We were blown away by the joy and generosity that filled the air during our annual LINC Gala one month ago on Tuesday, June 7. For the first time, we held a hybrid gala, during which participants could join in-person at Second Floor NYC in Midtown Manhattan or stream virtually. Over the course of the evening, we presented the inaugural Mimi Levin Lieber Legacy Award to the South Jamaica LINC Community, honored our Board Chair Carlos Rodriguez for his tireless advocacy, and raised more than $775,000 to secure the futures of countless young readers across our city!
The inaugural Mimi Levin Lieber Award was presented to the neighborhood of South Jamaica. The award recognizes those who continue to further our founder’s vision for a more equitable city where literacy is visible and valued in every home. Mimi established LINC in 1996 to make literacy a right of all children. We lost Mimi this past year at the age of 93, but continue to be blessed with her spirit in all that the South Jamaica LINC community does.
The South Jamaica community works in the heart of Queens, transforming the lives of children all throughout the neighborhood. The community is organized by staff members Demelza Wilson, Beverly Phillips, and Reishmi Brijmohan, as well as an incredible group of Very Involved Parent volunteers (VIPs). South Jamaica is also the home of South Jamaica Reads, (SJQ) an early literacy initiative facilitated by LINC to pool the resources of 9 early literacy organizations throughout the neighborhood. South Jamaica has embodied the values of community care throughout the pandemic and continued to build critical support structures for early readers and their families. Mimi’s vision lives on in South Jamaica.
We were proud as well to recognize Carlos for his leadership as board chair and his longtime commitment to LINC. Carlos and his wife Carmen, herself a former board member, have been loyal supporters of LINC for many years. During his tenure as Chair, LINC has grown nearly 50%, regained its 4-Star Charity rating from Charity Navigator, maintained its Platinum Transparency status with GuideStar, and was a winner of the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards in 2018 and 2019. We heard firsthand from Carlos himself the incredible impact that LINC has made upon our neighborhoods and his own literacy and community values since joining our board.
Thank you to everyone who attended our gala, either virtually or in person! We can’t wait for 25 more years of raising resilient readers and filling our city with literacy-rich environments.