Chamber Announces New Charity Partner

The Sophia Valsamos Foundation has been selected as the POB Chamber’s new charity partner. The 501c3 organization’s mission is to empower young people to take a stand against bullying, find support around challenges and embrace each other’s differences.

The charity was founded by Sophia’s father: “On October 19th, 2017, my oldest daughter Sophia took her own life at the tender age of 13. Sophia was a vibrant, artistic, intelligent, and kind-hearted teenager. Although Sophia had the tools to become a successful adult, she fell victim to anxiety, lack of self-confidence, bullying and other challenges that many of our children face today. In honor of Sophia and to help keep her memory and spirit alive, we formed this foundation dedicated to educating and helping others.”

Foundation President Keith Senzer: “On behalf of The Sophia Valsamos Foundation, we are grateful to The Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce for selecting us as this year’s charity. All funds raised from this endeavor will go toward providing our Mental Wellness Kits and other programming to schools across the country (including local schools here on LI).  These kits are filled with effective, fun tools and are used by teachers as a catalyst for positive mental health discussions and activities in the classroom. We have no doubt that the funds and awareness raised via the chamber will contribute to important impacts on teen mental health, including the prevention of suicide and school violence.”

For the next ten months (September 2022 through June 2023) the chamber will help raise awareness and funds for this important cause. Please take a moment to learn more about the foundation and consider donating to our fundraisers at networking events and on other occasions. You can also contribute by donating gift cards (in increments of $25 please) or a large raffle prize. Contact Barbara Mars with any questions: barbmars@optonline.net.

Learn more about the foundation here 

Thank you to Michael Chad, chamber board member and charity committee chair, and the other committee members, board members Andrea Goldman and Cheryl Dender, and members Janine Friedman and Jeff Trugman, for carefully considering all of the worthy candidates. A record number of applications were received this year.