• Backyard Sports Cares Blog



  • BYSC Community Partner, Mercedes-Benz of New Rochelle, Mentors Youth Shelter Residents

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    Mercedes Benz staffer speaks to ysow residents
    Staff from Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle offer young men from the Youth Shelter of Westchester career advice and inspiration.

    On November 20, 2019, Pepe Auto Group and Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle partnered with Backyard Sports Cares to host a mentorship event for current residents of the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester. The shelter serves as a home-like alternative to incarceration for young men, aged 16 to 21, awaiting disposition of various criminal charges. The program fulfills a wide spectrum of educational and therapeutic needs, including sports activity programs facilitated by Backyard Sports Cares.

    Led by Megan Leone, Pepe Auto Group Marketing Manager, Danielle Gagliardi, Pepe Auto Group Marketing Specialist, and Chris Tokarz, General Manager of Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle, the evening included a tour of the showroom and service department, a “behind the scenes” dinner in the board room and a mentoring session that offered career advice from staff in various departments, including management, sales, marketing, tech/service, and parts.

    mentoring day at mercedes benz of new rochelle

    “Ray”, a young resident at the shelter, said he and his peers had an amazing experience at the Mercedes Benz dealership. “The employees made us feel comfortable and welcomed. Just sitting in the cars brought you into a place of joy. We are extremely grateful for the experience. I would really like to do something like this again during my stay at the Youth Shelter.”

    Youth shelter of westchester resident enjoys sitting in a mercedes benz

    “These young men not only got a chance to network, eat pizza and take a look at some really cool cars, they also had a unique opportunity to explore various career paths and hear stories from professional staff who all overcame unique challenges to find success in their careers with Mercedes Benz,” said Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares.

    megan leone, pepe auto group
    Megan Leone, Marketing Manager, Pepe Auto Group

    “Giving back to the community is so important to the Mercedes-Benz of New Rochelle family,” said Megan Leone, Marketing Manager at Pepe Auto Group. “No matter what life presents us, we know there is always someone who faces challenges that are even tougher than ours. If we can make even the smallest difference or positive influence in one of those young men’s lives, then we did something right and our time together was a success!”

    As part of a global organization comprised of employees from many different backgrounds, Mercedes Benz’ corporate culture embraces diversity. At the local level, Mercedes Benz of New Rochelle exemplifies this inclusive philosophy through the active role that employees play in building real relationships and becoming personally involved with nonprofit organizations to create life-changing experiences in their community.

    BYSC’s 2019 achievements drive program momentum in 2020

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    Categories Teen Mentors, Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors, Volunteers, afterschool programs, inclusive sports, special needs sports, At risk youth, under-served communities, summer camp

    Now in our 10th year of serving the Westchester community, BYSC has established its mission to close the gap in sports participation among under-served kids. The milestones reached, new initiatives explored, and the support that we have received through funding and volunteerism has delivered the momentum we need to continue our important work in 2020. … Continue reading “BYSC’s 2019 achievements drive program momentum in 2020”

    Backyard Sports Cares 2019 Gala Drives $300,000 in Funding for Westchester Sports Programs

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    Categories fundraisingTags

    On Thursday, November 21st, Backyard Sports Cares hosted its second biennial gala at the Willow Ridge Country Club in Harrison, NY. The event raised more than $300,000 in support of sports programs for underserved and special needs kids in Westchester, NY. The gala honored Backyard Sports Cares board members, Michael Moser and David Shuster for their … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares 2019 Gala Drives $300,000 in Funding for Westchester Sports Programs”

    Program Spotlight: BYSC Basketball League

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    Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, basketball, under-served communitiesTags

    This January marks the third anniversary of Backyard Sports Cares Basketball League. The program engages more than 150 fourth and fifth graders in a weekly team practice and a Saturday morning game, where they have the opportunity to hone their competitive skills and have fun. For many of these athletes, the league has been their … Continue reading “Program Spotlight: BYSC Basketball League”

    Working with special needs children sparks education career for former BYSC volunteer

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    Categories Teen Mentors, volunteer teen mentors, special needs sportsTags

    Inspiring stories of growth, compassion, and success from Backyard Sports Cares volunteer alumni   “I knew for a while after working with kids that I wanted to go into education, in general. After taking a special education class, the information and practices we learned felt like an extension of everything I had been doing with … Continue reading “Working with special needs children sparks education career for former BYSC volunteer”

    BYSC Alum Spotlight: Andrew Goldberg tells how volunteering with under-served kids impacted his life

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    Categories volunteer teen mentors, afterschool programs, At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags , ,

    Inspiring stories of growth, compassion, and success from Backyard Sports Cares volunteer alumni “It was a very fulfilling and interesting experience. When I look back on it, I wish I could relive some of it.” In this second installment of our series on BYSC former volunteers, we connected with Andrew Goldberg, a graduate of the … Continue reading “BYSC Alum Spotlight: Andrew Goldberg tells how volunteering with under-served kids impacted his life”

    BYSC to Honor Board Members, Michael Moser and Dave Shuster, at 2019 Gala

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    Categories Volunteers, fundraising

    Michael Moser is the former Board President of Backyard Sports Cares and continues to serve as a Board Member.  Michael’s love of sports and working with children has led him to remain active and involved with sports programs throughout every stage of his life. Michael’s passion and personal commitment to BYSC has been integral to carrying … Continue reading “BYSC to Honor Board Members, Michael Moser and Dave Shuster, at 2019 Gala”

    Former BYSC volunteer, Emily Holzberg, finds her experience and compassion add value to career and client, Autism Speaks

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    Categories volunteer teen mentors, special needs sportsTags ,

    As parents, we try to instill values, like compassion, leadership, respect, and charity in our children. Volunteerism has traditionally played a role in helping to teach kids that giving to others who are less fortunate is a way to build character, connect diverse communities, and increase awareness of the world outside of their zip code. … Continue reading “Former BYSC volunteer, Emily Holzberg, finds her experience and compassion add value to career and client, Autism Speaks”

    Two groups of deserving kids find fun, fresh air, and friends at BYSC’s 5th annual Adirondack camping experience at Brant Lake Camp

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    Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, summer campTags

    This past week, Backyard Sports Cares hosted two separate groups of deserving campers at Brant Lake Camp, a private summer camp in the Adirondacks. BYSC hosted thirty school-aged children from the New Flex Foundation of Mt. Vernon, and seven residents from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, a rehabilitation program offering teenagers a second chance … Continue reading “Two groups of deserving kids find fun, fresh air, and friends at BYSC’s 5th annual Adirondack camping experience at Brant Lake Camp”

    Learning to play basketball also teaches sharing and teamwork among teens with special needs

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    Categories volunteer teen mentors, special needs sports, basketballTags ,

    Consuelo Engel shares her and her son James’ experience as a participant in Backyard Sports Cares PLUS program for teen athletes with special abilities. For more than two years, 18-year-old James has been building his skills on the court while connecting with teammates and volunteer peer mentors. The teen program is an off-shoot of BYSC … Continue reading “Learning to play basketball also teaches sharing and teamwork among teens with special needs”

    Every Kid Deserves a Bike!

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    Categories under-served communitiesTags , , ,

    Backyard Sports Cares celebrates its 5th year of participation in Barnum Foundation for Life‘s annual Bike Day. Dozens of youngsters from the Youth Community Outreach Program (Y-COP) of Mt. Vernon were identified by BYSC to receive a brand new bicycle. For many, it was their first bike. The event took place on Sunday, June 23rd … Continue reading “Every Kid Deserves a Bike!”

    Passing the Baton: Backyard Sports 2019 Inaugural Red Shirt Ceremony

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    Categories Teen Mentors, Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors

    Backyard Sports Cares started with just a few caring people and a vision in 2009 and has grown into what is now an integral part of our community. Serving over 200 children with cognitive challenges, Backyard Sports has been able to give those with limited access to sports programming a safe space to play sports, … Continue reading “Passing the Baton: Backyard Sports 2019 Inaugural Red Shirt Ceremony”

    BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future

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    Categories Teen Mentors, afterschool programs, fundraisingTags , ,

      LISTEN to our podcast interview with Danny Bernstein, executive director, BYSC When Backyard Sports Cares launched in 2009, we knew we were doing something special. There was a void for many parents in the Westchester Community who were seeking either affordable sports programming for their typical child or programs that were accommodating to their … Continue reading “BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future”