AUGUST 2019 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 27
HELPING HANDS FOUNDATION
RIDES AND DRIVES
BY ROB PELAEZ
For Jeanine Gentile and the staff
she works with at Adventureland
Amusement Park, the rides and food
are just a part of what makes Long
Island’s favorite family destination
The park’s owners founded the nonprofit
Helping Hands Foundation in
2013 as a way for the Adventureland
team to give back to their patrons,
have communities come together, and
have LI reach its full potential.
Jeanine has been working full time
at Adventureland for more than
10 years, but the Gentile name was
present in the theme park long before
her arrival. Her grandfather, Tony,
purchased the park in 1987, and spent
more than 25 years making improvements
to not only Adventureland, but
to the entire Island.
“He Tony was a loving and caring
individual,” says Jeanine of her late
grandfather, “It was his love for the
people who came in and enjoyed our
park that made us want to name our
scholarship after him.”
The Tony Gentile Memorial
Scholarship started out by providing
five students with $1,000 scholarships
in 2013, and is now able to award a
cumulative $40,000 worth of college
tuition. As impressive as that sixyear
growth is, the scholarship is
only a piece in the charitable puzzle.
Some other upcoming events include
the Back to School supply drive,
taking place on Friday, August 16.
The event corresponds with National
Roller Coaster Day, and those who
donate new school supplies will be
rewarded with a free ride on two of
the park’s best rides.
September 6 will be the biggest event
of the calendar year, the V.I.P. Friends
& Family Fundraiser, where unlimited
food and rides will be available
for those helping the foundation to
reach their goal of $200,000 for the
Tony Gentile Memorial Scholarship.
“I love all the events we do,” says
Jeanine. “But when we partner with
the Ronald McDonald House for our
Toy Delivery Day, and get to physically
see the faces of the families we’re
helping, it makes it all worth it.”
For more information, visit helpinghandsli.
org or call 631-694-6868.
The Helping Hands Foundation gives scholarships to Long Island
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