Congratulations to the Binghamton Chapter for being awarded $25,000 from the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program. Click here to check out Jared and Chris in the press conference as they are awarded the check.
The Binghamton, NY chapter was formed in 2013, along with the inclusion of 2 of our newest board memebers, Jared Bowling and Chris Palmer. For 9 years, Jared, Chris, and some of their friends, have hosted an event called Zooneyfest. Initially made in honor of their friend, Joe Zunic, ZooneyFest embodies many of the elements found in Betterment's events and recipients. The 10th, and final, Annual ZooneyFest was held on September 13, 2014 and was another huge success.
ZooneyFest started in 2005 as a benefit for Joe Zunic who had been diagnosed with ALS in February in 2004. Joe was an active participant in the game of life and was not in need of a “reminder to take stock in life.” He loved projects, working hard, all that the outdoors offered, art, music, food and sharing all of it with his family and friends. Always a person to help other people out, Joe initially resisted the idea of a benefit. But after months of pestering he relented and agreed to have the benefit on the condition ZooneyFest continue as a vehicle to help others facing a critical, life changing need.
In joining Betterment, the Binghamton chapter now has the ability to achieve Joe’s ultimate vision for ZooneyFest and be able to make meaningful, positive impacts on people’s lives when they need financial help the most. ZooneyFest is a celebration of life; an opportunity for people to come together enjoy family, friends, food and music for the purpose of helping people in need. It was important to Joe for the “festival” to not be about him or ALS. With Betterment, ZooneyFest has expanded its reach, become a stronger entity with the support of a national not-for-profit organization and become more attractive to volunteers and donors.
Previous recipients of Zooneyfest
20. Susan Speranza (2014) 19. Sara Brown Quattrocchi (2014) 18. Jean Stevens (2013) 17. Sam Brown (2013) 16. Food Bank of the Southern Tier (2012) 15. A Room to Heal (2012) 14. Tom McGovern (2012) 13. Helping Hands of Broome County (2011) 12. Randy Buttman (2011) 11. The Handicapped Childrens' Association (2010) 10. Mike Meade (2010) 9. Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier (2009) 8. Terry Burge (2009) 7. The Children's Home (2008) 6. Elliot Root (2008) 5. Red Cross of the Southern Tier Disaster Relief (2007) 4. Jonathan Brown (2007) 3. Greg Slezak (2006) 2. Gus & Rheda Pearson (2006) 1. Joe Zunic (2005)
Binghamton/Zooneyfest Host Committee:
Jared Bowling (Co-Chair) Chris Palmer (Co-Chair) Nadine Toton (Co-Chair) Gordie Gottlieb Robin Jolicoeur Jess Flynn Josh Enfield Dave Costello John & Diane Zunic