The Helping Hands Foundation was founded in 2013 with the goal of helping Long Island reach its potential. Tony Gentile, one of the founding fathers of Adventureland, always wanted to give back to the Long Island community, and this foundation was created in his memory to do just that.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our supporters, by the end of this year we will have donated over $150,000 in scholarships to Long Island students. Applications for the Vivian & Tony Gentile Scholarship Fund are accepted every spring and the award winners are announced every July. Eligible participants must be a High School Senior on Long Island attending a college or university on Long Island and must have a passion for the Long Island Community.
We also help support local charities and organizations by hosting collection drives each year. Our Toy Drive supports the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and Birthday Wishes. The first collection is held during Adventureland’s opening weekend each spring. When guests donated a toy, they can get one Free POP band for unlimited rides when they bought one at full price! Our last two toy collections are held on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. When Mom donates a toy on Mother’s Day and when Dad donates a toy on Father’s Day, they receive one Free POP to use that day!
Our School Supply Drive is held at Adventureland every August 16th, National Roller Coaster Day. When guests donate items like backpacks, pencils, and crayons, they can get a free ride on Adventureland Turbulence Coaster or Rattlesnake Coaster!
Our Fall Food Drive is held each fall during Adventureland’s final weekend. We offer guests Buy One POP Band Get One Free when they make a donation of nonperishable food. The drive benefits Island Harvest and the Town of Babylon Food Pantry—our goal is to donate 250 turkeys and 5,000 pounds of nonperishable food every holiday season!
We also help support local nonprofits through our grant program. We continue to support Stony Brook Children’s Child Life Program alongside Adventureland with a $20,000 pledge. We have also pledged $50,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to assist them in their mission to end Type 1 Diabetes. We continue to support organizations like ReesSpecht Life, End Drowning Now, Splashes of Hope, Uplift Brentwood, and The Book Fairies through monetary and in-kind donations.
You can help support our mission by donating goods to our drives, contributing to our scholarship fund, or just by talking about us! Help spread the word about our foundation, so we can help more and more Long Islanders in need each year!