Queens County Young Democrats Host Elected Officials vs. Young Dems Charity Basketball Game


Astoria, NY – Queens County Young Democrats (QCYD) challenged some of the borough’s elected officials at its Fourth Annual Charity Basketball Game at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in Astoria on Saturday night. Elected officials and Young Democrats played a competitive but friendly game, with Young Democrats emerging victorious for the first time in the event’s history with a score of 43-36. The game raised over $1,000 for the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens (VB&GCQ), the largest after school program in Western Queens, and collected non-perishable goods for families affected by Hurricane Maria. Despite frigid temperatures, over 80 donations were made to VB&GCQ from event participants.

Members of Team Elected Officials included: Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, Assemblyman Clyde Vanel, District Leader Ari Espinal, former District Leader Angel Vazquez and special guest from the Bronx, Senator Jamaal Bailey.
Members of Team Young Democrats included: Aaron Ambrose, Maricela Cano, Taylor Jenkins, Niki Kokkinos, Kieran Mahoney, Muhammad Rahman, Daniel Randell, Jesse Rose, John Sanchez, Sumit Sharma, Xiang Siow, Chris Sperrazza, Rianna Young and coach Aaron Siegel.

The VB&GCQ serves children of all ages in the Western Queens community, and with many of its members receiving Title I assistance, $1,000 goes a long way. Under the direction of VB&GCQ Executive Director Matthew Troy,  the Club has expanded significantly in scope and membership. Troy remarked: “The Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens is grateful to the elected officials, staff, and friends of the Queens County Young Democrats for selecting our organization as the beneficiary of their annual charity game. One of our core programs emphasizes healthy lifestyles and we’re glad to see QCYD participants breaking a sweat for a good cause. For more than 60 years, the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens has offered quality, affordable programs for all of the children in our community, to help them find and develop their passions and cultivate their futures.”

QCYD President Stacey Eliuk thanked all who participated, saying “On one of the coldest nights of the year, everyone here tonight is truly an MVP. This great tradition brings together some of Queens’ most active young citizens to make a real, tangible impact in our communities. We look forward to next year’s rematch!”

Despite the loss, Queens’ elected players were great sports: “The 4th Annual QCYD Charity Basketball Game was a great time for a great cause. The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens helps our neighbors everyday and I am happy to support them in return,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who represents the Club as part of his district.

“I applaud the Queens County Young Democrats for organizing this great event to help raise funds for the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. It was my pleasure to participate,” said Assemblyman Brian Barnwell.

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