Strengthening Families Since 1854

Forestdale, a child welfare agency headquartered in Queens, is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the inner-city families of Queens that dates back more than 150 years. Their involvement in the community allows them to touch the lives of nearly 1,000 New York City families each year with programs like; Foster Care, Teen Parents in Action (Teen Health Clinic), Family Crisis Intervention (Preventive), their nationally-recognized Fathering Initiative, and their Educational Excellence and Workforce Development Initiative.

Last week over a hundred people danced to music by celebrity DJ Teal, viewed a gallery showcase from the Forestdale youth, bid on silent auction items donated by friends of Forestdale, sipped coctails, and enjoyed passed hors d’oevers and musical performances by Broadway actors Maura Kelly, Pamela Stein, and Nick Tangorra in support of Forestdale’s annual gala event at Stitch Bar in NYC.

Broadway actors Maura Kelly and Pamela Stein

Reverend Dr. Alfonso Wyatt gave the invocation and Benefit Chair Sinead Whelan and Executive Director Anstiss Agnew welcomed everyone to the event, then special attention was given to Peter Vallone(Former NYC Council Speaker) and Jetblue Airways for their support. Jetblue Airways has helped them build a playground for children in foster care and those experiencing a family crisis, helped them send teens on college tours, and hosted a toy drive for children without families and for families living in shelters. Forestdale received a big surprise when representatives from JetBlue informed them they would be receiving $25,000 to help with assist more students and families.

Executive Director Anstiss Agnew with a rep from Jetblue Airways

Executive Director Anstiss Agnew with Peter Vallone

The silent auction had lots of cool items to bid on from a necklace and earring set donated by Mina D, Mets and Yankees tickets, throwback jerseys from Patrick Ewing and , a signed baseball by David Wright (NY Mets), and lots of other goodies.

The event was so much fun to attend and I learned a lot about the organization and how they plan to impact their community in a positive way. Forestdale’s goal is to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, homelessness and despair that cycle through multiple generations of our country – the wealthiest in the world. In order to effect systemic change, our society must come together and create a corps of volunteers as a human safety net.

For more information about Forestdale visit their website at

Love AGT :)