YONKERS, N.Y. -- Friends of Leake & Watts gathered on Thursday at New York’s Riverpark Restaurant to raise money for Leake & Watts’ vital support of thousands of vulnerable children, adult, and families in the New York Metropolitan Area.
Guests, including Sue Taub of Briarcliff Manor, had the opportunity to meet Christian Hurtado and Andrew Maldanado, two young men who are blossoming thanks to the support of Leake & Watts, an award-winning nonprofit.
The theme of the night was farm-to-table, as Riverpark is home to Manhattan’s largest urban farm, which is located just steps from the kitchen. Leake & Watts Youth Gardening Program also supports an urban farm, which grows food for the Food Bank For Westchester on the Leake & Watts campus in Yonkers.
From spring to fall, adolescents supported by Leake & Watts’ resident treatment center cultivate, plant, and weed an immaculate half-acre vegetable garden on the agency’s Yonkers campus.
Teens have to apply for these highly-coveted gardening jobs. The program helps youngsters cultivate a sense of responsibility — a core Leake & Watts value — and take pride in the tangible results of their effort.
“Our Youth Gardening Program lets the teens we support taste the fruits of their labor – literally,” explains Alan Mucatel, executive director at Leake & Watts. “They learn the delight of biting into a fresh tomato they have grown and picked from the vine. They know the satisfaction of helping the Food Bank feed the hungry. Most importantly, they learn that they can be successful, and the experience prepares them to achieve success in other areas of their life.”
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