Yonkers Community Raises Funds for Climate Resilience and Environmental Action

Groundwork Hudson Valley hosts its 2022 Annual Gala and raises funds to ensure equal access to a healthy environment.

Groundwork Hudson Valley hosted its 2022 Annual Gala on October 20th at X20 in Yonkers, NY raising over $250,000. Ruth Walter, Buro Happold, and the Yonkers NAACP were honored for their dedication to improve climate resilience in our community. 

This year, nearly 200 community members came together, including its newly formed Climate Safe Yonkers Task Force, elected officials, businesses, organizations, volunteers, and supporters. Mayor Mike Spano, City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy, Majority Leader Tasha Diaz, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, Sustainable Westchester, Yonkers Arts, MHACY, Downtown BID, and many more to support Groundwork’s mission to create sustainable environmental change in urban neighborhoods through community-based partnerships that promote equity, youth leadership, and economic opportunity. 

Brigitte Griswold, Groundwork Hudson Valley’s Executive Director shared, “Without our partners, donors, board, advisory council, staff, volunteers, and the people that support us, we wouldn’t be able to serve some of the most vulnerable people in this community.” She stated, “The impacts of climate change are only getting worse and we know this through science but also by seeing and living it right here in Yonkers. That is why we must put all of our collective efforts to ensure our communities and future generations can adapt and withstand the most severe climate risks.”

Former Westchester County Legislator and Chair of the Environment and Health Committee, Ruth Walter, was honored for her dedication to community-level environmental action. Ruth Walter has supported climate resilience efforts at the county and community levels across Westchester and Yonkers by securing County funding to support Groundwork’s Green Team and work along the Saw Mill River watershed. 

The Yonkers NAACP Unit #2188 was honored for its efforts in addressing environmental and climate justice issues negatively impacting communities of color. Its current President, Reverend Frank E. Coleman Jr., who is in his second term, stated that the Yonkers NAACP will continue to disrupt inequities, dismantle systems of racism, and promote change in all areas including health, education, and criminal and climate justice. He closed by leading the guests in singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, a song of hope, perseverance, and strength for marginalized populations. 

Buro Happold, a global and multidisciplinary consulting and engineering firm was among the honorees. Buro Happold is currently a Consultant for the City of Yonkers and is leading the city’s first ever Climate Action Plan.

The amount raised will go towards supporting Groundwork to continue its efforts to ensure equal access to a healthy environment for all, foster the development of environmental and community leaders through environmental education and employment, and champion sustainable projects with a lasting impact. 

Additional donations to Groundwork Hudson Valley can be made at www.groundworkhv.org/donate. For additional information on donations or sponsorships please contact Karen Tumelty at karen@groundworkhv.org.

About Groundwork Hudson Valley: Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit working with communities to improve climate resilience and adaptation, promote sustainability education, and nurture the next generation of environmental leaders. For more information visit groundworkhv.org.