NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- On Friday, March 3, 2017, the Boys & Girls of New Rochelle (BGCNR) is hosting its 9th Annual BE GREAT gala at The Surf Club on the Sound. BE GREAT is a festive celebration highlighting the work of the Club and honoring individuals and businesses who have demonstrated a commitment to the youth and families in New Rochelle. Tickets, sponsorships and ads for BE GREAT can be purchased on our website at www.bgcnr.org.
This year, we are thrilled to honor Mary Jo Jacobs as our BE GREAT CITIZEN. Mary Jo and her family have lived in New Rochelle for over 25 years. During that time, Mary Jo, who is currently the Vice President of the Board of BGCNR, has dedicated herself to bettering our community and the lives of children in New Rochelle and beyond. Mary Jo has served as President of the Webster PTA, the PTA Council, the New Rochelle Special Education Parent-Teachers Association (SEPTA), and has co-chaired the SEPTA We Are One gala for years. She also chaired New Rochelle's Open Space and Community Resources Committee. In 2013, Mary Jo ran for County Legislator for District 10, which serves New Rochelle and Eastchester. Mary Jo brings to every endeavor intelligence, passion, energy, and humor, and her positive spirit elevates everyone who works with her. It is these qualities, along with her commitment to community, that make her this year's GREAT CITIZEN.
We are also thrilled to honor Francesco Notaristefano as our BE GREAT COACH AND EDUCATOR. Coach Francesco Notaristefano has coached hundreds of New Rochelle children over the past 10 years. He currently coaches the New Rochelle High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team. This year, he led them to the sectional semi-finals, with the most regular season wins in the club’s history. Coach Notaristefano coached the New Rochelle Junior Varsity Boys soccer team for 6 years prior to taking over the girls’ team in 2012. Coach Fran also coaches several premiere travel soccer teams in New Rochelle and Westchester County. Among his many championship titles, a highlight was winning the 2016 Paris World Cup with his travel team. As if those teams don’t keep him busy enough, Francesco coaches and trains close to 200 New Rochelle Youth Soccer players every season. Coach Fran was named Coach of the Year of the Section 1 Class AA conference 1 League B this year. When he’s not coaching, he’s teaching. Mr. Notaristefano is a Special Education teacher at the Home Instruction School in the Bronx, where he has taught for the past 9 years. Francesco and his wife Lisa have a young son. They live in Somers.
Finally, we are thrilled to honor Al’s Barbershop as our BE GREAT BUSINESS. Al’s Barbershop was founded in New Rochelle by Alfred (Al) Holmes more than thirty years ago and has been a staple in the Black community ever since. Many of New Rochelle’s most prominent residents have sat in Al’s chair, including local politicians, sports figures, actors, and other celebrities. Upon retirement, Al passed the business on to his son Al, Jr., who continues to groom generations of men and women from New Rochelle and surrounding communities. Al Jr. is proud to uphold the legacy his father created. Al’s Barbershop has served and continues to serve as a gathering place and extension of home for a community.