August 23, 2018 – Binghamton, NY – In front of the Boys & Girls Club, located in Binghamton at 90 Clinton St., at 9:30am, local business owner Ed Hickey III, spoke with media on an important issue. The subject was the non-profit charity Kenny’s Kids and it’s effort to help the youth of the City. Mr. Hickey was joined by City Councilwoman Dani Cronce, who represents the 3rd District, and Marybeth Smith of the Boys & Girls Club.
The charity was created in memory of Ken Baker, a local resident, graduate student of Binghamton University, adjunct professor at Elmira College, and friend of Ed Hickey. Mr. Baker passed 6 years ago in a car accident in New York City. It was the words of inspiration from Mr. Baker that moved Mr. Hickey. He said, as Mr. Hickey recounts,
“Ed, you should focus on what you can do for these kids, rather than fixating on what you can’t.”
The purpose of the press announcement was two-fold. To celebrate the success of raising scholarship funds for 20 kids. These funds were raised via online donations from social media including Facebook and by Paypal. In addition there was the announcement of the first Kenny’s Kids event, “Fleafest” – a flea market, to be held on Sunday, August 26, 2018. The event is in conjunction with the popular annual Porchfest Westside musical event, created by Chris Bodnerczek. The target is raising funds for an addition 30 scholarships for local youth,
“We’ll have tables for rent, where you can turn treasures from your basement into cash for your wallet. There will be bands, music, there will be food. It’ll be a fun time for everyone.”
The Flea Market will take place alongside the Belmar Pub & Grill (owned by Mr. Hickey), at 95 Main Street in Binghamton, with participating vendors donating $20 per table space to sell their wares. All proceeds from the event will go to a scholarship for youth at the Boys & Girls Club.
Marybeth Smith, spoke with us about the mission of the Boys & Girls Club. She noted that this organization provides an alternative to drugs and gangs, and safe haven from crime that can often affect our youth in multiple negative aspects. With the new school year approaching, Mrs. Smith confirmed the continuing policy of the Club to find a way to provide all children access to the facility and its programs, even if the annual fee of $65 is a burden for some families. To that end she welcomed the dedication and support of Mr. Hickey and Kenny’s Kids.
“The $65 gets them membership here. All the activities, dinner every night, and all the field trips we do. We have so many children that come to us, [though] that $65 is a little bit hard for [families] to pay the membership with, so if people are interested it’s always a blessing for people to help these children… Just again thank you, thank you for what Ed and this group is doing. Thank you especially for thinking of the boys and girls.”