Groundbreakers’ Celebration Raises Record-Breaking Funds to Support Homeless Veterans and Families on Long Island

News | 12/12/2018
Levittown, NY – New Ground Inc. announced today that it raised over $260,000 at its 18th Annual Groundbreakers’ Celebration, making it their most successful fundraiser to date in the history of the agency. Over 225 friends and supporters gathered at the Garden City Hotel on November 8, 2018 to support New Ground’s critical work assisting struggling Veterans and families on Long Island caught in the vicious cycle of homelessness.
It was a special evening filled with good friends, food and entertainment. Guests enjoyed a wonderful performance by the Roosevelt High School Choir in recognition of New Ground’s families and a Color Guard presentation by the 1st Marine Corps. District in honor of the agency’s Veterans Program.
This year’s event honored Valley Bank and Joseph Burns, Senior VP at the Bank with the Groundbreakers’ Award for their ongoing commitment to see New Ground’s Veterans and families succeed. Also recognized this year were Kay McKiernan with the Máiréad M. Barrett Founder’s Award and John P. Clarke, Esq. with the Thomas Whalen Memorial Award. Both Kay and John have been longtime volunteers and supporters of New Ground Veterans and families, ensuring all will continue to reach their goals and achieve future independence and self-sufficiency.
Left to right: Edward McDougal, New Ground Board President; Honoree, John P. Clarke, Esq.; Honoree, Kay McKiernan; Honoree, Joseph Burns and Shannon Boyle, Executive Director of New Ground.
Left to right: Edward McDougal, New Ground Board President; Honoree, John P. Clarke, Esq.; Honoree, Kay McKiernan; Honoree, Joseph Burns and Shannon Boyle, Executive Director of New Ground.

“New Ground is truly grateful for the support of our honorees, partners, sponsors, and volunteers who are the reason why the gala was so incredibly successful this year,” said Shannon Boyle, Executive Director of New Ground. “And because of the resounding success of the Gala, we are able to continue expanding New Grounds’ programs to an even greater number of homeless Veterans and families on Long Island. We are so appreciative to everyone for making a difference for our neighbors most in need.”
The event was Co-Chaired by Matt & Marguerita DeLuca, New Ground Advisory Board members and Lloyd Neck Harbor residents as well as New Ground Board member, Chris Salute, a resident of Bayville and Professor at LIU Post. The evening would not have been possible without the generosity of all those involved including the event’s top sponsors: Thomas & Eileen Lamberti, Chris & Sheryl Albanese, John P. Clarke, Esq., Matt & Marguerita DeLuca and Ed & Sheila McDougal.

About New Ground Inc. 
New Ground Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization working with homeless Long Island Veterans and families to successfully break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Great emphasis is placed on parents returning to school to obtain a higher degree or certification, locating better paying employment and careers that can sustain the family, learning how to best manage their income and expenses and pay down debts to improve their credit score, and working with all children in the household to become academically successful and on track to graduate to higher education programs so they too can have a brighter future. For more information, please visit

About Valley 
As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $31 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates more than 230 branches across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to or call our Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.