shopping spree in memory of my mother.”

That year, thanks to Gubitosi, EAC Network invited 100 children to shop. That initial outing was a success, and the Shopping Spree became an annual event.

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About EAC Network
EAC Network is a diverse not-for-profit human service agency that empowers, assists, and cares for over 82,000 children, families, and seniors in crisis across Long Island and New York City. Among those we help are children who have been abused or who are in foster care, people struggling with addiction or mental illness, vulnerable seniors, individuals seeking gainful employment, and more. For more information, visit us at, call (516) 539-0150, or find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram at @EACNet.

Lance W. Elder │ President & CEO │ (516) 539-0150
Andrea Ramos-Topper │ Division Director, Children & Youth Services │ (631) 439-0480

Special Thanks