The four finalists in the Pilot Benefits Group Innovation Award are: Long Island Cares, Inc.; the Huntington Arts Council; UCP of Greater Suffolk, Inc.; and Connect to Tech. The Pilot Benefits Group Innovation Award is focused on organizations that develop strategies that are out of the box. Strategies can be programmatic, fundraising, or operational … they just need to approach a problem or issue in a unique and creative way.
Long Island Cares: Built a fully functioning kitchen on premises to provide cooking classes for the underprivileged and children. The program brought together the 3 sectors; a government grant, funding from the private sector through a partnership with Dunkin Donuts, and programming by LI Cares. The program is designed to fight obesity and to teach healthy eating habits.
The Huntington Arts Council: Created a program called SparkBoom which brought together 12 local cultural organizations to create 16 new events geared towards trying to keep the generation Y population on Long Island. These events drew between 60 and 1,000 Generation Y individuals to such venues as the Whaling Museum, Walt Whitman’s birthplace, local art galleries, etc. Through SparkBoom, the Huntington Arts Council has been working with its cultural partners to develop social media to promote its events to a population that has traditionally been underserved by the arts.
UCP of Greater Suffolk, Inc.: Created a program that utilizes differently abled consumers to teach disaster preparedness to the disabled community. This peer-to-peer program empowers these consumers allowing them to train others on what to do if a disaster were to occur here on LI and how to be ready for one.
Connect to Tech: Helps the educational community connect with professionals in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields to arrange speakers, tours, and one-on-one learning. Connect to Tech created a platform, STEMSearch, to allow educators to search for open internships, speakers, available summer programs, and even grants and funding that may be available to local organizations. Some of the participating organizations include Brookhaven National Lab, CA Technologies, Cablevision, Long Island Science Center, Microsoft, and GameBuilders Academy.
While they are all innovative programs, only one can win. And the winner of the Pilot Benefit Group Innovation Award is … Join us on May 6th at the Crest Hollow Country Club to find out.