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Croton Teens to Host Nicaraguan Ambassador at Croton Bridges Fundraiser Sunday

February 27, 2009

Maria Rubiales de Chamorro, Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the United Nations, will attend Croton Bridges to Community’s Nicaraguan Benefit on Sunday, March 1, 2009 5:00PM at Temple Israel of Northern Westchester 31 Glengary Road, Croton on Hudson, NY 10520.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome the Ambassador. Being able to build a bridge between Croton and Masaya is a wonderful thing. Being able to express our appreciation for the opportunity to serve the Nicaraguan people is a great privilege” says Luann Ricciardi, Croton Bridges Team Coordinator.

The dinner is a way for a group of Croton students to raise awareness and support for a global service project they will be doing in Nicaragua. The evening will include delicious food compliments of local business and groups including; The Spanish Ministry of Holy Name of Mary Parish, Memphis Mae’s BBQ, Capriccios and Justin’ Thyme. Popular local band The Blue Water Band and Croton Harmon High Schools Strings Ensemble will perform. A Silent auction with items donated by local and corporate supporters will be held. Use of a vacation home, tickets to Broadway shows, an autographed Jon Bon Jovi guitar and even Xbox360s are some of the items donated. Distinguished guests for the evening will include Maria Rubiales de Chamarro, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.N., Rusty Pedersen, Associate Executive Director from Bridges to Community. Local and state officials have been invited as well as local clergy and distinguished guests.

Several months ago, a group began to form here in Croton. They call themselves Croton Bridges. A small group of 10 young people and 3 adult chaperones from our village have decided to answer our new President’s call to serve others globally. On April 4th, the group will travel with an organization called Bridges to Community to Nicaragua where they will participate in a sustainability program for the people in the small rural community of Masaya just south of Managua. The young people involved in this project will be working to build sustainable housing in the Masaya.

“It is inspiring to see that as a result of the call of President Obama and his family to service others, young people in the United States will become more involved in their communities and in communities abroad. I am very please that students from Croton Harmon Schools have chosen to give service in Masaya, a province in our country that inspires warmth in all Nicaragua because of its history and contributions to Nicaragua’s popular culture. Nicaragua and its people are always grateful for expressions of friendship from the people of the United States”, says Rubiales de Chamorro.

The ten teens going on the trip have raised $19,000 toward the $27,000 needed to make the trip. The group hopes to close the gap in fundraising and raise additional funds at the benefit for Bridges to Community’s efforts

“It is the hard work of groups like Croton Bridges that creates real opportunities for change. Change not only for the communities we work with in Nicaragua, but in the perception and attitudes that our volunteers have towards developing countries. Bridges is proud to host such a passionate group of adults and students this April” says Rusty Pedersen, Associate Executive Director, Bridges to Community.

Tickets are $30.00 per person, $45 a couple and kids under 12 - $5. For reservation call: Luann Ricciardi at (914)271-2420 or email at for more details.

Croton Bridges is a non-denominational community based group. The group has presented their mission to Holy Name of Mary Church, Croton Harmon High School, Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School, The Croton Harmon Athletic Department, the Social Action Club at PVC and the CHHS Human Rights Task Force at CHHS as well as others; all who have all offered to share their vision of service and assist the group through awareness and fundraising activities. This is the first of what the group hopes will be many trips with Croton Bridges Our youth will return from this trip with a new understanding of our global community which will in turn allow them to educate their peers in how we can support other nations to enjoy the freedom and prosperity we are so lucky to have in the United States of America as well as empowering those to serve locally.

The Croton Bridges Team: Marie Goldberg, Audrey Huigens, Kyle Ricciardi, Ally Tuman, Alex Starr, Jake Tuttle, Mary Kate Ricciardi, Carter Kelly, Charles Frattini, Erin Ricciardi, Luke Latimer, Andy Starr and Luann Ricciardi

Bridges to Community is a nonprofit organization based in Ossining, a community development organization that takes volunteers to developing countries to work, learn and reflect. Through the process of living and working with local communities on construction, health and environmental projects, Bridges promotes cross-cultural learning, a deepening awareness of our global interdependence and a commitment to the common good. Bridges to Community envisions a world in which local and global communities actively organize and work together for a just world. A world in which the human population takes on the responsibility to create socio-economic systems where all people have the ability, access and power to make their own life decisions and guarantee their basic human rights regardless of gender, culture, race, religion or class. By joining forces with the larger Bridges organization, the Croton Bridges group seeks the same vision of basic human rights for everyone including decent and safe housing; access to water and electricity; education and training, employment; adequate healthcare, assistance during emergencies, voice and power to make changes in their lives and community.

Please consider, as your call to global service by making a tax- deductible donation to help the group reach their goal: log on to the Bridges website, click on donate, choose a donation amount and in the area where it asks if you “are supporting a fundraiser” write: Croton Bridges OR simply write a check to Bridges to Community and include Croton Bridges on the memo line and mail to:

Luann Ricciardi, Croton Bridges Coordinator
54 Emerson Ave
Croton on Hudson, NY 10520
(914) 271-2420


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